InFocus August 2016 - Volume 25 Issue 7

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Starting your business journey

Starting your own business can be exciting. However, the process can feel overwhelming when you realise there are a number of government departments involved.

This month, we guide you through the steps and provide some tips for a smooth experience.

We've included links to resources on, tips for registering your business name and other points to consider when starting your business. is your first stop

We recommend visiting as a first step. They have some great resources about starting a business.

You'll find information on:

  • Determining whether you're running a business or hobby,
  • Choosing a business structure, and
  • Creating a business plan.

There's also advice and tools for when your business is up and running.

Getting an ABN

Before starting your business, you may need to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) with the Australian Business Register (ABR).

Your business structure will determine whether or not you need to apply for an ABN.

It's a good idea to check the information you need before starting your ABN application. This helps avoid processing delays.

Once your ABN application is successfully completed or you get a reference number, you can link straight to ASIC Connect to register your business name. This ABR service allows business owners to apply for an ABN and register a business name in a single transaction.

Apply for an ABN with the ABR now.

Do I need a business name?

As a general rule, you will need a business name if you trade under a name other than your own.

ASIC is responsible for the Business Names Register. If you would like to register a business name you will need to complete an application with ASIC.

You can check to see if your preferred business name is available. The search will also display any similar names. Check business name availability now.

Still not sure if you need a business name? Watch our video to find out what a business name is and why you might need one.

After registering your business…

A business name does not give you exclusive trading rights or ownership over that name. After registering your business you should also look into:

  • Trademarks

To ensure your business name does not infringe on an existing registered trademark, use IP Australia's TM Check. You may also choose to register your own trademark through IP Australia.

  • Business licences

To operate your business, you may need a state or territory business licence. Check now on the Australian Business Licence and Information Service.

  • Domain names

Your business may also need a domain name. A domain name gives your business a unique online address. Check the availability of your domain name registration at .au Domain Administration.

Links we like

YouTube – Watch our videos and tutorials on our ASICConnect YouTube channel – Grants and assistance

MoneySmart – Super for employers

Last updated: 03/08/2016 09:51