Opening a Small Business

There are many challenges for graduates thinking of setting up a small business in Australia. To face these challenges a graduate needs to:

  • have persistence and a will to succeed
  • possess a strong business sense
  • seek out appropriate information and assistance.

When setting up a small business, a graduate will need to consider:

  • buying, selling or closing a business
  • licences, regulations and taxation requirements
  • managing and improving the business
  • local, state and federal regulations
  • sales and marketing
  • general and supply chain management
  • workplace safety
  • working with suppliers
  • gaining industry knowledge
  • developing a realistic feasibility study.

Obtaining information on areas such as government regulations and day-to-day business operation is a key element of starting up a small business. Federal and state governments and assocations provide excellent resources, detailed information and advice for graduates thinking of setting up a small business. Listed below are some public and private sector websites designed especially for small business.

The Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA)

  • provides the small business sector with information
  • assists individual members and member associations
  • helps individual members and member associations develop business opportunities through affiliations with key organisations
  • helps members to influence their external business environment, especially in the area of government policy
  • assists members by monitoring government activities, influencing the development of government policies, presenting industry viewpoints and providing opportunities for members to become involved in policy development
  • is the primary lobbying vehicle for issues relating to the small business sector.

(This article was extracted from ‘Victorian Government Unblocks the Compliance Obligations Drain’ by Ann Strunks, Public Relations Adviser Office of Small Business Dept of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development: t +61 3 9651 9566, f +61 3 9651 8088, [email protected].)

Further Resources
An online government resource for the Australian business community. It provides a wide range of services and information about start-up, taxation, licensing and legislation, as well as significant transactions such as ABN Lookup, taxation compliance and licence applications.

 Business and Industry Development (ACT)
Offers small and micro-businesses support in the establishment, operation and development of their business. This service also supports Indigenous business in its provision of business guidance and mentoring.
Small Business NSW
Contains ready-to-use, relevant information for people who are starting, managing and growing a business. Also included are the stories of some of the small firms which have benefited from the NSW Government’s programs.

Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (QLD)
Provides access to the latest government business information, workshops and seminars, grants, licensing and support services.

 Department of Trade and Economic Development (SA)
The Department of Trade and Economic Development offers information and workshops for small / medium-sized businesses.
Department of Economic Development (TAS)
Valuable resources from the Department of Economic Development and other organisations that can help overcome obstacles to business expansion.
Business Victoria
Provides businesses with practical tools, accurate information and dedicated support. In addition, the website is part of an information network incorporating the Victorian Business Line and the 12 Victorian Business Centres. The ATO, WorkCover, the State Revenue Office, Consumer Affairs Victoria and the Small Business Commissioner are some of the agencies currently linked to the website and additional agencies will join the project as part of a planned roll-out.
Department of Industry and Resources (WA)
The Department of Industry and Resources is responsible for supporting small to medium business enterprises through strategy development and the delivery of programmes attuned to these emerging companies and industry sectors. The Department offers business mentoring, financial assistance and support in export development among other services.
The Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia
The Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia is a peak bodyof small business organisations, industry groups and individual firms.