Going solo – A guide to being self-employed in Australia

Starting up as a self-employed small business owner is a dream for many Aussies. The freedom of being your own boss, doing something you love every day for a crust and the flexibility of hours are just some of the many reasons why. If it’s something that has been in the back of your mind, then this is the guide for you.

We’ve rounded up some of the key things you need to think about when setting up shop and taking the plunge into self-employed life. Through some simple planning, staying organised and setting a few goals, making that self-employment dream has never been easier.

1. Brainstorm and plan

All businesses start with an idea. The adventure of self-employment means there is a bit of planning to do before you can launch. Starting with the core focus of what your business is going to be is the first step.

Some of the aspects of your business you may want to have a bit of a brainstorm about include:

  • What is your business plans for the future?
  • What things government registrations for self-employed are involved?
  • Are you financially sound to start your business?
  • What logics will be required to deliver your product and services?
  • What product and services will you provide?

2. Financial health check

Having some sort of financial back up is important when it comes to starting new business ventures. You don’t want to be putting yourself in a position that is worse than when you started, and end up in more debt than you need to be in.

This is where the assistance of professional financial advisors, bankers and tax agents can really help. Invest in their knowledge by having a chat about your business, your plans and current financial situation. They will be able to create tailored plans to ensure you’re on track to making your self-employed business dream become real.

3. Tools and apps to help

These days there is a multitude of apps and tools (and free ones too!) that are designed to make your life easier. Starting a business by yourself means you may need a helping hand when it comes to multitasking and running all the operational side of things of your self-employed business.

Some of the areas of your business that you may want to consider getting help with include:

  • Accounting – these will help you to stay on top of your finances, taking the headache of looking for all your receipts when it comes to tax time
  • Invoicing– there are many apps that make tracking and creating invoices for your clients a breeze. A lot of them are also designed to be integrated with other accounting and customer relationship management tools you may be using
  • Virtual assistant– there are different levels of assistance available from online chat services to receptionists who can take client queries and manage your day-to-day bookings.
  • Social media – there are a few apps and tools a=out there that let you schedule posts in advance, so you can set and forget without having to worry about creating content every day.

4. Setting up for self-employment

Making your self-employed business official requires a few legalities, mostly which are done online. Working for yourself is a whole new ball-game then working for an employer and there a few things you may have not even considered thinking about that should be on your to-do list.

  • Register for your Australian Business Number
  • Make sure you have your Tax File Number sorted and handy (you’re going to be needing this one a bit!)
  • Check that your business name is available
  • Set up your super
  • Keep your business account separate from your personal account
  • Managing your self-employed taxes

Protecting your new self-employed business with business insurance is another step to consider before you start working with your customers. Whether you’re looking for insurance for your tradie business or mobile consulting gig, BizCover has a selection of business insurance options to help keep your business protected. To find out more give us a call or jump online today.

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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