So you’ve decided to take on the most rewarding job title of all: That of an entrepreneur and learn how to start a business in Australia. Good job! Australia, a well-known country for its entrepreneurial mindset, has the potential to be a very lucrative market for businesses. The Australian market is ideal for starting a business because of its low cost of living.
Apart from having a strong economy and developing industries such as tourism, FinTech, agriculture, and goods, Australia also has vast natural resources that allow businesses to create high-quality goods and services and export them to markets worldwide. However, getting your feet in a new market and discovering your niche can take time when looking to start business Australia.
With the hope of giving you some insider information about starting a business in Australia, we have compiled this list of top tips you must consider when starting a business in Australia.
1. Apply for the Australian immigration/Visa system
When doing business in Australia, there are several things to consider – one of the most important is applying for and getting a visa. Expats who wish to establish a business in Australia must be nominated by a state or territory government for the may Business Innovation and Investment Visa. This nomination can be applied online.
There are several visa choices you can apply for when starting a business in Australia, such as the Visitor Visa, Business Innovation and Investment Visa, and Business Talent Visa. Choose carefully, submit the required documentation, and remain patient throughout the process. As visas take months to process, the sooner you begin your application process, the sooner you will be allowed to start your business in Australia.
If you are concerned that your application will be rejected, consult with a visa processing specialist to advise you on the proper paperwork and application procedures. Establishing a business is always a risky venture, especially when doing so in a foreign country. On the other hand, this risk can be estimated and controlled if proper planning and consideration are given ahead of time.
2. Overcoming geographical distance when doing business
Australia is a long distance from home, whether home is the United States, the United Kingdom, or mainland Europe. The good news is that Australians have a warm personality type and a great sense of humour, so you’ll have no trouble making new friends and business partners.
We know that being away from your family and friends can be hard, so do stay in touch with the people back home via Skype or FaceTime and plan trips to visit them, so you don’t feel lonely in Australia.
3. Understanding local culture
Undoubtedly, one of the most challenging problems you’ll face when doing business in Australia is having a grip on the unique characteristics of the Australian business culture.
Australians are recognized for their modesty, workaholic attitudes, and patient decision-making process, which makes their networking relaxed and informal in many instances. You will learn how to transition from a formal business approach to something more informal. Working in Australia should be at the top of your list if you are an expat looking to expand your business operations internationally.
4. Overcoming language barriers
If your business provides services to other expats, this may not be a significant problem. The ability to communicate easily with the local population, on the other hand, will make launching your business much easier. Avoid paying for translation services unless necessary (for example, when updating contracts and the constitution of the business, if one is required).
In most cases, hiring a translator will result in a large increase in your expenses. Find a multilingual employee or someone who can assist you with the language when needed instead, as they will be valuable for basic business activities.
5. Do market research
When you are starting a small business in Australia, you must spend a significant amount of time researching and evaluating people’s purchasing trends for Australian businesses. It would be best to consider how much time, energy, and money will be spent marketing your products or services in Australia before moving further.
If possible, try setting up a trial run or getting feedback before committing a significant amount of money. Don’t forget to consider how much you’ll have to pay your employees, as well as the working conditions in Australia.
6. Understanding political environment
When it comes to consumption and international trade, Australian business is highly dependent on exports markets. As a result, the country enjoys a welcoming political and economic environment that encourages international trade and investment. Generally, cultural differences don’t limit the trade of this small market, given the business population is made up of highly educated and affluent individuals that understand the necessities of international trade.
7. Must-knows about property rights
There are several steps to take when registering a property. Best part? Each step takes no more than two days to complete in whole! The main departments you will be dealing with regarding property rights include the Land and Property Information Department, the Municipal Council, the water authority, and the Office of State Revenue. It can also be a good idea to read up about the legality of Australia property rights before beginning your application process.
The purchase, leasing and development of commercial property in Australia are all facilitated by state and territory governments. Approvals, assessments (including environmental assessment) and regulatory requirements will differ between jurisdictions. For more information about your specific state, refer to the Australian Government website here.
8. Have a business plan
You’ll need more than just a moment of inspired epiphany to start a business in Australia. To start business in Australia from the ground up, you must do extensive study and meticulous preparation ahead of time. Here are a few questions about starting a business in Australia you should be asking yourself right now:
- What type of business do I want to start in Australia?
