Starting a Business - Checklist

When starting or purchasing a business you may need to undertake some or all of the following activities.

NB: Those items listed in italics below indicate that help is available at Perry Ure by calling 02 4926 4522.

Research Phase

  • Check on what licences/registrations may be required through the Business Licence Information Service.
  • Check with the local council regarding zoning, health regulations whether you need to lodge a Development Application or Building Application.
  • Consult people currently operating in your industry - suppliers, competitors, agents, associations and authoritative individuals.
  • Identify any trends and seasonal factors and reflect these in your sales forecast and cashflow projection.
  • Undertake market research to determine target market, size and location of market and distribution channels.
  • If buying an existing business, obtain three years trading figures (profit and loss statements, etc.), history of the business and its owners, break up of purchase price (land, buildings, equipment, stock at value, intangible assets including goodwill, databases, patents, etc.) and determine the real reason for the sale.
  • Do a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) on the venture.
  • Identify any perceived barriers the community may have to your venture. Check alignment with market research and personal suitability. Utilise First Base Services, Bizlink, seminars/workshops and other resources at your local Business Enterprise Centre (BEC).
  • Estimate the sales of your products and services for the first and second year of operation.
  • Determine establishment costs, pricing policy, sales forecast, break-even point and funds required.
  • Develop marketing plan (covering publicity, public relations, sales promotions, personal selling and advertising).
  • Prepare cash flow projection.
  • Determine your personal financial position (ie assets less liabilities).
  • Research a business plan of feasibility study covering such areas as development costs, management plan and financial plan.
  • Discuss your proposal with a CPA at Perry Ure.
  • Determine legal structure for operation (company, partnership, sole trader).
  • Check tax obligations.
  • Determine training needs for management and staff.

Establishment Phase

  • Register your chosen business name through the Department of Fair Trading and/or register your company name through the Australian Securities & Investments Commission and/or establish a partnership agreement (even for spouse partnerships).
  • Set up a business bank account (a Certificate of Registration of a Business Name will be required for the bank account in the business name) and arrange with your bank to send monthly bank statements.
  • Arrange for connection of services (telephone, electricity, gas and water).
  • Apply for your Australian Business Number and register for all relevant tax obligations, eg GST, PAYG and BAS or IAS. If you intend to employ staff, register as a PAYG Withholder through the ATO.
  • If you intend to employ staff, obtain Awards, establish superannuation policies, take out Workers' Compensation cover and check other relevant information.
  • Arrange other business insurance cover such as public liability, vehicles, fire, burglary, plate glass, professional indemnity, sickness, etc.). Obtain quotes from agents and brokers.
  • Develop an intellectual property register covering logos, trade marks, patents, copyright and designs, etc.
  • Discuss financial position and loan arrangements with your bank.
  • Consider credit arrangements (EFTPOS, credit and/or debit card facilities).
  • Negotiate and sign lease/purchase documentation in consultation with your solicitor.
  • Purchase business equipment (eg computer, cash register, fax machine, mobile phone, photocopier and any other office/shop equipment), fittings and furniture.
  • Develop an asset register.
  • Discuss advertising and marketing needs with media.
  • Contact suppliers, order stock and determine terms.
  • Purchase or order stationery, tax invoices, promotional material, letterheads, business cards, brochures, cash journals, quote book and order book once phone number is secured.
  • Set up a suitable filing and accounting system (tax invoices, cash book, bank statements, supplier statements) to maintain records for up to five years.
  • Join a trade association/chamber of commerce.
  • Have your will drawn up or updated to reflect your change in circumstances.
  • Choose a Power of Attorney for yourself and/or partners and draw up a Deed of Transmission.

This checklist brought to Perry Ure clients in consultation with
NSW Department of State & Regional Development.


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