How to Start a Business in QLD in 7 Easy Steps

Congratulations! You’ve decided to chase your business dream and start your own business in the sunshine state of Queensland. Anyone will tell you that starting your own business is by no means a walk in the park (or stroll on the beach), it’s a new journey that will deal out a fair share of challenges and can be one of the most rewarding decisions you’ll ever make.

So, with a little bit of preparation, some good organisation skills and a healthy dose of enthusiasm, it’s time to make this business dream a reality.

Regardless, if you are a tradie, a mobile hairdresser, or opening up a café, all types of businesses need to have a plan in place to help get their business up and running. There’s plenty of things to consider, so here is a free guide that covers some of the basics that you need to think about when you’re in those early stages of setting up your business.

1. Choose a business structure

This is one of the important steps that can set the tone of your business for its future ahead. Understanding the differences between the various structures and which one is going to suit your business best can be mind boggling. If you feel unsure it’s always a wise decision to have a chat to a professional like your accountant to clarify the finer details.

There are 4 main types of business structures in QLD, these are:

  • Sole trader
  • Partnership
  • Company
  • Trust

Sole trader

One of the most common types of structures, a sole trader set up usually involves the business owner looking after the conduct of the business activities without external assistance. As a sole trader, you will also be legally and financially responsible for the different areas of your business which can include things like debts and losses.

Some of the things you may need to set up your sole trader business structure include:

  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • business name registration
  • trademark registration [1]


This structure involves 2 or more business owners participating together with the intention to make and share the profits. The Partnership Act 1891 outlines the various roles related to the partnership business structure, more information can be found here.

Some of the things which you may need to establish a partnership structure include:

  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • business name registration
  • trademark registration
  • limited partnership formation (only if you have a silent partner)
  • to register for GST if turnover is $75,000 or more. [2]


This is one of the more involved of the business structures and can be a bit more costly. These are some of the required steps the process of establishing a company may involve:

  • must be registered under the Australian Corporations Law
  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • business name registration
  • trademark registration
  • register for GST if you turnover more than $75,000
  • comply with all obligations under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cwlth). [3]


This is a structure which involves a legal relationship with a trustee (this can be an individual or company) that conducts business for the benefit of other people (the beneficiaries).

To establish a trust, you will need:

  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • a trademark registration [4]

2. Develop a business plan

The next step in the grand plan of starting your own business is to have a business plan in place. Once you have an idea of the type of business structure you want to go with this will help to influence some of the other decisions you will need to make with your business plan.

Why have a business plan you may ask? Here are a few good reasons why:

  • you may be asked to produce a copy of your business plan if you are applying for finance through your bank
  • it helps your business plan and project for the future
  • creates a realistic insight into different areas of your business, where you may need to invest more time, money and resources
  • is an opportunity to set up for success by creating goals and milestones

Recommended reading: How to create a business continuity plan (BCP)?

3. Research the market

With your business in hand, now is the time to do some serious research. You’re going to need to spend some time really understanding the climate of the market you are about to enter into. This will vary for different industries and models of business, but all involve the basics when it comes to research.

Get the grips with knowing who your competitors are. Study their business’, get to know their marketing approach, products, pricing etc. This will help you when trying to look at you can make your business stand out from the crowd!

Set aside some time to be familiar with your business’ strengths and weaknesses too. If you need to ask potential customers things like what they would like to see from your business and what products and services would be of benefit to them

4. Setting up sticks, finding a location

Different businesses will require different set-ups, for some you may require renting a premises for others you may be mobile or run your business from home.

If you are deciding on setting up a physical location, do some research and become familiar with the location that you wanting to move to. From your previous competitor research, you will need know of which other business operate in the area, what your clients may be like and their needs.

Running a mobile business or from home may also require a bit setting up and investing in new things like office supplies, vehicles, equipment etc. Make sure you factor these additional costs when setting up your business budget.

5. Be compliant – Queensland licenses and registrations for businesses

For some Queensland businesses you may be required to have certain licenses and registrations in place before you can start operating. These will vary from industry to industry, so it is always important to check with your relevant industry body/board.

It’s also important to be aware that even though you may have been covered in another Australian state of territory, your license or registration may not be valid or require further details to be accepted in Queensland.

Related: Licence and Insurance Requirements for QLD Electricians

6. Grants and support in QLD

In those initial days of starting out, getting as much support, especially financially is going to help your business out greatly. There are different grants and assistance schemes available for Queensland small business, so invest in finding out what you may be eligible for.

The Small Business Grants Schedule features a list of numerous kinds of grants and assistance programs which may be available to help different businesses and is worth a look.

7. Get business insurance

One of the other priorities when setting up your small business is getting all the right insurances sorted. There are plenty of different coverages available so it is important to ensure you have the appropriate type of cover that will safeguard your business.

Some of the main types of business insurances include:

Tick one more thing off the to-do list and get your insurance sorted with BizCover today. Compare multiple quotes from some of Australia’s most trusted insurers in minutes.

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