- What is my business structure? Is it as a sole trader, with a partner, under a trust or to set up a company?
- Who are my potential customers?
- What types of products and services do consumers require?
- Is this a business that will be profitable?
- When do you expect profits to start coming in?
So, before you put your time and money into a business venture in Australia, you must determine whether it is worthwhile. Prepare a business plan, conduct market research to determine the viability of the venture, and then start the process of establishing your business and getting the necessary licenses. Any business venture you start on a whim will almost certainly fail if you do not put in proper planning.
9. Choose a location
Location, location, location! This is critical because a good location will serve as your base of operations. You have the option of leasing existing business space or building your own. If you decide to lease, all you must do is fill out a commercial leasing application for new businesses in Australia as per your landlord’s requirements. Here are some common questions regarding commercial real estate in Australia.
If you intend to build your Australian business premises, you must get the following:
- Development consent
- Street awning
- Zoning certificate
- Construction certificate
- Fire safety certification
As mentioned previously, the purchasing, leasing and development of commercial property in Australia are all facilitated by state and territory governments. For more information about your specific state, refer to the Australian Government website here.
10. Deciding on a business structure
In Australia, you can be a sole trader, form a partnership, establish a company, or form a trust. Each has its own set of laws, allowances, tax structures, and so on – so do your research before deciding on a business structure. You can easily change your mind and go from a corporation to a partnership, for example, you can do so easily, but getting it correctly the first time will save you time, expense, and headaches.
Whilst it is possible to change your mind later (for instance, switching from a corporation to a partnership), getting it correct the first time will save you precious expenses, time, and headaches.
11. Understanding the Australian taxation system
When you start a new business in Australia, you must learn a new set of tax laws and rules. Hiring a local accountant or dealing with a back-office support provider is, of course, your best option. When starting your first Australian business, you must consider the superannuation levy, which mandates you to contribute to your employee’s retirement fund. You also have to consider corporate income tax, which is presently 30%.
When you incorporate a business, make sure you register with the Australian Tax Office and don’t put off paying taxes for another day — the earlier you start, the easier it will be to deal with the incoming paperwork. For more information about taxes in Australia as a foreigner, refer to The Finder’s Guide on Taxes in Australia, right here!
12. Impact of foreign exchange rates on business in Australia
Foreign exchange rates are another factor to consider when doing business in Australia, especially if you want to spend most of your earnings back in your home country. Make sure you have an adequate financial backup, monitor exchange rates regularly, and open an Australian bank account to cushion the effects of any big exchange rate fluctuations.
For instance, if a currency is performing poorly against the Australian Dollar, you might want to consider keeping your funds in Australia until the dust settles before transferring them.
13. Australian judiciary
Additionally, you should be familiar with the business Australia judicial system since you may need to use it to enforce a contract with a supplier or client. Australia has a modern and streamlined system that is intuitive for the majority. Even so, you should familiarize yourself with your rights as an entrepreneur, particularly if you intend to work under contract. An overview of the judicial system, as well as links to official sites, can be found here.
14. Grasping the concepts of business funding and investment
If you don’t happen to have a large sum of cash on hand, you’ll probably need a small business loan to pay for infrastructure, marketing, or expansion for a new business in Australia. As an expat entrepreneur, it can be difficult to persuade banks or investment groups to believe in your venture – after all, it can be hard to justify your presence in the country without sufficient funds – so shop around if you plan to access capital later, and don’t accept the first offer.
The good news is that Australia’s growing FinTech industry should provide a multitude of investment opportunities.
15. International trade: Learn about importing and exporting
One of the most important tips to consider while starting a new business in Australia is that the country has numerous Free Trade Agreements with other countries worldwide. Suppose you wish to trade with other nations, in that case, you must first fill out the relevant papers outlined by the Australian government, the process of which can take several weeks or months, depending on the industry and the types of commodities you want to import or export.
Australia is an excellent environment to start a business. In terms of company registration, Australia has truly one of the most streamlined processes in the world. The goal is to determine which business is most suited for your new venture and the tax issues that come with it.
Once you’ve made these considerations, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about which entity to register in Australia and begin your journey to becoming a successful business magnate in Australia.
Setting up a business in Australia involves a significant amount of effort, patience, and legal wrangling. Without devotion, passion, patience, and a great deal of planning, your business would be one of the many that failed to reach the five-year mark.