Starting a business is a big decision, and needs careful research and planning well before you start trading.
To begin with, you need to figure out what type of business you're going to be operating and then design a structure to suit that business type. You'll need to think about the premises from which you're going to run your business, as well as the most appropriate billing, paying and record-keeping systems for it.
It's essential you find out sooner rather than later what your tax and superannuation obligations are going to be and whether or not you need to register your business.
One of the first steps is to work out if you are operating a business, or if your activity is actually a hobby – this affects what income you need to declare, and the deductions and losses you can claim.
When you start a business, it's very important to choose the business structure that best suits your needs.
You may need to register for a range of obligations, such as goods and services tax. You can register for many of these using a single registration form.
Invoicing customers, paying creditors and keeping records are essential parts of running your business.
Many small businesses are operated as home-based businesses. A home-based business is one where you operate the business either:
- at home – you carry out most of the work at your home (for example, a dressmaker who does all the work at home and has clients coming to their home for fittings)
- from home – the business does not own or rent any premises other than your home (for example, a tiler who does most of their work on clients' premises. but does not have any other business premises).