Business & Finance Blog

How to Start a Business in Sydney, Australia

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If you’re considering doing business in Sydney, Australia it will help to understand the culture of Sydney. Sydney is Australia’s largest city with a population of nearly 5 million people of Australian, English, Irish, Scottish, and Chinese ethnicity. The most common languages spoken are English, Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Greek. Residents of Sydney are called Sydney-siders with a median age of 36 years. Sydney’s workforce is comprised of owners, managers, clerical professionals, salespersons, technical workers, and those involved in trade and general labor. While it can be expensive to live in Sydney, business start-ups find Sydney’s multicultural area desirable for reasons of:

    • Location — always an important consideration, Sydney is located near the West Coast of the US and a variety of Asian capital cities.  
    • A highly educated and skilled workforce, especially in regards to IT tech help, along with strong institutions for learning.
  • Lower rent cost for office space in comparison to Hong Kong, London, or Paris.

Here are the steps are to starting a successful business in Sydney:

  1. Decide Your Business Structure: There are four basic structures to business ownership in Australia; Sole Trader, Company, Partnership, and Trust. Do the necessary homework of consulting with an accountant and attorney to find out the tax and legal responsibilities placed to your business.
  2. Know Your Business Type: Three main business types are online businesses, franchised businesses, or as an independent contractor. The type you choose will determine what your legal obligations and regulations will be as you run your business.
  3. Funding: At start-up businesses will be steered to such funding options and opportunities like low-interest loans, grants, tax concessions. Other means to funding your business might include personal savings, borrowing from friends and relatives, or assistance from angel investors. Whatever way you choose to fund your business, a smart businessperson consults with their business accountant.
  4. Open An Australian Business Account: With an Australian Business Account, you will have access to all necessary information to start and run your business.
  5. Apply For ABN Number: The ABN, Australian Business Number, is an 11-digit number intended to identify your business for various tax and business purposes and it is also needed if you plan on registering a domain name on the worldwide web. Along with the Australian Business Number, a Tax File Number (TFN) will be required. More info can be found at the Australian Tax Office at If your business structure is that of a company, you will also need an Australian Company Number (ACN).  Applications for such number can be found at the Australian Business Register.Register Your
  6. Business Name: Your business name is also called your business-trading name and you can, if preferred, register your business name at the same time you apply for your ABN number. To find out if the name you want for your business is acceptable for use, you should check with the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).
  7. Learn Tax And Legal Obligations: Tax obligations are with respect to your business structure, type, and business income. Some examples of Australia taxes: GST, goods and services tax if you earn over a certain amount of income, Pay as You Go (PAYG) which is a withholding tax from wages / salaries. Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) which regards perks provided to workers. The website can assist you in learning tax obligations and if your business needs special licenses or permits.  
  8. Set Up An Accounting System: Accuracy of assets and liabilities is a must, so check out QuickBooks Online, which is customized specifically to meet the tax and business regulations for Australian businesses.  

An Easier Solution: Virtual Phone Numbers

Consider use of Australian toll free numbers and Australian virtual phone numbers for your start-up business to move your business instantly into the Australian market, by creating a virtual presence.

Time is money and start-up businesses need to preserve those investment dollars towards customer acquisition. Virtual phone numbers and virtual toll free numbers with call forwarding are ‘the way out’ of the 20th Century communication expense of costly long-distance call fees that came as result of traditional operator assistance, otherwise termed Public Switched Telephone Networks to that of a VoIP phone system: Voice Over Internet Protocol.  Here are several perks of virtual phone numbers:

    • Virtual phone numbers allow for call forwarding to your personal phone number.
    • Less need of customer service reps to transfer calls; simply set up a virtual assistant with IVR (interactive voice response) technology that will guide your customer to the appropriate department.
    • Virtual phone numbers will allow customers to record messages or sales queries.
  • Virtual numbers link with employees or customers anywhere in the world.

by Tom Senkus

Author’s Bio: Tom Senkus is an international entrepreneur that seeks to share his knowledge of creating a global presence in the most efficient and cost-effective ways possible. For more information about his writing services and published work, visit his website at

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