How To Start A Business In Australia – Be Your Own Boss

How to start a business in Australia is a common question asked by budding entrepreneurs. While it can be a long and difficult path, the reward of establishing a strong and profitable business may be worth it in the end. That’s why Monzi’s here to cover what you need to know before establishing your own venture. Discover all the tips and tricks that may put you in a position to succeed. Let’s go.

Please note, certain ideas and products presented in this article may not be offered by Monzi nor the lenders we work with. This article presents only general information. Consider seeking professional financial, taxation, legal or other advice to check how the information and ideas presented on this website relate to your unique circumstances.

How to start a business in Australia: explained

Do you dream of being your own boss? Maybe you have a business idea that you are sure will succeed. Whatever it is, if you’ve got a little bit of entrepreneurial spirit and some start-up capital, you may be wondering how you can start a business in Australia.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. At Monzi, we’re here to help Aussies from all walks of life. Through our guide to starting a business, you may learn all that you need to know before you get started. We’ll cover the steps to follow and much more.

While it’s a long road that’s often bumpy and fraught with risk, becoming a small business owner may be one of the most rewarding things that you can do. If you implement an effective business model and meet consumer preferences and demands, you could carve out a profitable niche for your business. As a result, you can enjoy all the spoils that come with being your own boss.

What are the steps to start a business in Australia?

Starting a business isn’t as simple as offering a product or service. Instead, there are a number of steps that you must follow to ensure that you can operate legally and successfully in Australia. So, to help you out, check out Monzi’s quick step-by-step guide to establishing a new business. Let’s go.

Assess your suitability

Not everyone is in a position to start a business. As a result, before you even begin to consider it, you will need to consider your circumstances.

Firstly, assess your financial situation. With this, consider how much capital you could invest in your business. Moreover, think about how you will manage if you are initially unable to generate an income from your business.

In addition to this, consider whether you have experience running a business. If you don’t, then it may be wise to approach a mentor or business advisor. Alternatively, you may have partners in your business who are better equipped or more experienced.

Finally, you must think about how starting your own business will change your lifestyle. In short, you may need to work long hours and holidays could become a thing of the past. As a result, ensure you are prepared to make the sacrifice.

Create a structure

Choosing your business structure will determine how you proceed. If you are going to work alone, then you may want to be a sole trader. However, if you have a number of partners in the business, you may need to consider a partnership or company instead.

Key considerations when selecting your business structure include:

  • Who is in charge and how will decisions be made?
  • What are the tax implications?
  • How will profits be distributed?
  • Is the business a separate entity or are you personally liable?

Make a plan

Know what you are trying to sell, who you are trying to sell to and how you are going to sell it. By creating a business plan and writing a marketing plan, you can establish a vision of how your company will operate. As part of this, you may need to undertake an analysis of your target market or demographic and assess the demand for your product or service. That way, you can tailor your offerings to their needs and preferences.

Check the boxes

Once you have a plan and structure in place, you’re ready to formally establish your business. With this, you must register your business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. In addition to this, you need to apply for an Australian credit number and tax file number through the Australian Taxation Office. Finally, you may have to apply for any relevant permits or government clearance to commence your operations.

Understand the legal requirements

From taxation to fair trading and employment law, you must understand the Australian legal landscape and how it applies to your business. In addition to this, you may need to have a strong understanding of contracts, trademarks and patents too. Given this, it may be wise to find a business lawyer that you can trust. They may be able to assist you with any legal issues that you encounter.

Get your finances in order

How will your business be funded? Are you going to take out a start-up loan or do you have adequate capital to cover your initial costs? Are there any government grants that you could use to supplement your current capital? These are all questions that you may need to answer. Having your finances in order is a non-negotiable for a successful business, so ensure that you understand what’s required or can hire someone who does.

Build your network

Don’t go it alone. If you are starting out, aim to develop a network of trusted advisors and mentors. Moreover, establish relationships with suppliers, accountants, lawyers, landlords and anyone else who may help you on your journey. If you have people you can rely, it will make your life a lot easier.

In addition to this, make sure that you hire the right staff. With this, create a clear outline of what you are looking for in an employee. From there, conduct interviews, be thorough and don’t take shortcuts. It’s much cheaper and easier to retain staff than it is to replace and re-train.

Promote your business

It’s all well and good to have a great idea and plan, however, if nobody knows about your business, then there’s little chance that it will succeed. As a result, you must develop an effective promotion and marketing strategy. With this, ensure that you can connect with your target market directly. To get you started, key promotional tools and strategies include:

  • Social media: it’s no secret. Create pages on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Post regularly and make use of ads and paid promotion too.
  • Understand SEO: if you’ve got a website, learn the basics of search engine optimisation. Get your page to the top of the search rankings to improve visibility.
  • Create a mailing list: as with social media, connecting with your target market via email is a must.
  • Giveaways and deals: people love freebies and discounts. When you launch, it may be wise to offer some specials to attract initial interest.
  • Encourage reviews: ask your customers to provide reviews. It’s a great way to build authority and legitimacy.
  • Network: form partnerships with other local businesses who may help you promote your new venture.

