Starting A Business

What is the cost of starting a business?

how much does it cost to start a business
There are a number of different types of costs associated with starting up a small business in Australia. As a guide to these costs - including registration fees, you should consider the following

1. How much does it cost to register a business name?

The cost to register a business in Australia is currently $35 per year. However the price is reduced if you register your business name for a three year period, the cost is $82. This can be done online through the ASIC government website. Note these prices apply to a business set up as a sole trader or partnership structure and not one set up as a company structure. 

2. What is the cost to register as a company?

The costs associated with registering your business as a company structure (for a proprietary limited company with share capital) include $479 as the initial ASIC (Australian Securities & Investment Commission) registration fee. There can be additional accounting costs and fees associated with establishing a constitution and other documentation for your company as required by ASIC. Plus further on-going annual ASIC review fees of $254 for a proprietary company.

3. What is the cost to register for an ABN?

Registering and obtaining an Australian Business Number (ABN) is free. Generally, both companies and sole traders will require an ABN 

Do you need to register for GST?

If your annual turnover as a business is greater than $75,000, you will also likely need to register for GST (Goods & Services tax) with the ATO (Australian Taxation Office). If your turnover is less than this threshold amount, then GST registration is optional for your business. An online application portal allows you to apply for registration for both ABN and GST in the same process. 

If your projected revenue is to be less than the $75,000 threshold figure, then you will need to consider whether to register or not. If you decide not to, then there could be the advantage that your selling prices will be free of a GST component and therefore possibly cheaper than your competitors. You will also avoid some administrative reporting requirements. However, the flip-side of the equation might be the possible disadvantage that you miss out on claiming GST credits on your purchases come tax time. However if your business model requires minimal running expenses, then this is not such an issue.

4. How much does it cost to trademark a business name?

It's also important to understand that although you can register your business name, this does not mean that you necessarily own it nor have exclusive use of it unless you elect to trademark the name. The cost for trademarking your business name in Australia will vary, depending upon how many classes (or categories) you seek coverage. The initial government online application cost for trademarking a business name is $200. There are additional government registration fees upon acceptance - as well as additional legal costs if you are using a trademark specialist to handle the collation and submission of required supporting documentation. 

As an approximate guide to the total costs for trademarking either your business name or logo within one class, $2,000 would be an estimate.  There are companies that offer discounted prices for completing the application using an automated online process, but these typically do not include offering advice as to the likely success of your application. IP Australia is the government body to which applications are submitted. Many small business owners within Australia do not feel the need to trademark their business name unless they have established a strong brand recognition in their market and want to protect their brand from competitors. 

5. How much does it cost for a business website?

The cost for establishing a website for your business includes costs associated with buying a domain name, building the website and hosting the website. If you elect to do-it-yourself, then WordPress is an extremely user friendly and well-regarded platform that allows you to build your own website selecting from hundreds of templates, with annual domain and hosting fees around $120. Alternatively, if you prefer a completely customised website built for you by a web developer, their prices might range anything from $500 - $2,000 depending upon the range of functionality that you might require. 

The cost of adding an e-commerce capability to your small business website could possibly be as simple as a Woo-Commerce plug-in for your WordPress site and might cost anything between $25 - $100 per month, depending upon the amount of your sales.

6. What are the running costs of a business?

The running cost of a business can include the costs associated with purchase of any required assets or materials or stock, production costs, the wages of any staff, rent of any premises, utilities, delivery expenses, printing, advertising and leasing costs of any equipment or computers for example.
What does it take to succeed as an entrepreneur?

What are the qualities needed by an entrepreneur to start and grow a business? Few would argue that having some type of "fire in the belly" is needed to fuel the tenacity and resilience required for the journey. A vision that reflects their belief in where the business will be in the medium to longer term - and a dedication to ongoing learning and innovation. To prosper as a business owner and drive market growth will require a combination of analytical thinking that steers risk management for the business - but is complemented with an optimistic and creative mindset. 

Here's a business coach offering some advice  to budding entrepreneurs -

How to develop a business plan
If you are seeking any type of business loan, investment, or government grant to support the start up of your business, then you will most likely need to present the funding body with a business plan. Your business plan provides an overview of things like 
  •  the market research you have undertaken, 
  • data that supports the need that exists for your product / service, and an evaluation of the existing competition and how you will differentiate yourself
  • a profile of your target market /"typical"l customer
  • strategies planned for promotion and marketing 
  • how you will distribute / deliver your product or service to your customer
  • your financial plan - including your proposed pricing model, running costs and revenue projections
If you need some assistance with this, then you can obtain a template at Business Plan Free Template

Further relevant articles : 

Check out our post - "From the Corporate World to Small Business Entrepreneur"

And if you're thinking about starting an online business, then an article of interest is Setting Up Your Online Business with some good tips for the beginner

Some useful resource sites  

  1. Everything you need to know about starting a food business - includes advice on licensing, food safety requirements and training 
  2. Ten things to do before opening your restaurant 
  3. South Australia - Starting a business
  4. A.C.T - Innovate Canberra
  5. Business Victoria
  6. Everyday Law - Buying a business or a franchise
  7. W.A government - starting a business