Guide to Starting a Business in NSW

Guide to Starting a Business in NSW
New South Wales is a great place to start a new business - more than 736,000 small businesses call NSW home. Read our guide for tips about starting your own business in NSW.
by Square Jul 15, 2021 — 4 min read
Guide to Starting a Business in NSW

New South Wales is a great place to start a new business – more than 736,000 small businesses call NSW home. The state’s economy is growing fast, and solid population growth and a strong pipeline of infrastructure and housing construction reflect strong business confidence.

Before you launch your new business in NSW, you’ll need to create a business plan, decide on a legal structure, understand your costs and more. The process can seem daunting, but there’s excellent support available. For example, Business Connect is a dedicated and personalised NSW Government program that provides independent business advice and events to help New South Wales business owners to start, run, adapt or grow their small businesses.

Read on for tips about starting your own business in New South Wales.

1. Write a business plan

A business plan is an essential step to starting a new business. A comprehensive business plan will turn your business idea into a realistic plan of what you need to do, showing you gaps where you might need support.

You should undertake a SWOT and competitor analysis to define your new business idea and where it sits in the market. Most lenders will ask to see a comprehensive business plan before providing your new business with funding.

If you need business plan inspiration, our blog, How to write a business plan, may help.

2. Choose a business structure

Before you start a business in NSW, you must choose a business structure for your new venture. Your choice of business structure will affect your legal obligations, taxes and liabilities; each option comes with pros and cons.

In New South Wales, the most commonly used business structures are sole trader, company, partnership and trust. The New South Wales Government website has a detailed guide to help you find the best structure for your new business. You can change your business structure in the future to reflect business growth.

3. Explore support and grants for NSW startups

The NSW Government provides many types of support to individuals starting or scaling businesses. Grants available to NSW small businesses include:

Grants aside, the NSW Government offers several programs and initiatives to support small businesses in the state of New South Wales. These include:

4. Apply for the licenses or registrations you’ll need

You need certain licences and registrations to operate a business in NSW. The Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) website lets you search for the licences, regulations, council approvals and other compliance requirements that may apply to your new business, based on your business type, industry and location.

Common requirements for New South Wales businesses include:

You can apply for these registrations at the Australian Business Register.

5. Decide where you’ll operate from

Depending on your business, you may operate virtually, from physical premises, or even from home.

If you run an online store, you’ll need somewhere to pick and pack orders – either a dedicated space in your home or a leased business premises.

If your new business is a retail store, you’ll need to lease or buy business premises. The New South Wales Government website lists a raft of aspects you may need to consider when developing your premises, including applying for a fire safety certificate, construction certificate or zoning certificate, or to install a street awning or business sign.

If you’re launching a home-based business, you won’t need to find business premises, but you’ll still need to meet a number of requirements. The New South Wales Government website offers a comprehensive list of tips for home businesses, including guidance about whether you need local council approval to run your business from home.

Confused about where to begin when starting a business in New South Wales? Get in touch with the Business Concierge for tailored advice to help you get up and running fast.

The Bottom Line is brought to you by a global team of collaborators who believe that anyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.


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