You've made the decision to take the plunge and start your own small business? Great!

On this page you will find useful information about the key steps to establishing your small business. For consultations with an Avenue Solutions Adviser starting from $99, see here: Consultations starting from $99

5 Key steps involved in starting a new business

1Decide on a business structureThe 4 main choices are between sole trader, partnership, company and trust. For more information see here:Information about business structures
2Decide on a business name and brandingIf you are going to trade under a name other than your own, you will need to register a business name. At this time, you might also wish to check IP Australia for any registered trade marks that might impact upon your proposed business name, as well as the availability of an appropriate domain name (i.e. for website and emails). You might wish to register these now.
3ATO / Tax issuesYou will need an Australian Business Number. Each entity can only ever have a single ABN so, if you have previously had one, you will use that one (you might need to reactivate it if it has been cancelled). If you are using a new entity (i.e. structure other than sole trader) you will likely need to apply to have it issued with a Tax File Number and ABN. You will also need to think about whether or not to register for GST and PAYG withholding, among other things.
4Regulatory/licensingDo you need a licence to operate your business? Some types of business do require licenses in order to operate lawfully. Liquor and food premises/safety licenses are often contemplated, but there are many other types of licence that may be required.
5InsurancesIn almost all circumstances, we recommend that you take out insurance before commencing your business. At Avenue Solutions, we can refer you to a trusted insurance broker who is very experienced in advising small businesses about their insurance needs. Contact us for a referral.
6Terms and conditionsThings start to get tricky here but, remember, every relationship you have in the course of your business (e.g. with your customers, suppliers, landlord, etc) is likely to be contractual in nature. You need to think carefully about the terms and conditions for these contracts, especially for goods and services you are providing. If you are using a website, you might also need some website terms and you may need a privacy policy, although not all small businesses are subject to privacy laws - talk to your preferred professional adviser about terms and conditions, policies and privacy laws.

And don't forget about this stuff

It is assumed that, before making the decision to start your new small business, you have turned your mind to some important issues including the following:

1What is your core business?What goods or services are you providing? You should have a very clear, succinct view about your primary business.
2Who is your target market? who needs the goods and services you will supply? Who, if anyone, currently supplies your target market, and how will your goods and services be distinguishable from those currently on offer?
3How will you market your business to reach your target market? do you have a marketing plan? How much will it cost to market your business and will it be effective?
4Establishment and start-up costs How much will it cost to establish and fund your business during its start-up phase? Where is this money coming from, and do you have enough?
5Have you got a budget for the first 12 months? What is your projected income and expenses over that period? What happens if you halve your projected income and double your expenses - is the business still viable?
6What does your business need to do to become profitable? What is your break-even point, and how long will it take you to get there?
7Exit pointHow will you know if the business has not succeeded or is not otherwise delivering the outcomes you wanted? Do you have a clear exit point / option?

Of course, all of the above are typically components of, or questions dealt with in, a business plan. At Avenue Solutions, we encourage all businesses to have, and to constantly refer to and update, a business plan.

Talk to us about a FREE business plan template or about how we can work with you to write a business plan for you and your new business.