Buying or establishing a new business requires you to work with more than one government agency to ensure that everything is done correctly. The Australian Federal, State/ territory, and Local government will need to be part of the process in creating the business. Any business you open or purchase needs to be registered. The registration helps the government determine the taxes you will need to pay. It will also determine the business name, your domain name, and what licenses or permits you might need for the business. Any business whether it operates out of a land based location or on the internet still needs to follow the laws of Australia.

Company or Business Name Registration:

There are two processes that you might follow when it comes to the company or business name registration in Australia.

• If you are purchasing the business and will keep the name you do not have to re-register the name with the State. The prior owner of the business should already have registered the name with the State where it is located.

• If you open a new business or change the name of an existing business you will have to register the name with the State. The registration should be under the owner’s name or company that will own the business.

Domain Name:

At any time that you register a business name with the State you can also procure a domain name for a website. The domain name will end in to signify that it is an Australian based company. The Australian Domain Name Administrator regulates the online business names, the registration of the domain name, and the available domain (URL). You can create your own URL as long as it is available within the ADNA.


Your business can have a trademark. It is not always necessary, but if you have a product that you wish brand recognition for you must register it. However, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission records business names. These businesses go into a National Names Index. No company can have the same name. If Genitech exists, a company named Jenitech cannot register. The spelling may vary, but it sounds too similar. Anyone who wants to start a new business or change the company name can check the index to see if the proffered name is being used. It is a free service to view the index of names. For domain names IP Australia allows you to check online business names.

Types of Business Structure:

Business structure is going to be defined by the budget and requirements your business has. There are four different structures of businesses in Australia. These businesses are sole traders, partnerships, companies, and trusts. If your business needs to be incorporated you must seek the application from the ASIC. At registration the company is given a CAN or identification number (Australian Company Number). Companies are not the only ones to get an identification number. A business must apply for the Australian Business Number (ABN). This number like the incorporated number presents information to the government for tax reasons. The ABN number also allows you to work with other businesses or government entities. If your business earns revenue over $50,000 you must register for the Goods and Services Tax. To apply for the GST your business must have an ABN number first.

Employee Procedures:

In Australia a business employer has a legal obligation to the staff they hire. If you have employees at your business you must provide information to the Australian Taxation Office regarding wages you pay out. The wages must be in keeping with the Federal and State laws. All employment records must be kept. You also have to operate your business under the health and safety laws of Australia. There are terms and conditions that apply to both wages and health, as well as certain contributions. The laws an employer follows are based on the level the employee holds in a business. Part time or employees on probation as trainees are different from full time or fixed term employees. Any overseas employees may be different from what rules you must follow within the business. Market power, mergers, dealings, and competition restrictions apply. Employees cannot abuse or deal exclusively out of certain markets to find employees.

Paul Leach Director of PGL Internet Services, a Sydney Based SEO Company.
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