Tips for starting a new business
October 24, 2019/
Before you start your own business, you need to get expert direction from the very beginning. Kristie Wells of Pitt & Wells Accountants in Southport gives us some good advice.
Are you thinking about striking out on your own and setting up your own business? Well, you aren’t alone. The Gold Coast is a city of entrepreneurs – the region is home to around 60,000 small businesses, with 64.5% being sole operators. Small businesses are the backbone of this region’s economy, and keep the Gold Coast’s economy vibrant like no other city in Australia.
There is an absolute rainbow of small business types on the Coast, and there’s room for yours too. Have you had that idea in your head for a while, and are thinking about striking out on your own? You can do it with the right help. And the first thing you need is a good accountant, who can give you advice and provide solutions to questions you haven’t even thought to ask yet.
Kristie Wells of Pitt & Wells Accountants in Southport has a passion for helping clients who are starting out in business – she helps to navigate them through all the issues that arise in the early stages.
Here are Kristie’s tips for starting a new business and the questions you need to be asking yourself.
Find an accountant that you can see yourself having a long-term business relationship with. You will be contacting them continuously, especially in the first year. If a business can get it right from the beginning, then it makes their journey to their destination much more desirable with less heartache.
Write your business plan – this will be your roadmap – this is a document that sets out your objectives, short/ long term goals, target market and financial forecasts. You need to make time frame in which your business goals can be achieved.
Determine the best business structure for your business – getting this right from the beginning will prevent much work down the track, reduce your tax bill and reduce any risks.
Do you need to register for GST? The answer is yes if your turnover is going to be over $75K.
Will you have employees? If yes, you need to register for PAYG withholding. Also with the introduction of the Single Touch Payroll requirements more than ever you must get it right from the first time.
Perhaps you need to register a business name. Are you going to trademark your business? Trademarking protects your company name, logo, and things like slogans so other businesses can’t use them.
Do you need any licenses? Like a building license? This is something that thankfully your accountant can help with.
Make a meeting with an insurance broker to discuss any insurance you may need to protect yourself and your business – do you need public liability insurance, workcover?
Open the business bank accounts. One for your everyday trading, and another for GST, income tax and PAYG withholding. Every month you can transfer money into your tax bank account to prepare yourself for payment of all the different taxes throughout the year. Many businesses in their first year of business come unstuck when their taxes are due as they forgot to put money aside.
Do you need finance for your business? Your accountant can help you with the paperwork.
What accounting software will best suit your business? Implementing a cloud-based accounting system will provide benefits to your business from an efficiency perspective to a disaster recovery perspective.
Your accountant can help you with your reporting obligations throughout the year. If you are paying employees, have you got one touch payroll set up? Businesses need to send a report after each pay run. These reports must be submitted using a solution that is Single Touch Payroll compliant. With a single touch payroll system, the payment summary annual report and the payment summary will be taken care of.
Are you paying your employees superannuation through SuperStream? This is the system that employers must use to make superannuation payments for their employees.
When is your Business Activity Statement (BAS) due? Different types of businesses have to lodge their BAS at different frequencies during the year. It could be monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Does all of the above sound confusing? It isn’t confusing for an accountant. The great thing about getting an accountant to do all of the above, is that they are experts. And it frees you to focus on your core activity – growing your business, inventing new products and services, and keeping your customers happy.
Small Business Life
If you are juggling family life and a small business, you aren’t alone. Kristie herself juggles family life (with her husband and two kids) with school drops off and pickups, and being taxi to her kids’ extra-curricular activities. As a business owner she is in the same position, so she knows where you are coming from. Kristie’s office is located on top of the hill in Johnson street in Southport where parking is always available, and it’s free.
The office where Pitt & Wells Accountants are located were originally two old Queenslanders. Kristie, Stephen Pitt of Pitt & Wells, Barry Thornton the director of Thornton Legal and Tony Bell the director of Bell Financial Services purchased these houses back in 2016 and completed a full renovation to convert the houses into offices.
As a business owner, when you visit, you can have access to legal advice, financial advice, and accounting services all in one place. This saves you running around to different locations. So for all of those who are planning to strike out and so it alone, the world is your oyster! Good luck, and remember: Always get good advice!