COVID-19: Find information and support for business on our coronavirus page. If your business is based in Victoria, you can find information about business restrictions on Business Victoria’s website.
×

Decide if a company structure is the right structure for you


Before you make any formal changes, it’s important to know if a company structure is the right structure for your evolving business. These steps can help you decide if a company structure is right for your business:

1. Ensure you know what a company is and what’s involved when you register.

2. Understand the different costs and legal reporting requirements for sole traders vs. companies.

3. Read about the tax differences between a sole trader and company.

Not sure?

If you still aren't sure, use our Help me decide tool to check if a company structure best suits your business needs.

You should consider seeking professional legal and tax advice before you make changes to your business.

Before you register


You’ll need to prepare and do things like:

  • consider the structure of your company and how it will operate
  • decide on the officeholders (directors and secretaries)
  • choose a company name (that is, the company’s legal name)
  • understand your legal obligations as a director and shareholder.

Find more on the steps to starting a company.

Set up your company


Once you decide to set up a company structure, you will need to do 3 key actions.

1. Register your company

You can register your company through the Business Registration Service. This service allows you to apply for an Australian company number (ACN), company name, Australian business number (ABN), business name, and other key business registrations at the same time.

Register your company through the Australian Government's Business Registration Service.

2. Transfer assets

After your company is registered, you should transfer any licences and assets (including trademarks and other IP) to the new company.

3. Cancel your ABN

If you’ve been using your sole trader ABN to do business, you’ll need to cancel it. You cannot transfer your sole trader ABN to your new company.

Find out how to cancel your ABN.

Ongoing company compliance


As a company, you’ll need to comply with additional reporting obligations. Company obligations include:

  • record keeping
  • lodgement of financial records
  • company registrations and fee payments
  • notification of changes to company details, including updating ABN details on the Australian Business Register (ABR).

You can find more detail about company officeholder's legal responsibilities on the ASIC website.

Read next

Learn about the different business structures.