The Australian digital advertising market hit $9.3 billion in 2019, reflecting a 5.6% year-on-year growth, according to the IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER) that was compiled by PwC.
Despite the market downturn in 2020, there is still much opportunity for entrepreneurs to understand how to register a digital business. More and more businesses have retrenched, ramping up their digital offerings in the wake of the coronavirus. Big brands like Top Shop, Bose, Karen Millen, and Laura Ashley now operate exclusively online.
If they can do it, what’s to stop you starting a digital business in the final quarter of 2020, ready to launch in 2021 with confidence and gusto. After all, things might feel bleak for the high street right now, but online sales are booming!
Interested in how to register a business and start trading? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know.
How to Start and Register a Business in 2021
Embarking on a new business venture can be equally exciting and terrifying. On one hand, you can finally be your own boss, set your own working hours and stay in charge of your own destiny. On the other hand, you’ll have a long list of things to tick off your list to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
To help any entrepreneurs who have decided to go for it and want to know how to register a business, we’ve put together a list of essential information that you need to know.
Step One: Choose Your Business Structure
When deciding on your business structure, always choose the one that’s best suited to your needs. Remember too that they’ll be different liabilities and implications depending on which structure you choose. Now’s the time to define what you want your business to be. There are four main business structures in Australia. These are:
A sole trader is the most common self-employment in Australia. Most sole traders find their enterprises easy to run and maintain managerial control. However, don’t forget that as a sole trader, you are responsible for all aspects of the business, including all financial obligations.
If you intend to manage operations together with one or more people, sharing responsibilities, profits and taking ownership of losses, then you can enter a partnership. This means that each partner is personally liable for the financial obligations of the business.
An entity that’s separate from shareholders and managers in all areas of the business, from sales and marketing to purchasing and account management is called a company.
A trust is an entity that holds income or property for the benefits of other parties.
Remember, your business structure will influence everything you do, from day-to-operations to tax liabilities. Entrepreneurs should choose a business structure that provides them with the right balance of benefits and legal protection.
Step Two: Apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN)
An Australian Business Number (ABN) is the unique 11-digit number that identifies your business to government and community. You can use your ABN number to:
- Identify your business to others when invoicing
- Avoid pay-as-you-go tax when ordering and invoicing
- Claim goods and services tax credits (GST)
- Claim energy grants credits
- Get an Australian domain name
Although it’s not mandatory for solo business owners to have an ABN, business owners will need to be registered for GST.
Step Three: Register a Business Name
You may plan to trade under your own name, but if you don’t you’ll need to have a business name. To find out if the name you want to trade under is available, search the National Names Index. To register a business name, you must have an ABN, or have applied for one.
Registering your company name as a trademark prevents others from using your name to sell their own products and services. Under the Trade Marks Act 1995, you have the exclusive, legal right to use, license and sell under your company name, protecting your business. Having a registered trademark can also be an asset when marketing your business as it inspires confidence, exclusivity, and trust.
Remember that a business or website name registration does not give you exclusive ownership or proprietary rights to use the business name, only a trademark does.
Step Four: Obtain a Tax File Number (TFN)
One of the most important things to remember when considering how to register a business, whatever business you’re starting, is that you’ll need to have a Tax File Number so that you pay the correct taxes. If you plan on running a business as a sole trader, you can use your individual TFN, but if you’re entering a partnership, company, or trust, you will need to register a separate TFN for the business.
Every business is liable to pay tax, but the amount that you’ll be liable for will depend on the type of business that you’re starting. For straightforward steps to guide you through obtaining a TFN, click the link here.
Additional Factors to Consider When Starting a Digital Business in 2021
Beyond making sure that you have all the legalities of starting a business boxed off, there are a couple of other factors to consider to ensure that your new venture has the right infrastructure to take off in 2021.
Identify a Source of Funding
For most new start-ups, the primary concern they’ll have is making sure that they have sufficient cash flow. It doesn’t matter if you have the best business plan in the world, have meticulously researched how to register a business, or have a stellar product or service to bring to market, without enough money in the pot, turning a great idea and well-thought-out plan into consistent revenue will be slim.
Shrewd entrepreneurs know how to maximize resources to extend the initial growth period. Whereas there aren’t many government grants to help entrepreneurs get their business off the ground, there are options available in each state.
To find out more about government and small business support grants available in your state, click the link here.
Choose the Right Software Stack
As your business starts to gain momentum and grow, you’ll have a lot of big decisions to make. One decision that will have a significant impact on your infrastructure is choosing the right software stack.
Having the right software can make your life so much easier, especially when you start to scale your business. Processes can be streamlined, and customer communication optimised. You can save hours of valuable time each week and, of course, money.
While the choice of software you’ll need does depend on your type of business, there are several tools that every business should consider using.
Nearly every business will need a CRM of some description to manage colleague and customer relationships, save valuable information and optimise communication. Bookkeeping software is also essential to managing the financial aspects of your business – something that will inform almost every decision.
Analytics tools to help you to measure business growth and provide valuable insights into where process improvements can be made is also highly advantageous. After all, every good business uses data to inform decisions.
Starting and Registering a Digital Business in 2021
It might feel like times are challenging at the moment, but when you consider the growth of online businesses, the opportunity to reach more customers than ever before, and the value in selling products or services online, right now is a great time to start a digital business.
Follow these guidelines and you’ll build strong foundations from which your venture will be able to use as a springboard into 2021 and hopefully a prosperous future.
More information about starting a business you can find at lawofficemalaysia.com, a reliable online resource.