10 essential steps to successfully start your business

Are you thinking of starting your own business?

To make sure you get off on the right foot, it’s important to plan properly and find out what’s involved.

Here are 10 essential steps you’ll need to complete to successfully start your own business.

1. A business or a hobby?

There are differences between a hobby and running a business for tax, insurance and legal purposes. If you think your hobby might be turning a business, now is a good time to check.

2. Decide on your business structure

There are four types of business structures – sole trader, partnership, company and trust. There are advantages and disadvantages for each structure, so investigate each option carefully.

3. Apply for your Australian Business Number (ABN)

You’ll need an ABN to run your business. It’s used for various tax and business purposes like claiming GST credits and confirming your business identity when ordering and invoicing. Applying for an ABN is free.

4. Organise registrations and licences for your business

Playing music, renovating or have a sandwich board out the front of your business? Having the correct registrations, licences and permits is crucial when running your business.

5. Organise taxes for your business

Registering for the right taxes is essential when starting your business these will depend on the type of business you’re starting and what your projected turnover is.

6. Register your business name

Your business name or trading name is the name you use to run your business. While it’s not compulsory to register a business name, if you’re a sole trader or partnership and want to trade as something like Jane’s Flowers, you’ll need to register it. It’s also a good idea to check if your preferred business name is available as a web address and social media profiles.

7. Take out insurance for your business

It’s important to take out insurance when you’re starting out in business. This can include insuring your income, your commercial risk and getting workers’ compensation for any employees.

8. Register a name for your website

It’s a good idea to go with a website name that represents your business name or brand, is easy to remember, pronounce and spell and is short and unique. You should check if your preferred website name is available when registering your business name.

9. Choose a location for your business

You’ll need to decide where you’re going to run your business from when starting out. You might buy or lease a premise, run your business from home or look into co-working spaces. Even if you run an online business there might be things you need to consider such as storage or packing space for products.

10. Find out about selling products and services

Customers are your business’s most important asset, so it’s important to understand how to find and keep customers and your legal obligations when marketing and selling products and services.

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