Are you looking to start a small business? Find out how APM can help you in your journey

Do you have a dream of starting your own business?

Does your business idea allow for more structure in your life and give you the freedom and independence to create the lifestyle you dream of?

Starting a small business is an exciting and inspiring time.

If you are looking for a little help with getting started, APM can help you with our Self-Employment Assistance.

APM enables better lives by providing global human services.

Every year, more than 2 million people benefit from our services.

Self-Employment Assistance is one of the services we offer to help people set up and expand their small businesses.

Starting a small business is challenging, and ensuring you are prepared is essential.

Things will almost certainly go differently than planned, and you must adapt and change as you move along.

This is why being as prepared as possible with a business structure is essential.

Naturally as with all things in life, there will be surprises – but your preparation will help you handle everything.

What is a small business?

According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), a small business entity is defined as a business with an aggregated turnover below $10 million for tax purposes.

Alternatively, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) suggests that a small business is a business that employs less than 20 employees.

Small businesses can operate as companies, partnerships, trusts, or sole proprietorships (a business owned by one person).

What are the steps to starting a small business?

Make sure you are eligible to start a business or company

You can check eligibility requirements here. This is an important step to ensure that everything is okay to move forward.

Write your business plan

In order for your business to succeed, you need to have a business plan. An organisation's structure, operations, and growth are outlined in this guide.

Using it will help you persuade people to invest in your company or work with you.

Consider funding

Does your business need capital to get started?

Often a new business needs capital to get off the ground.

It's a good idea to consider your business expenses in advance and estimate any start-up costs.

This way, you can see if you can raise the money required with your finances or if you will need to make a financial plan to raise some funds for your new business.

Consider location

Consider your potential customer base and consult your market research to decide on a location apt for a successful business.

Is your target market likely to use social media or shop via an e-commerce store?

In this case, you may be able to start a digital home-based business.

However, if your customers require physical or office space, this may be something to consider.

Business structure selection

As mentioned earlier, a small business can operate under multiple structures.

Businesses most commonly structure themselves as sole traders, partnerships, trusts and companies.

The process of registering a business name

Names or titles under which a company or individual conducts business are called business names.

Once you have picked the name, it's time to register your business.

Complete some market research

A market study will tell you whether your idea can become profitable.

Doing so lets you find out what type of customers you could have and what businesses are already in your area.

Then you can identify your business's competitive advantage using that information.

Apply for any licenses or permits you may need

Licenses and permits will vary based on your business field and local council laws.

Ensure you do your research to make sure right from the early stages you are a legal business.

Open a business bank account

Opening a business bank account will help you to organise your finances.

This will also allow small business owners to obtain a business credit card, making it easier for taxes and track expenses in the future.

In addition, you can use your employer identification number for federal and state tax purposes.

How can APM help support me in starting my small business?

You can benefit from Self-Employment Assistance by receiving assistance in the following areas:

  • Ideas for business should be discussed in a workshop
  • Learn how to create a business plan and develop your business skills
  • Achieve accreditation in small business training
  • We can help find you a business coach who understands your industry and can help you succeed

We can still offer support even if you already operate your small business.

These services can help business owners by developing a business plan, accessing accredited training, performing a business health check, and accessing business advice.

Who is eligible for Self-Employment Assistance with APM?

There are a few considerations for eligibility for Self-Employment Assistance.

Check the dot points below to see if you qualify for this assistance.

If you don't qualify for Self-Employment Assistance, APM offers various support services – call us at 1300 006 347, and we can discuss the support available for you.

To be considered eligible for Self-Employment Assistance with APM, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are a job seeker and are not currently employed or studying greater than 25 hours per week - you do not need to be receiving income support payments.
  • To attend Exploring Self-Employment Workshops and Training Options, you must be at least 15 years old and eligible to work in Australia.
  • To access Small Business Coaching, you must be at least 18 years old and eligible to work in Australia.
  • You must not be prohibited by law from working in Australia.
  • You are not an overseas tourist on a working holiday visa or an overseas student currently studying in Australia.
  • You can participate in Self-Employment Assistance training and work full-time in the proposed business.
  • You are not an undischarged bankrupt.
  • You have not participated in NEIS's Self-Employment Assistance or Small Business Assistance in the past year.
  • Any other person or persons that the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business advises as being non-eligible in writing from time to time

If you have any further questions about your business idea, contact APM for all the support you need. Call 1300 006 347 to speak to a friendly member of our team.