Archive for the ‘Federal Government’ Category

Step-by-step guide to registering your own small business online

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
Photo credit; Midiman on Flickr

Photo credit; Midiman on Flickr

The Sydney Morning Herald recently published a step-by-step guide for who want to register their own small business online.

Here is what you need to do:

1. Decide on your business structure.

2. Apply for your Australian Business Number (ABN).

3. Check that your chosen business name is available.

4. Register your business name.

5. Register your website domain name.

Step 1: Decide on your business structure
When starting a business choose the business structure that best suits your needs.
Your business structure (aka applicant or entity type) refers to the way you will operate your business.
These include:
  • Sole trader: an individual trading on their own
  • Partnership: an association of people or entities running a business together, but not as a company
  • Trust: an entity that holds property or income for the benefit of others
  • Company: a legal entity separate from its shareholders.
You can change your business structure as your business grows.
Visit the Australian Taxation Office website for more information on each business structure.
Step 2: Applying for your Australian Business Number (ABN)
Your ABN is a unique number that allows you to identify your business to government and other businesses.
You can get your ABN online at the Australian Business Register.
Applying for an ABN is free and should take about 30 minutes.
Things you will need to provide:
  • your personal details
  • your business information
  • your associate details
  • reasons for your application
  • your business activity details and
  • a declaration that the information you have provided throughout the application is true.
Your new ABN will appear on the completed application screen and will be ready for you to use right away.
Step 3: Checking your chosen business name is available
You can check the availability of a business name online at the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) website.
To check if your proposed business name is available:
  1. Search business names register on the ASIC Connect website.
  2. From the drop down menu select ‘Check business name availability’.
  3. Enter the name you would like to search in the field below.
  4. Submit your search by pressing the ‘Go’ button.
If your name is not available, keep searching until you find one that isn’t claimed.
Step 4: Registering your business name
After you have found an available business name, register the name with the ASIC to secure it by:
  1. Going to the ASIC Connect website.
  2. Signing up to create an account with ASIC prior to beginning your application. Once you have your account you can begin the application.
  3. Completing the application. This should take you around 15-20 minutes to complete and at the end of the application you will receive confirmation that your chosen name has been registered.
Applying for a business name costs $33 AUD for one year or $76 for three years. Visit the ASIC website for more information on business name payments and fees.
Your business name is only your identification and registering it does not give you full rights over the name. You should trade mark your business name, too.
Step 5: Registering your website domain name
Your domain name is your website address on the internet and gives your business an online identity or brand for your customers.
When picking a website name it’s best to go with a name that:
  • represents your business
  • is easy to remember, pronounce and spell
  • is three syllables or less.
If you want to buy a .com.au or .net.au web address you will need to have an ABN.
To register your domain name go to the .au Domain Administration Ltd (.auDA) website for links to registrars and resellers, and to confirm current fees and options.

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Australian PM urges Australians to support small businesses

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
Photo credit; Wikipedia.org

Photo credit; Wikipedia.org

While doing some light tie shopping at the Ronald King clothing store in Croydon, Victoria, recently, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott officially launched the Shop Small campaign, saying small businesses are at the heart of the Australian economy.

“We want see these businesses flourish and we want to create the economic conditions that make it easier for small business to start, to grow, to expand, to employ and to invest,” Abbott said at the launch. “Small business is not just at the heart of economy but it’s also at the heart of communities.”

To read more about this story, click here.

Australia Business Review gives an overview of hurdles for Australia startups

Monday, October 7th, 2013

The Australia Business Review has revealed the top three hurdles for small businesses in Australia to overcome to be successful.

Photo credit; Tristan Honscheid on Flickr

Photo credit; Tristan Honscheid on Flickr

1. In top spot is the challenge of cash flow and getting the necessary cash injection to start a business. Banks are less willing to invest in small businesses nowadays so it’s important to manage resources responsibly.

2. Navigating the Australia Tax Office (ATO) is the second most common hurdle for small businesses. Discrepancies that result from honest mistakes, and failure to comply with the many tax regulations can all lead to small businesses falling foul of the ATO.