Launch

Once you’ve checked all the necessary boxes, you’re ready to begin. Launch your business and hopefully, it will be a success. That said, make sure that you have some patience. On average, most businesses don’t return a profit until two or three years after their launch. As a result, it may be a long and stressful journey. However, if you have a strong business model and demand exists for your product or services, then results should come.

Finally, keep in mind that all the steps listed above provide a general outline. The exact path you take to establishing your business may vary.

How to start a business in Australia: grants and support

Both federal and state governments are committed to helping small businesses. As a result, there may be a number of grants and programs available to help you get up and running. That said, the grants you can access may vary based on your location, business profile (e.g. industry) and your current financial situation (e.g. turnover). Given this, you must do your research to determine what’s available for you.

The easiest way to discover grants for your business is through the business.gov.au website and their handy grants and programs search. Just enter your postcode and provide a few details regarding your organisation. It will then bring up a list of the programs that you may apply for.

Finally, never be afraid to apply for a grant. These programs exist to help your business grow and succeed. So, take advantage. Find out what you can apply for and do it. You could get a handy injection of cash that you can put towards covering a range of different projects or expenses.

What are the benefits of starting a business in Australia?

Starting and operating your own successful business can be incredibly rewarding. While it will take a lot of hard work and you may have to endure plenty of stress, benefits may include:

  • Be your own boss: you get to run the show. As a result, you control the company’s direction. As long as you’re successful, you can build and shape it in whatever way that you please.
  • Flexibility: you can set your own hours. Moreover, if you want to work from home, you can. As you are the boss, you get to make the decisions. However, make sure that you take into account the needs of your customers and clients.
  • Satisfaction: becoming a successful business owner is not easy. As a result, if you can build a strong, profitable organisation, then there’s a good chance that you will experience a fair amount of satisfaction from your achievement.

What are the downsides?

As we’ve touched on, starting your own business is not easy. It’s a significant commitment, both financially and time-wise. With this, potential downsides include:

  • You can’t switch off: you can’t just take off on a holiday. If you’re the sole person responsible for running your business, then you may need to be invested and available 24/7.
  • Longer hours: be prepared for plenty of late nights and long days. As you build your business, you’ll need to put in plenty of work.
  • Success isn’t guaranteed: this may be the hardest thing to reconcile. While you may have a great idea and plan, you cannot guarantee if it will succeed. As a result, starting a business is a significant leap of faith.
  • Stress: you’ll constantly worry about the health and viability of the business as well as what could go wrong.

Ultimately, if you have a strong vision for your business and are willing to make the commitment, then the payoff in the long-run may be worth it. However, ensure you evaluate the pros and cons before making a decision. Owning a small business can be a long, hard road. In other words, you must be 100% committed.

What are the risks when I start a business in Australia?

There’s no way around it. Starting your own business is a risk. While you may be willing to put in the work, that alone won’t always be enough. As a guide, risks worth considering include:

  • Financial risk: opening a business may mean abandoning a steady paycheck. Moreover, you may be putting your own money on the line. As a result, if things don’t do to plan, you could face significant losses.
  • Market risk: you may believe that you understand what people need and want. However, consumer trends can vary over time. While demand may be high when you open your business, it can die out. As a result, you may need to adapt.
  • Competitor risk: are you entering a saturated market or one with few competitors? You’ll usually be in competition so you ensure you can separate yourself in some way (e.g. superior customer service).
  • Economic risk: events like the COVID-19 pandemic underlie the inherent risk associated with starting your own business. At the end of the day, unforeseen events may occur at any time and could seriously disrupt your business operations and cash flows.

How much does it cost to start a business in Australia?

Start-up costs will vary depending on the type of business you are establishing. For instance, opening a store and hiring employees will likely cost far more than a business operating from your home. In any case, you will typically have to account for at least some upfront costs.

Firstly, you may need to buy equipment or materials needed for the job. Next, you’ll need to pay for rent, insurance, advertising and legal fees. Finally, you’ll have to pay your employees too. As a result, before you even begin, you’re looking at a significant outlay of cash.

Given this, one handy tool could be to find a business start-up cost calculator. Offered by various banks and business advisors, you can enter your initial expenses to determine how much it may cost you to set up your business. That way, you can determine if it could be viable for you.

Are there any legal requirements for starting a business in Australia?

