One of the most important decisions you will make as a business owner is your business structure. It will depend on the type and size of your business, your personal circumstances and how much you want to grow the business. You can also change your business structure as your circumstances change or business grows. Talk to your financial and business adviser about your proposed structure.
Business structure for the self-employed
Your business structure determines your responsibilities, tax liabilities, asset protection, potential personal liability and paperwork and costs. There are a couple of business structures in Australia but the most commonly used are sole trader, partnership, company and trust.
Sole trader business structure
Sole trader is an individual trading on their own. It is the simplest business structure and is inexpensive and easy to set up. Sole traders are legally responsible and make all the decisions for the business. As a sole trader, you can retain full control of your assets and are required fewer reports. Any losses may be offset against other income like wages or investment income subject to conditions.
You will be allowed to use your individual tax file number to lodge tax returns and will not be considered an employee so you don’t need to pay payroll tax, super or workers’ compensation on your income. It’s also easier to change business structures if your business grows.
The disadvantages of being a sole trader is the unlimited liability that comes with it. Your personal assets are at risk in case things go south. You will also have little opportunity to plan for your taxes. You cannot split profits or losses and are personally liable to pay tax on the business income at personal rates. You will also need to register for goods and services tax (GST) if your annual turnover is $75,000 and above.
You won’t need to register a business name if you use your name but if you will use a different one, you’ll need to register the name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. You will also need an Australian Business Number (ABN), which you can apply for online. You will not be covered by workers’ compensation as well so you have to beware of the risk of loss of income.
As you look for different ways to grow and improve your business, seeking professional advice could prove to be an important and helpful decision.
You can click here to speak to a business, accounting and bookkeeping firm. We also offer hospitality business consultation and mortgage services. We will give you a call to know more about your needs. We will explain to you how we can improve your business.
We would love to help you formulate investment strategies and streamline your processes to take your business to the next level. Our goal is to help you grow your business, find ways to invest more and increase your productivity.
Sky Accountants Ballarat
Phone: 1300 328 855
Office Address: 902 Howitt Street, Wendouree, Victoria 3355, Australia
Postal Address: PO Box 2234, Bakery Hill, Victoria 3354
Sky Accountants Gisborne & Macedon Ranges
Phone: 03 97444522
Office Address: 45 Hamilton Street, Gisborne, Victoria 3437, Australia
Postal Address: PO Box 270 Gisborne Victoria 3437