Under current Fringe Benefits Tax laws, a company can find the ATO looking at it disapprovingly if it spends too much on an employee social gathering, while different types of tax have different tax years, leading to a lot of paperwork and confusion.

Thorough and meticulous bookkeeping and some time spent reading and grasping all the regulations are necessary navigate the ATO.

3. And, lastly, the Carbon Tax can be a pain for new businesses, especially those wanting to do their own production.

Under the scheme, companies considered as top polluters must pay a fee per tonne of carbon released into the atmosphere.

In addition to businesses that have a production arm, it also affects small businesses in terms of the rising cost of the supplies they need.

The carbon tax will be scrapped eventually, but it will be replaced by an emissions trading scheme. New start-ups will need to keep an eye on that, and allow for its effects upon their running costs.

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Myer department stores predict online profit next year

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Upscale Australian department store Myer is predicting that it will turn a profit from online sales for the first time in 2014, as it simultaneously revealed that its annual net profit fell by 9%.

Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes blamed generous penalty rates and wage costs under Labor’s Fair Work Act for a $10-$11 million negative impact on its $127.2 million profit.

He said he would consult the new coalition government about changing the act.

Photo credit; Matt Trostle on Flickr

Photo credit; Matt Trostle on Flickr

“We’re hoping that in dialogue with the government we’re given the opportunity to express that we think stopping increases coming in is important,” he told reporters.

Brookes also cited the ability of overseas online retailers to escape 10 per cent GST on products was also an unfair “free kick” damaging local retailers who were Australia’s biggest private employers.

“We’re certainly hoping that Mr Abbott and his team have a big set of ears to what very much needs to change,” he said.

After growing profit in the first half, Myer’s costs blew out in the second half with the cost of doing business increasing 3.1 per cent to $1.01 billion of the year to July 27.

Those costs are expected to increase another 4-5% this fiscal year, with money pumped into online initiatives, new stores and refurbishments.

However, Brookes conceded that is likely to mean profit falls again in the current first half.

But online sales revenue should hit $50 million this year, making the business profitable, Mr Brookes said, before profit grows again in 2014/15 as the benefits of the current spending emerge.

To read more on this story, click here.

Small Business Assist Tool could help you with your tax inquiries

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
The Australian Tax Office’s (ATO’s) Small business assist  tool provides answers to small business tax and other questions.
The online tool delivers accurate information sourced from a range of websites.
You can find information about:
  • registering for an Australian business number
  • understanding and registering for GST
  • employer obligations
  • lodging activity statements and much more.
Small business assist can be accessed from a range of devices and features links to relevant webinars and provides access to blogs and forms.

To read more about this story, click here.

Huawei denies spying allegations

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Chinese telecommunications company Huawei Technologies Co. has denied allegations of spying for the Chinese government levied at it by an ex-CIA director.

Former CIA director Michael Hayden made the remarks to the Australian Financial Review, prompting an email statement from the Chinese company that said it is a “proven and trusted” information and communications technology company. The statement came from Huawei spokesman Scott Sykes.

Huawei has been banned from bidding for work on Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) and other government-run projects in various countries. The company continues to fight concerns over cyber security after intelligence agencies and security companies traced web attacks to China and Huawei came under strong suspicion.

Contractors in trouble

In other National Broadband Network news, contractors associated with the project continue to be dogged by executive and money losses due to the project.

Amid industry speculation that Silcar has suffered millions of dollars in writedowns while building the network, its NBN project director, Dan Birmingham, has left the role.

Industry sources say Silcar has lost millions of dollars trying to hit NBN Co’s rollout targets.

Birmingham led the contractor’s efforts to connect the NBN with homes and businesses in New South Wales, the ACT and Queensland as part of a 2011 deal worth up to $1.12 billion. He is the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the project.

Earlier in July NBN Co’s long-standing chief executive, Mike Quigley, said he was leaving the company. Key contractor Service Stream’s chief executive Graeme Sumner stepped down in April.

Silcar is equally owned by German engineering giant Siemens and construction contractor Thiess, which in turn is owned by listed contractor Leighton Holdings.

