Here is our handy guide to getting your business started in Victoria.
There are a few things to think about
Both we humans and Google like it if the business name lets them understand what you do. Jill's Auto Repairexplains what the business does pretty clearly.
Jill's Auto Repairis perfect for fixing cars, trucks and motorbikes. And if Jill wants to branch out into fixing tractors, It lets her set up Jill's Farm Machinery Repair, with co-branding.
Ballarat Auto Repairhas trouble growing into Melbourne.
A good combination can be a 'descriptive word' - e.g. Awesome Auto Repair, and you can add a tag line like - The best car repairs in Geelong to explain better what you do and where you do it. It is easier to change the tag line on your logo than the business name.
Jill's Auto Repair is a bit weird if Jack buys it. If the personal touch is important or your name is well known, add it to the tag line Awesome Auto Repair - if Jill can't fix it no one can.
If you are setting up a business in Victoria and plan to use any name but your own, 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 CHARITY or ANZAC or TRUST. You can search for ASIC listing here.
You should also check that the www address (aka domain name) e.g. www.BendigoAutoRepairs.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
It is also worth searching for trademarks, just in case someone hasn’t used your name as a business name, but has used / registered it for their brand. Quick search here: https://search.ipaustralia.gov.au/trademarks/search/quick.
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. Check that you are on the .gov.au site!
As mentioned above, ideally you'd register your .com.au and .com name, and the .co.nz and .co.uk if you plan to sell there. You can do this using pretty much any domain provider, but crazydomains.com.au have given us consistent results.
Potential suppliers, staff and banks wont take you seriously if you don't have a website. There are a lot of different packages and methods 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:
Shopify works really well if you want to sell things on line. There is a monthly fee, which covers your hosting, free phone support, and your security certificate.
WordPress is a great option if you don't want to sell things, and just want to show information about your business like your contact details, opening hours, services, photos gallery etc. You can host it yourself or use WordPress's own hosting depending on how much you want to customize it.
Ideally you've already done this if you are planning on setting up a business , but just to recap:
- Who are you going to sell it to?
- What are you going to sell?
- Where will you sell it? Worldwide? Australia wide? Just Victoria? Only In Melbourne,
Geelong or Ballarat or Bendigo, Melton and Shepparton, Wodonga, Sunbury, Pakenham, Mildura, Mooroopna? All of the above? Some of the above? Be specific as it will help you figure out your delivery/postage/travel costs.
- How will you sell it (in your own shop, online, over the phone, at markets, wholesale)
- How much will you sell it for?
- 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 many will you need to sell to make a profit?
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.
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.
The easiest way to find any Australian, Queensland, and local government licensing information is to go to the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS).
Getting a business started in Victoria is straight forward, you just need to get the initial steps done well so you aren't playing catch up later.