Starting a business in Australia has become easier than ever. Economic growth and saturation of the market has allowed Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) to make the process easier for potential business owners. However, before incorporating your business and registering the name, you need to make sure that you are eligible to start, operate, and manage a business in Australia.

There are four business structures in Australia that you can choose from when starting your business, namely sole trader, partnership, company, and trust. Generally speaking, a person is automatically disqualified from starting and managing a business if the person:

  • Is bankrupt
  • Is convicted for offences under s206B of the Corporations Act
  • Is convicted for offences under s32(1) of Business Names Registration Act

Once you have checked if you are eligible to start a business, the next step is to register the business name. Remember that managing a business while being disqualified to do so is a criminal offense. If you have any questions, contact a qualified criminal lawyer

Register Your Business

Once you have found out all the information related to starting a new business in Australia, the first step towards doing so is to register a company name. The company name allows you to hold exclusive rights to the name you choose in Australia without having to file for registration in each state.

Remember that you can only select a company name that is not registered to a business or company. For certain words, you may need to get special approval from ASIC. You can find out more about the restricted words issued by ASIC. In addition to that, if your company has a different business name for operations, than the one that was registered as the company name, then you need to register for the business name as well.

A business name will not protect intellectual property or your brand, since it’s not a trademark. However, it will make it enforceable by law that any other business in Australia will not be able to register or operate under your registered business name.

Australian Company Number

Once you have registered your business name, the last major step to incorporation is getting an Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN), depending on the nature of your business. ACN is basically a nine-digit number managed by ASIC that is unique to each company registered in Australia. You need to get an ACN in case your business is a company. The ACN should then appear on the following documentations (not limited to):

  • Account Statements
  • Documentations lodged with ASIC
  • Receipts
  • Business letterheads
  • Orders for goods and services
  • Official notices issued by the company
  • Written ads with offers
  • Cheques and other legal payment documentation

If you already have registered for ABN, then the ACN will become a part of the ABN. In such cases, your ABN should be visible on all the relevant documentation. Once you register your business with ASIC, you will automatically receive an ACN number that makes you eligible to start management and operations of your newly found business.

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