Yes. However, the exact requirements will vary based on your organisation.

As a non-negotiable, you typically must register your company name and apply for an Australian Business Number and a Tax File Number. Moreover, you may need to register for GST as well if your GST turnover exceeds $75,000.

Beyond this, legal requirements may vary. For some businesses, public liability insurance will be mandatory. For others, certain permits and government approval may be necessary. However, this will depend on your industry.

At the end of the day, when setting up a business, you may need to seek out legal advice. A qualified business advisor may guide you through all the legal requirements that you must consider.

How to start a business in Australia with an iPhone on an orange background

Should I start a business from home?

Home-based businesses can provide many benefits. While it may not be an option for everyone, if you’re starting an online business, then it may be the perfect option.

Firstly, it eliminates your commute. You can wake up at any time and dive into your work. You don’t need to worry about sitting in traffic or catching the train. Instead, you are able to work at whatever time suits you.

Next, you don’t have to pay rent. If you lease an office, then you would need to pay rent on both your home and office. However, working from home eliminates one expense to save yourself money.

Finally, there may be tax benefits. In short, you can potentially claim tax deductions on your rent, utilities and even your insurance. As a result, it could be a great money-saver.

Can I start a business in Australia with no money?

Yes, potentially. However, it won’t be easy.

In the initial stages of running a business, you may need to cover a range of costs. As a result, if you do not have any capital, it may be difficult to do so.

That said, some banks and lenders may offer business start-up loans. With this, you can borrow money to get your new venture off the ground. However, lenders will usually assess your personal financial situation to determine your eligibility. As a result, if you do not have any savings, your application may not be approved.

Finally, if you have no money, then you may investigate government start-up grants. These programs, designed to encourage small business, may give you the leg up you need.

Who should I talk to about starting a business?

Taking the plunge into business can be terrifying and treacherous. As a result, it’s often a good idea to speak to someone who has been there before. In addition to this, it’s also crucial to read widely and understand all that goes into establishing and running a business.

Given this, aim to contact a business advisor in your local area. Depending on what you need help with, you could receive advice on topics ranging from tax to business planning and everything in between. That way, you can develop a clear understanding of what you may need to succeed.

Alternatively, the business.gov.au website provided by the Australian government has a range of great information that might help you. From tax considerations and registering your business name to creating a business plan and accessing government grants, you may find all the information that you need to know. Check it out today.

Do I need small business insurance?

Yes, potentially.

Depending on your business, it may be mandatory to take out one or more of the following business insurance policies:

  • Worker’s compensation insurance (if you have employees)
  • Public liability insurance
  • Third-party personal injury insurance (If you own a vehicle)

That said, requirements will vary between companies. Given this, it’s important to consider your insurance needs. If you are unsure, then don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Business advisors, lawyers or insurance brokers may be able to outline exactly what cover you need for your business.

Finally, to give you a further idea, insurers may offer business insurance policies covering the following:

  • The business’ assets and property
  • Customers and the general public
  • Employees
  • Earnings and income
  • Business owners

Can I get a loan for my business?

Of course you can.

Banks and lenders may offer a range of business loans and credit products. From start-up loans to unsecured business loans and even lines of credit, there may be an option that suits your business’ needs. As a guide, you may use a business loan to cover:

  • Payroll
  • Inventory and supplies
  • New equipment, machinery or vehicles
  • Business car loans
  • Marketing and promotions
  • Upscaling
  • Recruitment and training

However, note that the amount you can borrow and your interest rate may vary based on the profile of your business. In other words, a large company with a strong repayment history will likely be offered more favourable terms than a small Aussies business that’s just starting out.

Does Monzi offer business loans?

No.

Your pals at Monzi are here to breakdown the steps you may take to start a business in Australia. However, we do not offer small business loans. Moreover, we don’t offer loans of any kind.

Instead, Monzi is a lender-finder for Aussies looking for personal loans online from $300 to $10,000. In short, when you apply with Monzi, our automated system will scan our lender-network to try and match you with an available credit provider to assess your application. That way, you can avoid any hassle or inconvenience when trying to find a lender.

So, are you dealing with a cash emergency? Apply with Monzi today. It’s quick, easy and may reduce your stress before you know it.

Can I use a personal loan to start a business?

Usually, if you want to borrow money to start a business, then you must apply for a business start-up loan. As a result, personal loans may not be available to help you start a business. Instead, personal loans may be used to cover personal expenses such as car repairs or household maintenance when your budget can’t quite stretch.

With this, it’s important to consider that personal loans can be expensive and may come with high interest rates. In other words, they may not be appropriate to help you start a business. After all, if your new business venture is unsuccessful, it may leave you unable to afford your repayments.

