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Setting up a Small Business

A lot of the working from home options I have described require you to set up your own business in the sense that you must have an ABN, be registered with the tax office and file GST returns and tax returns.

If for example you become a Family Day Carer, you will be registered with your local Family Day Care Office and they will regulate the business, but from a financial and tax perspective, it is your business and you are responsible for managing your income and expenses, the book keeping, the accounts and the tax returns.

Planning you small business

Setting up a business correctly though, is not just about filling out the right forms and meeting government regulations. You also need to do enough research to be confident that your business has a market and is going to be successful. You need to define your product or service, work out how much it costs to produce and do a cashflow forecast based on set up costs and projected ongoing costs verses earnings.

Industry Requirements

When setting up a business, you need to be aware of any industry and general requirements for that business. For example, operating in a safe environment, or obtaining appropriate licenses.

Using the child care example again, there are very strict regulations governing child care, including Family Day Care. You need to be aware that you cannot just operate a child care business from home without meeting those regulations. You either need to be registered personally with the Government as a child care provider, or you need to be registered with your Family Day Care Office and they provide the regulation and ensure you meet requirements.

Another example is the music industry. One of the mothers at my daughter's pre school converts your photos or videos onto CDs and can set them to music. She has had to purchase a license in order to allow her to use the music she has chosen on her CDs. It would be very easy to not think about something like thing, and ultimately find you were breaking the law!

Help setting up a small business

There are a number of organisations you can get help from when setting up your small business:

The Home Based Business Network (

This Small Business Development Corporation website contains information about starting and running a small business in Western Australia. However, a lot of the information is relevant to all of us. For example, it has a section on Starting and Operating your Business which includes ideas for home based businesses, feasibility studies, managing your money, getting started, operating at home and growing your business.

The Australian Tax Office - Information for new businesses

The Australian Tax Office website offers a range of information to help new businesses getting started. This includes:

Australian Trademark Online Search System

ATMOSS - Australian Trademark online search system allows you to do a search of the Australian Trade Mark system

SPAM Act 2003

SPAM Act 2003 - requires you to meet a number of requirements before you are able to send a commercial electronic message - SMS, MMS and email

The Entrepreneur Business Centre (

The EBC has start up guides for businesses and provides a freee phone advice service. It also has a network of business coaches specialising in different areas.












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