10 vital things for everyone who gets an ABN

When starting a business it’s hard to know what you’re legally required to do, how to grow and where to go next! Follow our 10 step checklist to build your business for success and longevity.



1. Business Name

One of the most common questions asked when starting a business is “do I need a business name?”

A business name is a name or title under which a person or entity conducts a business. You will need to register a business name if you carry on business within Australia and are not trading under your personal name.

For example, if your name is John Smith you are not required to register a business name. However if you trade under the name “John Smith Automotive”, then you will need to register.

Whilst there are no legal obligations to register if you use your personal name, it’s a unique identifier that will help customers find and recall your business.

The ABN will be generated in the personal name or company of the holder, the business name is then linked to the ABN. Business names can either be registered for a duration of 1 or 3 years.



2. GST

It can be confusing when to know that your business is ready to accept GST let alone when you need to register for it. Let us help clarify that for you.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a value-added tax on most goods and services sold for domestic consumption. You will only need to register for GST if:

  • Your business had a turnover of $75,000 or more.
  • Your non-profit organisation has a turnover of $150,000 per year or more.
  • You provide taxi travel or a Uber service in exchange for a fare.

If the above statements do not apply to your business then you’re not legally required to register for GST, however it is optional!

GST works its way from the primary supplier to the final customer. Businesses must include the 10% tax in all their prices (unless the product/service is GST-free). GST is a consumer-based tax, meaning that it only affects the customer, not your business.

You are entitled to claim the money spent on GST provided that:

  • You intend to use your purchase in carrying on your business.
  • The purchase price included GST.
  • You paid for the item.
  • You have a tax invoice from your suppliers (for purchases over $82.50).

If your purchases have met some of these requirements and your ABN is registered for GST, you can apply for your GST credits through your BAS statement.


3. Domain name

A domain name hosts a website for your business, for example “honcho.com.au”. Establishing an online presence for your business is essential for exposure, brand recognition and growth.

There are endless opportunities available, 3.2 billion people use the internet daily with 85% of those discovering new businesses via various search engines.

You can apply for a FREE domain name within your Honcho Account. Sign in or begin your free trial today!

Once the domain name for your business has been registered you can proceed to build a website.


4. Website

A website is linked with the domain name online. A website is critical in obtaining and educating customers, improving advertising effectiveness, promoting and selling services/products and extending your local reach.  

Request a free consultation with one of our specialists to see how a digital solution can work for your business! 


5. Professional Email address

When running a small business, the most cost-effective and common form of communication is email. Whilst it can be appealing to save money by using a free service there are endless benefits in establishing a professional email address for your business (you@yourdomain.com).

A professional email:

  • Shows professionalism and credibility
  • Builds trust
  • Increases brand recognition
  • Reflects a clear link to your website/business name
  • Reduces the risk of being flagged as spam
  • Helps organise emails by departments or purpose (e.g. support@honcho.com, sales@honcho.com)

6. Insurance

There are many factors that determine the type of insurance your business will require. Including business type, whether you sell services or products and whether you have employees.

For example:

  • Selling products may need product liability insurance
  • Employing staff will require workers' compensation insurance
  • Public liability insurance helps protect your business against claims of negligence 

If you would like further information on your insurance requirements request a call with one of our specialists today.


7. Business bank account

Although it may appear easier to keep your business transactions within your personal account it can actually complicate things.

A business dedicated bank account has many benefits;

  • Easily track and manage business income and expenses
  • Clean record keeping meaning fewer tax complications
  • Professional and trustworthy
  • Provides proof to the government that your work is legitimate and intends to make a profit

Some business owners use different banks for their personal and business accounts.


8. Bookkeeping 

Keeping track of your finances is a vital part of owning and running an efficient and successful business. Bookkeeping includes the method of recording, analysing and interpreting financial transactions of a business or individual.

These records provide invaluable information on the financial health of the business and are required by Australian law. This is to ensure the business pays all necessary taxes and levies.

Although it is a legal requirement there are also many advantages of bookkeeping;

  • Manage cash flow effectively
  • Evaluate business performance
  • Identify areas to improve
  • Set projections and goals
  • Fewer tax complications


9. Tell your story

Promoting your business is crucial to its success, but you don’t necessarily need to pay to tell your story and market your services/products. An innovative strategy means you can have organic reach to potential consumers without the price tag.  

  • Social media - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the perfect platform to increase exposure, brand awareness and an online following for your business. Use Facebook to produce events and promotions from pages you create dedicated to your business. Use Instagram to expand your engagement using hashtags and handles to directly communicate with niche audiences.
  • Email marketing - Involves using email to send advertisements, special offers, updates and newsletters to your customers. This approach can build loyalty, trust, and brand awareness. Email marketing is an easy, free technique with promising results.
  • Start a blog - A blog is a great way to get your business name and brand out there. Keep your customers and followers up to date with changes, new products and connect with your site visitors. There are multiple services with free blog websites, layouts and pre-existing templates.  

10. ADvertising your business

Potential customers are on Google looking for your product or service. Although a paid form of advertising, the top ad spot on Google receives over 70% traffic. Optimise a targeted campaign with ongoing support from Honcho.

Advertising your business through Google has many benefits including:

  • Results are measurable
  • Cost effective
  • Highly targeted (location, mobile, language, time)
  • Remarketing (involves showing paid ads to users based on their web activity on your website)
Chloe Hall