Setting up a new business in NSW

The good news is that setting up a business in New South Wales is really easy. Here is our step by step guide. 

Choose a business name

There are a few things to think about...

Is it obvious what you do?

Both customers and Google like it if the name has words that help them understand what you do. Kate's Art Framing explains what the business does.

Does it leave room for growth?

Kate's Art Framing works well for framing pictures. And if Kate wants to branch out into art repair, it lets her set up Kate Art Repair, with cobranding.

Newcastle Art Framing may have trouble growing into Wollongong.

A good combination can be a 'descriptive word' - e.g. Amazing Art Framing, and you can add a tag line like "The best picture framers on the Central Coast" to explain better what you do and where you do it.

Can you sell it or move it?

Kate's Art Framing is a bit weird if Sam buys it. If the personal touch is important or your name is well known, add it to the tag line Amazing Art Framing - your pictures deserve the Kate touch.

Is your business name already taken and is it legal

If you are setting up a business in NSW and plan to use any name but your own, you need to register that business name with ASIC [Australian Securities and Investments Commission]. You need to check the ASIC listing to see if another business in Australia already has the same name, and to make sure your proposed name does not contain restricted words like ANZAC. You can check ASIC listing here.

You should also check that the domain name (e.g. is available and can do so here. It is worth checking for both the and .com version, but if your sales will mainly be in Australia then the is the most important (register the .com if it is available anyway).

If you plan to grow internationally (or it already belongs to a porn star - yes, it has happened to one of my clients, luckily I spotted it) the .com matters and you should choose a name for which you can register both the and the .com domain.

You should also do a trademark search (quick link here: to see if someone has used your name as a brand name (rather than a business name). 


Register your business name

There are a lot of websites out there that charge to do it for you, but you can do it yourself directly at the ASIC website - register your business name page.


Register a domain name

As mentioned above, ideally you'd register your and .com name, and you can do so using pretty much any provider, but we've had consistent service with

Create a website

You won't get taken seriously by potential suppliers, retailers, staff or backers if you don't have a website. There are a lot of different options for creating a website, and 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) but as a very quick rule of thumb:

If you want to sell things on your website then  Shopify  works really well.

If you don't want to sell things, and just need to display information about your business like your contact information, list of services, opening hours, before and after photos etc, then WordPress is a great option. Depending on your needs you can host it yourself or use WordPress's own hosting.


Create a Business Plan

If you are planning on setting up a business ideally you've already done this, but just to recap:

- What are you going to sell?
- Who are you going to sell it to?
- Where will you sell it? Worldwide? Australia wide? Just NSW? The coast from Tweed Heads down the coast to Newcastle via Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie? Will you focus on the inland cities - Wagga Wagga / Albury, Tamworth / Queanbeyan / Orange /
Dubbo / Bathurst / Lismore / Goulburn / Cessnock / Griffith / Armidale? All of the above? Some of the above?
- How will you sell it (in your own shop, online, over the phone, at markets, wholesale)
- How much will it cost to make/do/deliver? Which of the these costs do you need to pay regardless of how many you sell and which ones are only per item?
- How much will you sell it for?
- How many will you need to sell to make a profit?


Get any business licenses and permits you need

Depending on your business structure, where it is, if you have staff and the type of business you're in, you may need special permits, registrations or licences.

Permits and Licences protect the environment and the safety and health of your customers. If you don't get the right licenses and permits you can be subject to large fines or other penalties.

The easiest way to find any Australian, NSW, and local government licensing information is to go to the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS).


I hope I haven't scared you off already. Getting a business started in NSWis pretty straight forward, it is just a case of putting a day or two aside to plow through the initial startup tasks.