Before changing your structure
Before you decide to restructure your business, consider the reasons why you are changing and what you are aiming to achieve with your new business structure.
Different structures have different legal, tax and compliance obligations, so it's important to understand the differences between each before you decide if changing business structures is the right move for your business.
Steps to consider before changing your structure
1. Review your structure
Choosing the right business structure is an important decision, so you need to investigate each option carefully to decide which best suits your needs.
Changing your business structure can be either a planned decision, or due to factors out of your control. It may be that your business partner is retiring and you can't find a person to take their place, or you may be growing your business by bringing in more investors. Whatever the case, it's important to know your legal, tax and reporting obligations before you change your business structure.
Read Common reasons for changing business structures to better understand and consider the reasons for your change in structure.
2. Understand the differences between each structure
Each business structure has different obligations when starting and running your business. Read Things to consider when restructuring for key questions to ask yourself before deciding to change your business structure.
Read our Sole trader to a company section if you're a sole trader considering moving to a company business structure to understand the differences and your legal obligations.
3. Seek advice before changing
Speak to a professional business adviser, solicitor or accountant to seek advice regarding your business and personal circumstances. Browse our Advisory Services for low-cost business advisers near you.
4. Make plans
Review and update your business plan, marketing plan, and succession plan to ensure you consider your business goals and objectives before deciding to change your business structure. Planning out your business restructure is more likely to ensure its success.
If you are planning to make significant changes to your business, remember to also update your marketing plan to reflect changes to your advertising materials, such as business cards, signage and logos.
Download our free Business planning templates and guides to help you get started!
What to do…
- Visit our Registrations topic for information on which agencies to contact with your changes.
- Visit the Choosing your business structure page on the Australian Taxation Office website for more information on how a change in business structure can affect your tax obligations.
- Contact the Australian Securities & Investments Commission if you wish to form a company.
- Contact IP Australia before you change your logo or update your registered trade marks. Phone IP Australia on 1300 651 010 for further information.
- Review your corporate governance structure when making changes to your business structure.
- Read ASIC's Guide for Small Business Directors' for more information on your director responsibilities if you're changing to a company structure.
- Consult a business adviser, accountant or solicitor for advice.