Planning for your new business

Before you begin, work out whether you're going into business or running a hobby, as there are different tax, insurance and legal requirements for each situation.

Basic business requirements

Business name

If you’re going to run a business using a name other than your own real name (without any additions), you need to get a registered business name.

Australian Business Number

An Australian Business Number (ABN) is not compulsory but you will need to get an ABN for the goods and services tax (GST).

Goods and Services Tax

If your business has a GST turnover of $75,000 or more ($150,000 or more for non-profit organisations), you'll need to register for GST.

Licences and permits

The Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) is a free service that provides details of all licences you may need to operate your business.

Find information about licences you may need for your business - Australian Business Licensing Information Service

Things to think about before starting a business

Is your idea feasible?

An idea can be the basis for a business but it must stand up to commercial development and rigorous scrutiny before you take any commercial steps. Businesses need continual revenue streams and a competitive advantage. Not all ideas readily convert to these benefits.

Whether you are starting a brand new business or buying an existing one, you should research your idea to ensure it has potential to succeed. The best way to do this is through a feasibility study.

Doing a feasibility study is a fact-finding mission. It helps you make an informed decision on your business idea or purchase and can answer these types of key questions:

  • will the business be viable
  • what is the level of risk
  • what return can be expected on investment
  • what amount of money does the business require
  • if buying a business, is the asking price reasonable
  • when will the business reach break-even point
  • what business skills will be critical to success
  • why will customers do business with you
  • what legal issues should be addressed?

Starting your business checklist -

Do your research

Market research is about gathering, analysing and interpreting information for decision-making purposes. It is the method you use to determine the size and characteristics of your market - its preferences, opinions, habits and trends. It also enables you to be better informed than your competition.

Market research helps you get to know:

  • who your customers are
  • what your customers need
  • where your product or service fits into the market
  • what your competitors offer.

Market research can be low-cost and you can do much of it yourself if you follow an orderly process.

Market research -

Write a business plan

Once you’ve decided to go into business, write a plan so you can test your ideas and avoid many problems that can lead to a business failing. A business plan also helps you develop the finer details of your new business and can help you reinforce your personal goals and commitments.

The Department for Innovation and Skills website has in-depth information about starting a business in South Australia, and includes a range of templates and resources to help plan and structure your business.

If you have a business adviser, accountant, or other consultants helping you with your new business, speak with them about how they can contribute to your planning.

Business plans -

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Page last updated 2 May 2017

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