So, you’ve decided to be a small business owner… Congratulations! You’ve just joined the community of more than two million small business owners in Australia who pride themselves on being their own boss.
But it’s too early to celebrate yet. Pop the champagne after you make it official by legally naming and registering your business. But where do you start? This is a whole new world and there’s so much to learn!
This small business guide will give you some startup tips on how to register your company and to sort out your business name in Australia.
1. Legal considerations
One of the first steps you need to consider before you register a business name is to see if you actually need to come up with one. If you choose your business structure as a sole trader and you trade under your own name, you won’t need to register a business name.
But if your business name is different from your own, then you need to search the ASIC register to see what is available. Another thing to consider is whether your ideal domain name and trade mark are available to use. You don’t want to register your business name and find out later that you can’t use the same thing online.
Keep in mind that you will need to pay fees for registering a business name, which is $39 for one year and $92 for three years. You will also be subject to the same pricing when you need to renew.
2. Choosing your business name
Now that the legal stuff is out of the way, it’s time for the fun stuff – choosing your business name.
This is your chance to get creative and can be a great time to get your friends, family and business associates together for a brainstorm.
Throw around some ideas and see what sticks but remember the primary goal is to communicate your service or product while still being unique.
Try and hit that sweet spot between too vague and too descriptive and use related words in a way that helps relate what you do.
Avoid acronyms and names that are similar to your competitors as that would likely confuse your customers, especially at the start when you are looking to build your brand.
Also consider where you want your business to end up in a few years’ time. If you’ve got a scalable business that will branch out into other areas or products, consider how that name would work for those products too.
3. Other small business considerations you should think about
There are a variety of other things you will need to consider before you start your small business.
After you sort out your business name, registering your Australian Business Number (ABN) will be next on your list. Your ABN is the 11-digit number that identifies your business. You will need it for various tax and business purposes such as invoicing and claiming GST credits.
Speaking of tax, you will need to sort out what tax obligations you have as a small business owner. It is always best to seek the advice of a professional to understand your own circumstances. However, as a guide, your obligations will largely depend on your business structure and size. For example, you will need to register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) if your business has an annual turnover of more than $75,000.
Lastly, consider what small business insurance you plan to take out. From Professional Indemnity to Public Liability*, there are a variety of insurance products that are designed to protect you from various risks you may encounter when running a small business.
Having a claim made against your business can be a stressful and expensive situation, and not having protection in place could spell disaster for your small business.
Fortunately, BizCover has tailored business insurance products covering more than 6,000 occupations. Jump online to compare quotes from Australia’s leading insurers to ensure you are protected if the worst were to happen.
The bottom line
Deciding on your small business’ name is one of those moments that you’ll fondly look back on once you’ve made your empire! Don’t stress too much about it but follow the right protocols and create a name that sticks.
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