So, you have decided to take on the challenge of becoming your own boss. Congratulations! It is an exiting time. It is also a terrifying time. We are sure that there are so many questions swirling around your head right now. How to start a business Australia, the cost to start a business, do you need a website, should you take out a loan, among other things.

Slow down and take a deep breath. There will be time to figure out the rest later on. The first thing you need to do is to take care of the legalities of starting a business in Australia. Therefore, the most important thing to discuss is how to register a company in Australia.

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Before You Register a Company in Australia

Before you register a company, there are many different things to consider. Here are some of the considerations prior to starting your application to register a new company.

  1. Find out all the information you need before the application. Here are some of the things you need to decide on.
    • Will the company will be limited or unlimited?
    • What will the governance for the company look like?
    • What is the company name?
    • Nominate the location of registration.
    • Decide on the company’s address/es.
  2. Check if the company name you have chosen is still available.
  3. Make sure your chosen company name does not infringe on existing registered trademarks.
  4. Check the cost to register a company.

The Right Time

There is debate among many business owners regarding the appropriate time to register a company. Some people register when they are just starting out the business. Some people register when they feel they are ready to change their business’ structure.

Here are some of the signs it is the right time to register a company.

  1. The business is generating revenue.

A non-registered business’ tax rates are higher than company tax rates. Registering a business is a great option to keep more of your profits.

  1. You need to mitigate risks.

Registering a company is a good idea if you want to minimise the risks. Examples of risks include new suppliers, loans, employment or contractor agreement, etc. If your company is registered, you would not bear any personal liabilities.

  1. You want to protect your brand.

Your brand is your most valuable asset. You can protect this by registering a trademark for your company’s name, logo, and other branding elements.

Why Register?

Here are some benefits of registering a company.

  1. Limited liability
  2. Distribution of ownership
  3. Easier exit strategy
  4. Easier dispute management
  5. Easier product launches
  6. Likelihood of attracting investors

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How to Register a Company in Australia

Here are the 7 steps to register a company and some of the things to keep in mind.

  1. Work out your company’s business structure.

Remember that a company is a legal entity on its own. Therefore, there are a set of policies and privileges that comes with registering a company in Australia. The company, as a business structure, allows you to conduct business all throughout the country. It also has a different corporate tax rate and limited liability. Make sure that you understand these and decide if a company is the right business structure for your needs.

  1. Choose the company name.

If you decide that a company is the right business structure for you; then choose the name. Before you register a company name, remember that:

  • You cannot use the name of an existing company or business name.
  • There are certain restrictions on the use of characters and terms.
  • If you are not dead set on registering, you can reserve the name for 2 months.
  • You should check existing names and trademarks.
  • The name you choose must show its legal status.
  1. Determine how your company will operate.

Decide how the company will be governed. You could have replaceable rules, a constitution, or both.

  1. Know your legal obligations.

The Corporations Act outlines your legal obligations as an officeholder of the company. For instance, you must ensure the company details are up to date, that records are on the register, that you pay fees as required, and many more. When in doubt, consult a legal expert.

  1. Fill in the vacancies.

A company cannot legally be a company without officeholders. Simply put, you need to fill in the roles of director, secretary, and member. Each of these roles has their own requirements. Additionally, if the company does not own the registered office, you need to get a written consent from the owner of that office.

  1. Register.

You can register a company online through the Australian Government Business Registration Service. They also provide services like online application for ABN. You can also register through a private service provider such as but not limited to your accountant, solicitor, or a private entity that provides online registration with ASIC.

Some businesses – companies with unlimited liability, with an address is not accepted by ASIC, or that requires lodgement of Form 207Z, etc. – cannot be registered online. For these companies, registration via paper is necessary. Once your paper application has been processed, you will receive the following:

  • An ACN which you can use to apply for ABN
  • Certificate of registration
  • Corporate key
  1. Do the post-registration tasks.

After your company has been registered, make sure of the following:

  • the company name is displayed whenever the company is open to the public;
  • the ACN/ABN is clearly displayed on all company documents;
  • the company’s details are up to date.

Final Thoughts

There are a number of reasons why registering a company is a good idea and the best way to grow your business. Follow this guide on how to register a company in Australia and enjoy the benefits that come with it including tax advantages, lower liability, legitimacy, and many more.