Finally, keep in mind that business finance options exist to help you start and manage your business. On the other hand, personal loans are for personal use. As a result, do your research to try and find an appropriate credit option before you apply.

Can I apply for secured and unsecured loans?

Yes.

At Monzi, we know lenders who offer cash loans from $300 to $10,000. With this, you may be able to apply for either a secured or unsecured personal loan, depending on what you’re after.

On the one hand, if you want a small loan from $300 to $2,000 to pay a pressing bill or buy some new furniture, these loans will be unsecured. In other words, you won’t have to attach an asset as collateral. Just make your repayments until your loan balance hits zero.

On the other hand, maybe you need to borrow a little bit more? That’s when you might apply for a secured personal loan from $2,100 to $10,000. With this, you must provide an asset as security to guarantee the loan. Given this, secured loans may allow you to borrow more and may increase your chances of approval if you have bad credit or other such circumstances.

So, when you want fast loans today, consider Monzi. With secured and unsecured loan options available from $300 to $10,000, we may connect you with a great lender before you know it.

How do I get started?

Before you apply for a personal loan, you must confirm your eligibility. To do this, ensure you check the following boxes:

  • 18 years of age or older.
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Can provide an active phone number and email address.
  • Have an online bank account with at least three months of history.

Boxes ticked? Great! Let’s move onto applying. Just follow these easy steps to start your journey with Monzi:

  1. Select your loan amount and repayment term using Monzi’s loan slider.
  2. Complete the online loan application form by providing the required personal and financial details.
  3. Put your phone down and let Monzi take over. Our automated system will attempt to match you with a lender from our network.
  4. We’ll contact you with an outcome. If you apply during business hours, then we may put you in touch with a great Aussie lender in just 60 minutes.

Applying with Monzi might be the easiest thing you do all week. However, remember that approval is not guaranteed. All applications are subject to assessment, meaning your lender will assess your financial situation to determine if you should be offered a loan.

How to start a business in Australia: Monzi’s guide for you

For many people, the allure of being your own boss is hard to ignore. That’s why, at Monzi, we’ve compiled this guide to starting your own business. While it won’t be easy and there are many risks, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your business succeed. Hopefully, we’ve provided you with a few tips and tricks to help set you on the right path.

However, if you’ve got no plans to become an entrepreneur but need a quick cash loan, then Monzi’s lender-finder could be for you. Apply from $300 to $10,000 today. Get the money you need now and divide the costs into a series of even repayment over terms of up to 24 months. Hit “Apply Now” or scroll up to Monzi’s loan slider. We’d love to hear from you.

Got questions? You can contact our customer service team at hello@monzi.com.au. We’re always happy to try and address any questions or concerns you may have.

Finally, you can follow Monzi on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. We’re always looking for new pals. Give us a Like or Follow today.

Factor In

Costs

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You won't use a penny to apply for our lender-finding service, but here's some costs you could expect from a lender

Loan amount

$300 - $2,000

Terms

12 months

Costs

20% upfront establishment fee

+ 4% monthly fee

Example

Loan Amount of $1,000 over 6 months repayable weekly (25 weekly repayments). $1,000 (Principal Amount) + $200 (20% Establishment Fee) + $240 (fees based on 4% per month over 25 weeks) = $1,440 total repayable in 25 weekly installments of $57.60.

Under the current legislation, most small personal loan providers don’t charge an annual interest rate (you’ll know this as an APR) %. The maximum you will be charged is a flat 20% Establishment Fee and a flat 4% Monthly Fee. The maximum comparison rate on loans between $300 and $2000 is 199.43%. This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.

Loan amount

$2,001 - $4,600

Terms

13 months

24 months

Costs

48% annual percentage rate

67.41% comparison rate p.a.

Example

Loan Amount of $3,000 over 18 months repayable weekly (78 weekly repayments). $3,000 (Principal Amount) + $400 (Establishment Fee) + $1,379.06 (reducing interest) = $4,779.06 total repayable over 18 months with weekly installments of $61.27.

The Interest Rate for Secured Medium Loans is 48%. The Typical Comparison Rate is 67.41% p.a. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate with the lender that finances your loan. Click here to see a worked example.

Loan amount

$5,000 - $10,000

Terms

13 months

24 months

Costs

21.24% annual percentage rate

48% comparison rate p.a.

Example

Loan Amount of $10,000 over 24 months repayable weekly (104 weekly repayments). $10,000 (Principal Amount) + $5,577.12 (Interest) = $15,577.12 total repayable over 24 months with weekly installments of $149.78.

The Interest Rate for Secured Large Amount Loans is 48%. Maximum Comparison Rate is 48% p.a. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate with the lender that finances your loan. Click here to see a worked example.