Starting a Business - Registration

by 6th of April, 2014

When starting a business you need to ensure you have it registered with the relevant government departments and that you are compliant with your industries regulations. This article outlines where to access information on registering your business and ensuring you have the correct licenses. 


VIDEO: Tax Basics for Small Business - ATO


Have you registered for:

  • Australian Business Number (ABN): If you intend to carry on an enterprise, register for GST or operate under a different name you may need to register for an ABN. More details can be found on the government Australian Business Register website.
  • Australian Tax File Number (TFN): If you are a sole trader you can use your personal TFN. If you operate as a partnership, trust or company you will need a separate TFN. If you don’t have a TFN you could have more tax withheld from your pay, or be unable to receive the government benefits you are entitled to. The ATO and your accountant can advise you on the TFN that is needed for your business structure See ABR - Aplying for business TFN.
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST): If you are expected to turnover $75,000 or more you are expected to register for GST. There are also other requirements. You can Apply for GST registration here and there is useful information on the ATO website.
  • Pay as you Go (PAYG): Is a system for withholding amounts from payments you make to employees and businesses so they can meet their end-of-year tax liabilities.Apply for PAYG, Find out more on PAYG.

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Licenses and Permits required: ABLIS helps you find the government licences, permits, approvals, registrations, codes of practice, standards and guidelines you need to know about to meet your compliance responsibilities. See ABLIS website.

Should you operate as a Company?

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is in charge of the registration and compliance of companies. You will be issued with an ACN which you can operate under. The ASIC website provides an 8 step process to starting a company:

Step 1: Decide if a company or a business structure is right for you 
Step 2: Choose a company name
Step 3: Decide how to operate your company 
Step 4: Understand your legal obligations as an officeholder
Step 5: Get consent from officeholders, members and occupiers 
Step 6: Register your company 
Step 7: Understand your legal obligations regarding your company name, ACN and ABN
Step 8: Order a commemorative record of registration (optional)

To understand more about operating a company visit the ASIC website

We hope this article has helped you understand what is involved when starting a business. Its important to consider these factors when purchasing a business for sale to ensure it is compliant with regulations. 

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