How to Register a Small Business in Australia?

How to Register a Small Business in Australia

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Starting a small business can be the start of a lifelong dream, and you should do everything in your power to make that dream a reality. However, when you’re just starting out, you’re likely up to your ears in debt. With the Internet and the ability to download appropriate legal forms and documents from a reputable website with little upfront cost, company registration in Australia has never been easier. Avoid paying a lawyer tremendous sums of money and choose to register your business yourself with the help of an online legal form package.

Information Required When Registering a Small Business

Registering a small business in AustraliaBefore you go to register a small business in Australia, and before you submit any applications, you need to have some information. You need to have a business name. This may be your name, as in a sole trader business structure, or a different name. The structure of the business needs to be identified. Are you going to set it up as a sole trader, a partnership, a limited liability company, trust or other type of structure? Each different structure has its advantages and disadvantages and falls under different tax laws, legal liability laws, costs, and maintenance requirements. If appropriate, you need to decide on partners, shareholders, and directors. Each role should be clearly defined.

Forms Required When Registering a Small Business

The type of forms required for registering a small business in Australia depends on what type of business structure you are setting up. Sole traders require few legal forms, while companies require quite a number of different forms for various aspects of the business. Commonly required legal forms include the following:

  • Certificate of Registration
  • Company Constitution
  • Consent to Act as Director and Consent to Act as Secretary
  • Application for shares and share certificates
  • Minutes of meetings
  • Notice of Appointment

These are forms that are commonly required in order to register a business with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Registering a company with ASIC online can be done in as little as 10 minutes, and the majority of businesses are registered the first time without any problems.

What to Consider When Registering a Small Business?

Registering a small business can be a daunting task, especially for those who have never done so before. Keep in mind long-term goals and do not rush just to get things finished. Setting a business up correctly from the start can help you on your way to success. To do this, there are a few things you may like to consider when registering your small business:

  • Name registration. Consider reserving the company name. It is recommended to do this prior to registering the company. Also be sure to reserve website domain names as well. For you to use a name it must be available and acceptable. Reserving a company name is done through ASIC and the reservation only lasts two months. However, you can request an extension on this reservation. It is important to note that ASIC rarely allow a name to be reserved for more than six months.
  • Business structure. Choose a business structure. A sole trader is the simplest and least expensive type of business structure to register. Partnerships are a little more complex, while LLCs can be quite in depth and require several considerations. Think about the number of shares to be issued, the consequences of a directory failing to fulfil his or her duties, whether a company secretary is required and what their required administrative duties will be, and whether a public officer is required and what their duties and obligations will be.
  • Future changes. As a business grows, changes are likely to be required. These may include changes in shares, such as a division or buy back of shares, a change of company name, a charge to company property, or a change of registered business address.

All these considerations require some form of legal documentation to ensure the business is registered legally with the ASIC. Having access to these types of forms online can save you time and money, giving you instant access while bypassing expensive lawyer fees.

About the Author

Jane Cummins is a regular contributing writer and is currently working as a lawyer for one of Sydney’s major law firms. Having been in the industry for over eight years, she is confident in the services provided by the Cleardocs website.


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