Here is our handy guide to getting your business started in Australia.
There are a few things to think about when choosing a business name:
Both we humans and Google like it if the business name lets us understand what you do. Maria’s Wholesale Coffee clearly explains what the business sells.
You need to strike a balance between leaving room for growth, and being too fuzzy in your description.
Maria’s Wholesale Coffee is perfect for selling coffee wholesale. If Maria wants to branch out later selling tea, she might need to consider Maria's Wholesale Drinks, which risks people thinking she sells alcohol, going with Maria’s Wholesale Coffee & More or simply changing to Maria’s Wholesale Tea & Coffee later.
Perth Wholesale Coffee has trouble growing into Sydney.
A good combination can be a descriptive word and product name - e.g. Awesome Wholesale Coffee, and you can add a tag line like - The best beans in West Australiato explain better what you do and where you do it. It is easier to change the tag line on your logo than the whole business name.
Maria’s Wholesale Coffee sounds a bit weird if Kylie buys the business. If the personal touch is important or your name is well known, add it to the tag line - Awesome Wholesale Coffee – as roasted by Maria.
If you are setting up a business in Australia and plan to use any name but your own, you need to check the ASIC listing to see if another business already has the same name, and to make sure your proposed name does not contain restricted words like BANK or ANZAC. You can search for ASIC listing here.
It is also worth doing a trademark search, just in case someone has used your name for a brand rather than a business name. You can do a quick search here: https://search.ipaustralia.gov.au/trademarks/search/quick
You should also check that the www address (aka domain name) e.g. www.Northern TerritoryWholesaleCoffee.com.au) is available and can do so here. Check to see if both the .com.au and .com ending are available. If your sales will mainly be in Australia then the .com.au is the most important (register the .com if it is available anyway).
If you plan to grow overseas the .com matters (particularly for America) and you should choose a name for which you can register both the .com.au and the .com domain. You can also register names for specific countries if you plan to sell there - e.g. NZ is .co.nz, UK is .co.uk.
You can do this yourself directly at the ASIC website - register your business name page. Note that if you search there are websites that will charge you for doing it for you as well ass the government registration fee. Check that you are on the .gov.au site to register!
A "domain name" is just the www address where your website will live. e.g. www.AwesomeWholesaleCoffee.com.au.
As mentioned above, ideally you'd register your .com.au and .com domain names, and the .co.nz and .co.uk if you plan to sell there as well.
You can register using pretty much any domain provider, but crazydomains.com.au have given us consistent results.
Retailers, suppliers, staff and banks won’t take you seriously if you don't have a website. we'd be happy to have a chat and offer advice (just use the contact form on this page to get in touch or call us). There are a lot of different packages and methods for creating a website, and but as a rule of thumb:
WordPress is a great option if you don't want to sell things, and just want to show information about your business like your photo, contact details, opening hours, services, product gallery etc. You can host it yourself or use WordPress's own hosting depending on how much you want to customize.
If you want to sell products or services on line, Shopify works really well. Their monthly fee covers free phone support and your hosting and security certificate.
The easiest way to find any Australian, State, and local government licensing information is to go to the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS).
If you don't get the right licenses and permits you can be subject to large fines or other penalties. These Permits and Licences are designed to protect the safety and health of your customers and the environment.
Hopefully you've already done this step if you are planning on setting up a business, but just as a reminder:
Getting a business started in Australia is simple, you just need to get the initial steps done well so you aren't playing catch up later.