Tips for starting a home-based business

Operating a small business is about more than just being your own boss - it's also about having the management skills, industry knowledge and long-term vision to grow and succeed.

If you're thinking of joining the one million people in Australia who run a business from home, check out these tips to help you get started.

1. Download our Starting a business checklist

Our handy checklist contains a series of questions to guide you through the various stages of your business, including:

  • before you start a business 
  • when you start a business
  • when you buy a business
  • when you run your business.

Download the Starting your business checklist now!

2. Develop a detailed business plan

Thinking through your business idea carefully and taking the time to research and plan your operations can help you to:

  • clearly understand what you want to achieve with your business
  • work out and prioritise your main tasks
  • prepare for any obstacles down the track.

Not sure how to write a plan? Check out our Business plan guides and templates for a head start.

3. Seek government and professional advice

If you're just starting out, it's a great idea to get some expert advice and support. Talking to experienced business advisers, accountants, bank managers, or government advisory services can all be good ways to find business guidance.

Use our Advisory Services search tool now to get in touch with a low-cost government-funded business advisory service near you.

4. Work out what licences and registrations you need

As a small business owner, it can be difficult to work out what licences and registrations you need, and how or where to get them. Using your home as a place of business may also mean you need to comply with particular state, territory and local government regulations.

To help you get started, try the Australian Business License and Information Service (ABLIS). You can get a custom report of the business licenses and registrations that may apply to your business by simply entering the type of business you're starting and your business location.

You can also browse our Registration and licences topic for information about registration for all business types.

5. Start networking

Networking is an important way to keep up-to-date with business trends and to create business opportunities and relationships. If you're operating a business from home, consider joining a business association or attending events related to your business.

To help you get connected, try searching our Events for a business event near you.

6. Set up your premises

To set up a comfortable and safe home business environment, you may need new furniture, office equipment and technology like a phone or internet connection. It's a good idea to first work out your business requirements before purchasing anything.

It's also a good idea to shop around and compare prices to make sure you're getting a good deal. You could also talk to other home-based business owners for advice on setting up a home office.

For tips on creating a safe and energy-efficient work environment in your home, check out our Starting a home-based business page.

7. Set up your finances

Managing your business finances effectively is crucial to a successful business! You'll need to consider things like:

  • how the business set-up in your home can affect your tax deductions
  • whether you want to open separate bank accounts for your business and personal funds.

Read our Business finances topic to help you get started.

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