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Sourcing products

Whether you need wholesale stock or raw manufacturing materials, you need reliable suppliers who will meet your business needs. If you can’t get the stock you need at the price and time that you need it, you’ll have trouble providing your customers with quality products at competitive prices.


Importing goods from overseas can help you source a wide range of products that might not be available in Australia. Whether you use these goods in your business or manufacturing process, or sell them on to your customers, importing can provide you with more options for your business.

Before you import goods, you should understand the:

  • costs associated with importing such as freight, taxes, and insurance, and weigh up if they’re worth it for your business
  • customs requirements and quarantine requirements
  • labelling requirements for imported goods
  • banned and restricted goods which can’t be imported or need written permission from the Australian Government to import into Australia.

Did you know?

If you import certain products, such as alcohol, tobacco or fuel, you will be required to pay customs duty.

Find out more:


There are a number of legal, operational, and business issues relevant to the manufacturing industry. These may apply to you if you transform materials or components into new products as outlined in our manufacturing industry fact sheet.

For manufacturing information in your state, visit:

Selling products

There are a number of things to consider when selling goods. You need to work out the price you’ll charge for your goods or services. You might also like to look into exporting your product overseas.

If you sell alcohol, tobacco, or fuel or petroleum products, you might have to pay a tax on these products called an excise duty. You also need an excise licence to produce, store or manufacture these goods in Australia.


Setting prices is important for any business as success can depend on being able to cover your costs and make a profit.

Check out these helpful links on how to set prices:

Price-gouging during COVID-19

In this time of COVID-19, be careful that you are not setting unreasonably inflated prices for your product or service, especially if it’s critical to health or safety. Whilst you are free to set the prices of your products and services as you see fit, Australian Consumer Law does protect consumers from unconscionable conduct where a business’s conduct is too harsh and goes against good conscience.


Exporting can be an opportunity for your business to expand into new overseas markets. If you’re thinking about exporting, you should develop an export plan.

More helpful information on exporting:

Find out more:

Managing your stock

While it’s important to make sure you have enough stock for your business, having a lot of stock on hand can be costly when you take into account things such as storage, insurance, stock losses and the deterioration of stock.

Managing your business inventory (stock) will help you maintain a good level of stock to meet customer demands while balancing that with the cost of storing that stock.

  • When buying stock, you should think about the shelf life of the goods, the minimum level of stock you need on hand and how long it will take for reordered stock to arrive.
  • If you stock food or other perishable items, you need to sell the older stock first so it doesn't deteriorate or spoil when you are storing it.

Did you know?

If you are thinking about using stock from your business for personal use, there are some tax rules you should be aware of.

Stock control

In order to manage your stock, you need to keep track of the stock you sell and set up a stock control process. To track your stock, consider putting in place a manual or computer-based stock control system:

  • Manual systems are best suited to businesses that only need a small amount of stock. There are a number of methods you could use, such as keeping a stock book. Your system should easily allow you to know how much stock you have on hand, work out when you need to reorder stock, and tell you information about each item’s value, location and the date it was received.
  • Computer based programs can help make managing your business stock levels easier and may also include a scanner and point of sale machine.

More information on stock control:


Some businesses need to complete a stocktake at the end of each income year (or as close as possible). You’ll need to do a stocktake if either your:

  • business turnover for the income year is over $2million
  • stock level increases or decreases by more than $5,000 from the beginning to the end of the income year (see how you can estimate the stock value).

The purpose of a stocktake is to work out the value of your stock because an increase or decrease can be treated as part of your income or claimed as a deduction.

  • An increase in your trading stock’s value over the financial year is included in income.
  • A decrease is a deduction you can claim.

You can find more information about stocktakes on the ATO website.