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Starting A Business In Australia? What You Need To Know Right Now!

Starting a business in Australia can be either simple or complex, depending on the way you choose to structure your enterprise.

Choosing The Right Structure For You

There are four basic structures that you can choose from -

• Sole Trader,

• Partnership,

• Company,

• Trust.

Most people commence in business as a Sole Trader or Partnership. As the business grows and takes on employees many people choose to restructure by forming a Company. Trusts are a less common form of legal entity and it is rare that a new business owner would set up a Trust in the early stages of their new business.

Regardless of the business structure you choose, the first thing you must do is to apply for an Australian Business Number, or ABN as it is more commonly known. Applying for an ABN is free and can be obtained in 10 minutes by visiting the Australian Securities and Investment Commission website.

If you wish to trade under a business name such as Jim Brown’s Pizza Palace you need to register this name with ASIC also. At the time of writing, this fee is $30 plus GST for one year or $70 plus GST for 3 years.

In Australia, if you don’t produce an ABN, other businesses will often refuse to trade with you. When applying for an ABN, you need to consider whether you need to be registered for GST. If your annual turnover is likely to exceed $75,000, GST registration is compulsory. If your turnover is under $75,000 registration, in most cases, is optional. Most new businesses choose to report and pay their GST on a quarterly basis.

GST: Exceptions To The Rule

• If you drive a taxi or a hire car, you must register for GST regardless of your turnover.

• If you operate a non-profit organisation, GST registration is not required until you have a turnover of $150,000 or more.

Getting The Right Business Advice

Before you start your business, it pays to get advice from a professional such as an accountant or financial advisor. However, this can sometimes be costly.

In Australia, free or low cost assistance is available from:

  • Business Enterprise Centres (found throughout the country)
  • The Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  • Various State and Federal Departments eg. Regional Development, Ausindustry, Industry and Investment, Austrade, ACCC etc
  • Local business networks
  • Professional business networks such as your local Business Chamber
  • Industry Associations

Type of Business

Have you already got a business idea in mind? Will you buy an existing business or will it be a new start up business? Maybe you are setting up an online business. Have you considered the operating costs, the pricing structure, the staffing plans and the business hours? Will you operate from a shop, an office or home? Have you checked Local Council Regulations? Do you know what Insurance and Licences you will need? Have you done your research? Is there a market for your product or service?

Will you be starting part time or jumping straight in? Have you done a business plan? Is your business likely to be viable?

Don’t go into business until you have checked all these things out. Remember that business is a subject that needs to be studied, just like hairdressing, carpentry, accounting and web design. Do your due diligence.

5 Reasons Why An Online Business Is The Best Home Business

Over recent years, people from all walks of life have had their entrepreneurial spirit sparked into looking for the easiest business to start. The recessionary climate and increasing unemployment levels mean millions of people are waking up to the fact that they need to take control of their future. To do this, new entrepreneurs want good businesses to start so that they can generate a new and sustainable income stream.

So what is the easiest business to start? It’s sensible that the best business to start will have the least expensive set up expenses, they will have services and products that people want to buy and will have the biggest possible client base. Welcome to the world of online business! It’s not a secret that a growing number of people are purchasing products and services online because of convenience, choice, cost and service. Starting up an online business and joining the thriving e-commerce world really is easiest business to start.

1. Low set up costs.

The beauty of starting an online business is that the start up costs are very low as compared to a conventional bricks and mortar business. Starting conventional business requires substantial investments in human resources, inventory and financial capital. Industry is becoming more information-intensive and less labour and capital-intensive.This means that more and more traditional barriers to success in business are being removed.

2. You do not need to have your own products.

An online business is the easiest business to start because you don’t even need to have your own products to sell. In fact, you don’t have to stock any products, set up payment systems or worry about distribution or product fulfillment. This is possible with one of the most popular and best home business models called affiliate marketing.This is where you promote and sell other people’s products. It’s like being an online commission-paid sales person. When you make a sale, you get paid a commission.

The creator of the product is responsible for the whole development and fulfillment of the product. They will supply the marketing resources, manage the product delivery and follow up customer assistance. Your task is to find the customers and push them to the vendor’s online sales pages. There is an almost unlimited amount of products, services and online business ideas that you can promote this way. You can become an affiliate for services and products available on websites such as Amazon, CJ Affiliate, ClickBank or JVZoo. You can sell any products you want and receive commissions on every sale.

