Legalising A Home-Based Business

Legalising A Home-Based Business

Illegal businesses and employees have always been a problem in Australia. Travellers and backpackers come over on a one-year visa and stay for decades. Companies are willing to pay them cash-in-hand and not ask any tough questions. Reading this, you may not think you are part of the problem when you are. No, you don’t hire people who don’t have the right documentation, yet you don’t have the correct licences either. Thousands of home-based companies fall foul of this because they ignore their responsibilities.

If you do this, there’s a high chance the government will get involved and shut down. With that in mind, here’s how to ensure your startup is perfectly legal.

Get Relevant Permits

The first port of call is to obtain the right licences. As a rule, every company needs a business licence to trade goods and services whether you work from home or not. But, there are different rules for specific industries. Anybody in the daycare sector needs a criminal record check before they open their doors. You can find out more with this information on buying a childcare centre. A food stall will require a health and safety inspection before it can begin to cook. Research the industry and think of the terms and conditions which apply.

Choose The Right Name

A name is essential as it’s the foundation of your marketing strategy. However, it’s also a pitfall which startups fall foul of on a regular basis. Something you can’t afford to do is to pick a name and continue as if nothing is wrong. Everything from the logo to the merchandise will be obsolete if there is trademark outstanding. Therefore, you have to check with IP Australia to ensure the title is free. Plus, you may want to apply for a patent of your own to stop others from trading under the name.

Pay Your Taxes

Side hustles are hobbies so there’s no need to declare earnings and pay tax. The government won’t care too much if they find out anyway. The reality is they do and they hand out punishments to serve as a warning. You may get a harsh penalty or even a jail sentence depending on the nature of the breach. The easiest way to bypass this is to pay what you owe. You can set up a corporation to limit the amount you contribute each year, and you should hire an accountant. If in doubt, speak to a lawyer too.

Register The Business

Just because you have licences and a tax number and everything else doesn’t mean the business is legit. To do that, you need to register it with the local authority of your state or territory. If they have no record of it, they can class it as a rogue operation and shut it down. Yep, even when you have detailed records. As well as the name and licences, you need to register an ABN as well as a website name. You can find out more with this online tool.

Is your business legal? Have you done all of the above?

Alison Morgan