Starting a home-based business

Once you have your business plan finalised and are ready to set up your home-based business, you may have a seemingly endless list of things to do. To make sure that you're ready for the next step, consider the following:

Setting up your premises

When you set up your office, you may need new furniture, office equipment and information and communications systems. It's a good idea to assess your business requirements first, shop around, compare prices, ask for advice from other home-based business operators and buy only what you need.

If you decide to rent or lease equipment rather than buy, you may be able to claim the payments as a tax deduction – see the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website about business income and deductions.

Consider installing a dedicated phone line for your business to ensure all business calls are answered professionally. Your phone service provider may have services that cater for the needs of a home-based businesses.

You should also protect your electronic data by regularly backing up business information and storing a copy in an external location.

Setting up your finances

The way you set up your business in your home may affect your tax deductions. See the ATO information on home-based business.

It's important to set up and maintain separate bank accounts for your business and personal funds. This will make record keeping easier and provide a more professional image. Find out what business services your bank offers and do your research to make sure their services are competitive.

Read our Finance topic to help you get started setting up your finances.

Setting up your working conditions

You'll be spending a lot of time there, so make sure your workplace is a pleasant, comfortable and safe environment for you and your clients. Safe Work Australia can provide you with advice about Workplace health and safety.

The Your Energy Savings website has a Guide for home-based businesses with information on practical and realistic steps that you can take to reduce your energy costs when running a home-based business.

You may need to employ staff or outsource work to contractors and you'll have certain obligations to them. See our topic on Hiring for more information about work conditions.

What to do...

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