Tips for Small Business and Start-Ups

There's a lot to think about when you start your business. I could have written a myriad of things but I've kept it to a few basics. If you have other topics you would like to know about please let me know.

Get an accountant when you start your business.

You may think you don’t need one to start with and that it’s just another cost. It isn’t. It’s an investment. I have seen way too many times just what happens and the mess that can be created when business owners put off engaging an accountant. It’s the start of an important business relationship as your accountant will form part of your advisory team, and will be there to cheer you on when you succeed and empathise when the times are tough.

What will an accountant do for you?

  • Make sure you have the right business structure. Yes, you may be operating your business in your own name but that may not necessarily be the best option. Just because it’s right for your neighbour doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

  • Liaise with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

  • Help you set up the right system to record your income and expenses.

  • Act as an integral part of your team not just someone you see once a year.

Set up a separate bank account.

If you’re operating as a sole trader you aren’t required to have a separate bank account, however by doing so it helps you to track and control your business expenses and income. If you are operating your business in another structure such as a company then you are required to have a separate bank account.

Keep your receipts.

You need to keep business receipts for a period of 5 years to comply with ATO requirements. Be mindful, though, because it’s 5 years from the date that you lodge your tax return not 5 years from the end of the financial year.

Nitty Gritty Stuff.

Think about what you will need to get your business started.

  • Your business terms and conditions.

  • Insurances for your business.

  • Trademarks and copyrights.

  • Wages paid to employees. If your business pays wages you need to be aware that you must pay superannuation and workers’ compensation insurance.

Yes there’s a lot to consider and this is just the start! However, remember why you set up your business to start with. It’s your WHY that will keep you going when times are tough. Make sure you stay connected with those who can help you and keep you on track especially when you are operating a business on your own.

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