The Tyro Blog

15 October 2021 - 5 min read

Business Strategies

4 steps to take before starting a business in NSW

Starting a business is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming with all the moving pieces that need to be fulfilled before you get going. Requirements can differ from state to state, so we’ve compiled a list of the steps budding entrepreneurs need to take if they’re looking to start a business in NSW.

Before you start a business in NSW

First things first, you need to evaluate if you’re ready to start a business. While this may seem like an easy answer, several factors need to be considered before taking the plunge.

Do you have the right skillset? Do you have the time to put into the business? Do you have access to the necessary resources it will take to get going?

Next, you’ll need to analyse your business idea and consider its potential and viability – and don’t hold back. Some questions to ask yourself at this stage include:

  • Is there a genuine want or need for my product/service in the market?
  • How difficult will it be to develop my idea?
  • Is my idea financially viable?
  • How will I protect my idea?
  • Who are my competitors?
  • What’s my backup plan?

Pondering these questions will not only help you identify if your idea is worth executing but will form a solid foundation on which to build a detailed business plan later if you decide it’s a goer.

Before you register a business in NSW, you’ll need to determine if your activities are that of a business or hobby, as there are different tax, insurance, and legal obligations depending on which category your activity is classified as. You can find out which one you fall under here.

Service NSW also offers a handy business guides web page to help you navigate general or industry-specific business needs and requirements such as licenses, permits, or certificates here.

Steps for starting a business in NSW

Once you’ve given yourself the green light, it’s time to get serious. Before you start your business in NSW, there are four important steps you need to follow.

1. Create a business plan

A business plan will be the backbone of your business; it should include your vision and mission, branding, market research, competitive edge, financials, and legal and regulatory requirements. If you’re not sure how to start, you can utilise a business plan template to help you get started.

2. Choose a business structure

There are five business structures to choose from when starting a business in NSW.

Sole trader

This structure is the simplest and cheapest to set up, as you are the sole manager of your business. Although you ‘trade’ on your own, you can still hire employees.


A company is a legal entity that’s separate from you. If you opt for a company structure, you’ll need to register on the Australian Government Business Registration Service.


A partnership is when individuals carry out business activities together with the view of making money.


This structure involves a trustee (an individual or company) carrying out business for the benefit of beneficiaries.


A co-operative is a democratic organisation owned and controlled by its members.


Associations are a group of members set up for social, sporting, community, or charitable purposes. An association can choose to be either incorporated and become a separate legal entity from its members, or unincorporated in which the members act together and remain informal.

3. Complete the necessary paperwork

To start a business in NSW, you’ll need to register for regulatory identification and documentation. Depending on your structure, this can include:

  • Australian Business Number (ABN) register: this is a unique 11-digit code that identifies your business. While not mandatory, having an ABN allows you to claim Goods and Services Tax (GST) credits, energy grants credits, and obtain a domain name
  • Tax File Number (TFN): companies, trusts, partnerships, and other organisations such as associations and co-operatives require a business TFN, while sole traders require a personal TFN
  • Business name: a business name is the title or name under which a person, or other legal entity, carries on business
  • GST: this is only required if your income exceeds $75,000

4. Set up shop

Once you register a business in NSW, you can move on to leasing a business premises, securing licenses and permits, and employing workers; and, if necessary, setting up a payments solution (lucky for you, we’ve got one that you can use).

Leasing a business premises

Finding a place to operate is essential for retail and commercial businesses. You can get help with leasing a business premises here.

Licenses and permits

The licenses and permits you need to operate legally will be unique to your industry and location. Find out which ones you require.

Employing workers

If you’re hiring staff, you’ll need to conform with Fair Work requirements as well as health and safety laws and insurance policies.

Ready to take the leap?

If you want to start a business in NSW, make sure you are ready and have the means to get your business off the ground before you take the plunge. Once you’re ready to start accepting payments a Tyro EFTPOS solution can help you streamline your payments and banking needs. Visit or call 1300 00 TYRO (8976) to learn more.

The information has been collated by Tyro for information purposes only and does not constitute advice. The inclusion of links does not imply endorsement or support by Tyro of any of the linked information, services, products, or providers. Tyro does not accept any responsibility for any errors, omissions or reliability of such content and any use thereof is solely at the user’s risk. Please undertake your own assessment before relying on it.