Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Business in Australia

A beginner’s guide to starting your own business in Australia.


Craig Dempsey

27 Nov, 2018

Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Business in Australia | BEAMSTART News

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There are countless reasons why you may consider starting a business in Australia, whether you are from the country or you live in another part of the world. As well as being known for its stunning natural beauty and thriving tourism economy, Australia is home to other markets that are competing on the world stage. Indeed, the country has one of the world’s strongest economies; it was one of the only developed nations not to suffer during the financial crisis.

Below, we offer a beginner’s guide to starting your own business in Australia and offer some advice on how you can maximise your return on investment and generate healthy profits.

Find a gap in the market

Before you jump in head first and form a business in Australia, you should look for a gap in the market and decide whether or not you’ll be able to make an impact. One of the reasons why so many entrepreneurs enter into the country to form new businesses is because Oz is globally successful in five key industries, including tourism, education, financial services, agriculture businesses, and resources and energy.

Being able to tap into one of those industries to form a new business to take advantage of the talent and trade agreements can offer some significant benefits, but you must first know that your investment will be met with success. Speak to businesses or individuals who may be interested in buying from you, consider partnerships, and only then form your company.

Form your company

Once you have decided that Australia is the right country for your needs, begin the process of company formation Australia based. It can take some time to get the paperwork in order, particularly if you’re not an Australian national, so get started as soon as possible. The good news is that establishing a business within the territory is relatively inexpensive, and you can go from sign-up to formation within a couple of days once you have the right documentation.

Something to consider when forming your business is choosing the right business structure Australia-based. There are four structures - sole traders, partnerships, companies, and trusts, so go through your options and decide on one that you think will offer the greatest benefit. Again, there is no pressure, as your business structure can change as your organisation grows and expands, so if you start off as a sole trader and employ a couple of people, then you can quickly move over to a Company, which will remove your responsibility of taxes, profits and losses from your accounts, and towards Company accounts instead.

As always when expanding into a new territory, you should get to grips with the way in which Australian businesses are formed and maintained. Foreign resident tax rates for 2018-19 are 32.5c for each $1 if you earn less than $90,000, or if you’re earning between $90,001 and $180,000, you’ll need to pay a minimum of $29,250 plus 37c for each $1 over $90,000. You will also be responsible for paying your employees’ superannuation guarantee, which is currently 9.5% of their salary. This figure will rise to 12% by July 2025, so budget in advance.

Develop a team

Now that you have formed a company and you’re ready to start trading, you should develop a team of local experts who you can depend on. It’s naive to assume you’ll be able to tackle the marketing, business development and everyday running of your new Australian business on your own, so make the leap to hiring staff, even if you’re worried you won’t be able to turn a profit in the first year. There are lots of ups and downs to entrepreneurship, but if you have a talented and passionate team by your side, many of the challenges you’re likely to face will not be as taxing - after all, business is all about people and teamwork.

As well as recruiting new talent, you should also understand the importance of effective human resources within your organisation - especially if you’re looking to expand into new markets. Not only does an HR department keep everything ticking over, but it ensures that as your business grows, your employees will still receive the everyday support they need.

Learn how to network

Understanding business culture is important - and in Australia, even more so. It’s easy to assume that Australians do business in the same way as people do in the United Kingdom or the United States, but that isn’t always the case. Australians are known to be laid-back and take a more relaxed approach to business, so don’t go in for the oversell when you meet them. You should also avoid being too confident, as Australians admire modesty and don’t take kindly to people who think they’re better than everyone else. Of course, you should still shout about the benefits of your products and services, but be subtle and don’t overdo it.

Networking is a great way to make new business contacts and help your company thrive, so when you’re in the early days of your new venture, it pays to put in the hours. Connect with people online, attend every local networking event you can, and put yourself out there. You might be outside of your comfort zone, but these vital relationships can secure the future of your business and introduce you to buyers who may be in need of your products or services.

Export to other countries

Australia is unique in the fact it has trading relationships with countries around the world, so once you have got the basics sorted, consider exporting some of your goods to other territories to boost your profitability and diversify your business. China, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, US, Chile, the Association of South East Asian Nations, and Malaysia all have free trade agreements with Australia, which promotes strong trade and commercial ties and allows businesses to trade overseas without tariffs.

Starting a business in Australia requires hard work and dedication, but with time you’ll get there. Whatever your industry, we wish you the very best of luck with your new venture.

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