3. Your business is open 24/7 to customers all over the world.

One of the best advantages of an online business is that you can work from anywhere you want so long as you have a computer and access to the internet. The internet makes it possible for you to have customers from all over the world meaning that your business can quickly grow. You are not restricted to finding customers who live near to you. When you have an online business, your business is open all day long, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can literally earn money while you’re sleeping.

4. Use software to your advantage.

The great reasons for starting an onlne business is that a lot of tasks can be automated. For example, it is important to introduce your business to prospective customers, maintain contact and build relationships with customers and send out special offers. This can easily be done with email autoresponder marketing software that works on autopilot. An autoresponder works day and night for you, while you concentrate on other aspects of your business.

5. Easy access to training.

Although an online business is the easiest business to start, it’s possible that you will need guidance with certain areas at some time or another. To help you, there are a wide variety of high quality online business training programs available on the internet. Your journey to success will be quicker if you make an investment in your online business education. Remember that you can learn as you earn. Learning from a successful person who has gone before you can make a big difference to your business. They can precisely evaluate your efforts, help you make progress with your marketing and profits and explain the way around stumbling blocks.

How to Protect Your Business in a Divorce

If you are a business owner facing divorce, the thought of protecting your business from divorce can only add to the stress and strain that you are already going through. Unlike most property or personal assets, your business represents a personal investment of your own time, money, creativity and hard work. The idea that you might lose something you built because of an unfortunate turn in your personal circumstances can be both frustrating and frightening.

There are a few things you should keep in mind, both when going through divorce, as well as before divorce even seems a prospect to you. If you never get divorced, that’s great, congratulations. But by taking time to make sure your business is protected you can prevent many headaches, including every entrepreneur’s ultimate nightmare: losing your business.

Here are some things you should consider that may help keep your business intact and functioning:

Get a prenuptial agreement. Sure, it’s not very romantic to contemplate divorce before you even marry, but if you own a business it’s your responsibility to think about the possibility. Speak openly and honestly with your intended about your desire to keep your business separate from the marriage, and craft an agreement that is fair and prudent for both parties before you have any reason to be contentious.

Insert provisions into your business agreements to keep your spouse out of the business. This sounds cold-hearted perhaps, but if you are in a partnership or corporation you owe it to yourself, your partners, your employees and your shareholders to protect the business. You should already have a buy-sell agreement with any partners. This will typically state what should happen to the business should any owner’s status change, will outline any pre-set price agreements for sale of the business, and may contain language that limits your spouse’s involvement in the business. The buy-sell agreement, while it doesn’t protect you entirely from the events that may occur in a divorce, does provide a contractual framework and legal foundation for any future court rulings about the business.

Keep your family assets separate from your business assets. This is just common business sense, but it’s even more important in the event of a divorce. If you are using family money to fund your business, you are creating a situation where your spouse may have claim to some of your company’s equity.

Pay yourself. Similarly, if you are not taking a salary, or taking a salary that is less than the going rate for your line of work, your spouse can claim that you have taken assets that rightfully belonged to your family and put them into your business. In the eyes of the court, this may substantiate your spouse’s claim to a stake in your business.

Don’t involve your spouse in your business. Again, this sounds cold, but there are sound business reasons for keeping your spouse’s involvement in your business to a minimum. If you hire your spouse, it is prudent to terminate that relationship as soon as possible if you end up in a divorce. The greater the involvement of your spouse in your business, the greater the claim your spouse can make to a stake in that business.

Create a Property Settlement Note. This will outline in advance how your spouse is to be paid out for their share in your business, should your marriage be dissolved.

Put your business and its assets in a trust. This will protect the assets from divorce, as you will no longer technically own them. The trust becomes, in effect, the owner of the business, and not only its current assets but also its future growth will remain outside the parameters of your marital assets.

Trade your share of the marital assets for equity in your business. This is only relevant if you are already going through a divorce, but it can help keep your business intact. You can maintain your share in the business by trading off other assets that are less important to you.

Sell equity in your business to raise capital to keep it running. Not an ideal solution, but if you can convince investors to buy shares of your company, you may be able to pay off your spouse while maintaining your business functions.

Split the business. This is the least desirable course of action, as it either means that you will have to continue your relationship with your ex in a business context-which is rarely comfortable-or, worse, that you’ll have to sell your business and divide the assets.