Silcar chief executive Peter Lamell quit his post two months ago.

To read more on these stories, click here and here.

 

National Broadband Network’s future awaits Australian election outcome

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

The fate of Australia’s National Broadband Network, which aims to bring internet access to the country’s farthest flung outposts, will not be known until the outcome of the country’s federal election is known.

The Labor government and conservative Liberal-led opposition have vastly different plans for the A$37.4 billion for the network (NBN).

A Liberal-led coalition election victory would drastically alter the way the NBN is rolled out, says Melbourne-based RMIT University electrical engineering expert Mark Gregory.

“There will still be activity, but there will definitely be winners and losers,” Gregory says.

While Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Labor government initially promised to deliver Internet speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) to 93% of premises by 2021 using fiber-optic cables, with the remaining remote locations served by satellite and fixed wireless, those goals have been steadily scaled back.

The project has also been plagued with problems and in-fighting among the companies tasked with building the network.

Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott, on the other hand, promises a A$30 billion fiber-to-the-node network. Under this plan, high-speed fiber would be laid to streetside “nodes” but the final connection to homes and businesses would rely on Telstra Corp Ltd’s ageing copper wires, with much slower download speeds than fiber.

The Liberal Party says this would provide 25 Mbps minimum by 2016 and 50 Mbps for the “vast majority of households” by 2019.

To read more on this story, click here.

Scoopon gets hit with accusations of cheating

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has levied accusations against online coupon website Scoopon in Federal Court. 

The ACCC has alleged that Scoopon engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and made false and misleading representations to businesses and consumers.

The ACCC alleges that Scoopon:

  • misled consumers regarding their ability to redeem vouchers, their refund rights and the price of goods advertised in relation to some of its deals;
  • that Scoopon told businesses there was no cost or risk involved in running a deal with Scoopon, when a fee was in fact payable to the site, and;
  • that Scoopon misled businesses by claiming that between 20 and 30% of vouchers would not be redeemed, when there was no reasonable basis for this representation.

The ACCC is seeking declarations, injunctions, community service orders, pecuniary penalties and costs in the Scoopon case.

To read more on this story, click here.

Australia’s National Broadband Network could lead to boom for online startups

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

As Australia continues to roll out its $38 billion National Broadband Network, which will bring high-speed internet to almost all the 23 million population of the country, some government higher ups are predicting a boom in online and high tech businesses.

“As the rollout of the NBN continues, the capacity for start-up companies, particularly in the tech and digital sectors, to create game-changing businesses and applications is unprecedented,” said Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, recently.

Currently, online and high-tech start-ups only account for about 0.1% of GDP and 9,500 jobs. But the sector is growing rapidly and a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) suggests it could account for 4% of GDP and 540,000 jobs by 2033.

The rise of young startups has seen them start to populate the ranks of the Business Review Weekly Young Rich List, which ranks the wealthiest people in the country under 41.

The list includes 24 tech and online startup company founders, including: software entrepreneurs Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar at the top; PC Tools founder Simon Clausen at No. 4; serial entrepreneur specialising in online retail sites Ruslan Kogan at No. 8; Bigcommerce founders Mitchell Harper and Eddie Machaalani at No. 10; and freelancer.com founder Matt Barrie at No. 50.

To read more on this story, click here.

Cigarette advertising wars

Friday, April 8th, 2011

If the Federal Government has its way, smokers will soon have their cigarette packets covered in dire health warnings, with a drab olive green colour to complement their…internal organs?

The proposed legislation will only allow the cigarette companies’ brands to be displayed in small logos, rather than the huge industry currently in place in which cigarette makers differentiate between brands using a myriad of imagery and colours.

The cigarette makers are watching the legislation closely, as are other countries around the world. And the federal government may find a fight on their hands, with British American Tobacco spokesman Scott McIntyre saying “The government could end up wasting millions of taxpayer dollars in legal fees trying to defend their decision, let alone the potential to pay billions to the tobacco industry for taking away our intellectual property.”

The legislation is set to be phased in from January 2012, subject to legal challenges.

Watch this space!

View the full article here.