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  • Starting your business

    Starting a business is a big decision, and needs careful research and planning well before you start trading.

    To start, you need to decide 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 early what your tax and superannuation obligations are going to be, and whether or not you need to register your business.

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    Duration 5m:27s. A transcript of Tax basics overview video is also available.

    This video is an overview of tax and super obligations that may arise when starting and running a small business.

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    Find out more

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    Do your research

    Some quick and simple research can save you time, money and stress. Find tips on business benchmarks, a checklist for people starting a new business, and a guide for contractors. You may want to talk to a financial planner, business advisor or seek advice from one of the many government support services. It is also a good idea to develop a business plan.

    Are you operating a 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.

    Choosing your business structure

    When you start a business, it's very important to choose the business structure that best suits your needs.

    Registering your business

    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.

    Setting up your invoicing, payments and records systems

    Invoicing customers, paying creditors, and keeping records are essential parts of running your business.

    Setting up a home-based business

    Many small businesses are operated as home-based businesses. A home-based business is one where you carry out most of the work either at your home (for example, a dressmaker who does all the work at home and has clients visiting for fittings); or from home (such as a tiler who does most of their work on clients’ premises, but does not have any other business premises).

  • Last modified: 20 Apr 2015QC 31736