Contrary to popular belief, Sydney is not the capital of Australia. Its most famous city? Yes. A metropolitan and international locale? Absolutely. The most populous city in the country (at nearly five million residents)? Yup. A beautiful and dynamic location to set up your business? You better believe it. Registering a company in Sydney is hassle-free, with every step of the process available online.
Decide on a Structure
The descriptions are the same, although the names may differ slightly from other places. An Australian business will typically fall under one of three categories: sole trader, partnership, or company. Carefully consider each option...like everywhere, there are tax ramifications and different license and permit requirements depending on your choice. Sole trader is easiest to set up, while a company provides greater financial protection.
Apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN)
You must have an ABN (or have applied for one) in order to register a business name in Australia. You can obtain your ABN for free via the Australian Business Register. Youll need to provide the business type, business name (more on that below), business address, contact details, and a description of your business activity. If youre a company, youll also need to provide your Australian Company Number and Tax File Number.
You may also need to register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) if your annual turnover is greater than $75,000 AUD. There are other items you may need (payroll tax, fringe benefits tax, pay as you go withholding) depending on your specific situation.
Decide on a Name
If you are a sole trader doing business under your own name, then no additional name registration is required. If youre using a name other than your own, you need to register it with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
The first step if you already have a name you wish to register is to check its availability. This can be done via an online availability search, or automatically when you sign up for ASIC Connect. Only one person or entity can be attached to a particular name. If youre desired name is available, youre ready to register it.
Register Your Business Name
Registration takes place via ASIC Connect. If you dont have an account, you can sign up quickly via their online portal.
The steps to register include: log in to your ASIC Connect account and click on Licenses and Registrations. Youll need to enter your ABN (or ABN Reference Number), business name, owner(s) details, business address, and registration period. Names can be registered for either one year for $34, or three years for $78, and you can pay by either credit card, BPAY, or invoice. Then its simply review your application, read the declaration, and confirm. Your application is submitted.
Once you have your business name registered, there are a few other things to consider. For example, you will likely want to register your business name as an online domain. Youll want - and need - a website, and using your business name is simply the best way to go. In Australia, if you want to use either .com.au or .net.au, youll need to be a legally registered and recognized commercial entity. The .au Domain Administration Ltd. can provide you with all the links and information you need.
You may also want to register an Australian trademark. Having registered your business name, and perhaps its corresponding domain name, does not automatically give you exclusive rights. A registered trademark, however, does. Apply online and gain exclusive rights to your name, logo, and slogan (if any).
Other Useful Links
Once your name is registered, and youve investigated what if anything are your additional tax responsibilities, you are legally ready to conduct business in Australia. And Sydney, with its five million full-time residents, and countless annual visitors, is a fantastic place to make a go of it.
Photo by Jimmy Baikovicius
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