Small Business Start-up Checklist

Do you need to start a business and don’t know where to start? The paperwork to start a new business can be overwhelming, and the consequences far-reaching. Following is a short checklist of some things to consider.

HAVE A PLAN

There are a lot of things to consider when planning to start a business—some financial, some conceptual, and others just plain practical.

BUSINESS STRUCTURE

Choosing the right business structure can have personal and tax implications:

• Sole trader
• Partnership
• Company
• Trust

GOVERNMENT REGISTRATIONS

There are a number of government registrations that apply to operating businesses.

LICENCING AND OTHER REGULATORY OBLIGATIONS

Various state governments and local councils have various licensing obligations etc, depending on your type of business.

PAYROLL AND ASSOCIATED OBLIGATIONS

Various complications can arise when employing staff – eg pay rates, payroll systems and reporting obligations, Superannuation Guarantee obligations to name a few.

FINANCE

Many business start-ups will need to consider finance needs – eg equipment finance, cash-flow finance, consolidation of existing loans etc.

INSURANCES

What insurances are required to protect your business and personal assets and or income?

SUPPLIER AGREEMENTS

Contractual obligations of supplier agreements need to be considered.

EMPLOYEE AGREEMENTS

Industrial relations and employment agreements can leave exposure to legal consequences.

RECORD KEEPING

Record keeping tasks can vary from very simple to very complex and may need to take into account taxation obligations.

COMPLIANCE

Compliance is everywhere you look. Over the last 30 years, compliance has taken a huge leap forward, resulting in a number of potential recording and reporting obligations to various government agencies.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE INTERNET

The impact of technology and internet products, for example, pretty web pages and online marketing options, has made it easier than ever for a start-up business to “look” like an established business. IT and the internet have also changed the way we do business.

NETWORKS AND BUSINESS COACHES

Networking is a great way to form business relationships and open up business opportunities. They can also be a good source for business mentoring. Better still, use a life/business coach.

TAX PLANNING

Taxation can have a huge impact on your business operations and cash flow. If you don’t want to wear that hat you need to seek good advice.

SUPPORT

Business is challenging enough. To venture down that path without the right support is plain hard work. Make sure you connect with the right people to support and encourage you and, sometimes, to challenge you.

STORIES FROM THE TRENCHES

Following is a real-life story that might help highlight some of the above points or help keep the right balance.

• A non-business client I had known for some time shared her plans to start a new business and how she chose her product/industry.

At the planning phase, she signaled to family members and friends her desire to start a new business.

Over a period of six months, she kept a “business ideas” book to record and track her thoughts and ideas.

She shared those ideas seeking feedback and eventually settled on what her business would do. Over a period of approximately three years, she built a business from nothing to turning over $100,000, with a reasonable profit margin and potential for ongoing growth.

Her planning process helped focus her thoughts and to better understand her goals. That in turn gave her confidence to ask suppliers the right questions and identify her customers.

CONCLUSION

My expertise is in helping people start and/or maintain a successful and growing small business. The content in this checklist will, at the very least, help get people on the right footing at the start of their business enterprise.

My checklist is by no means exhaustive as business processes, government policies, economic influences, world events, and technology, to name a few, can have an enormous impact on how businesses operate and are subject to change. For that reason, we recommend all businesses, whether start-ups or established, have effective relationships with appropriate professionals and use them.
We recommend all business operators, whether start-ups or established, have an ongoing, open, two-way relationship with exchanges that have the potential to last many years and lead to success, however that may be defined.

Maynard Accounting/Companies Direct have the professional expertise and experience to assist anyone to establish a new business.
Need help?
Call us on 07 32083888

(last updated 10/02/21)

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