Wed. Jul 10th, 2024
Business in Australia as an international student

Many have this question in mind that, can they start their own business in Australia as an international student? So the answer to this question is- YES! But then how to proceed with it and where to start from?

Don’t worry; I have all the solutions for your queries. You just need to hang on till the end and read the blog to get a complete idea about starting a business as an international student.

There’s no denying that starting a new business as an international student can be a lot of work. But, starting up a business in Australia as an international student is still achievable.

Before you start a company, there are several things that you should keep in mind. 

Things to keep in mind before starting a business in Australia as an international student

1. Identify the problem you’ll be solving: 

First, is that what problem will you be solving? Every successful business provides a solution to a problem. It doesn’t have to be a life-or-death problem, but you need to know that people will be willing to pay for your product or service to improve their lives in some way. If you can’t offer a solution, your business may not succeed.

2. Research existing competition: 

Then, look for the competition around you. Competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s important to be aware of other companies operating in the same area. Take some time to learn about their strengths and weaknesses. What can YOU do better? How can you differentiate yourself? Do research on it before you actually start your business.

3. Assess your time and financial resources:

You know that starting a business will not be free of cost, either in terms of time or money. You will need to analyze your financial resources first, whether it is sufficient or not; if not, then from where the funds are going to be raised.

4. Evaluate your skills and resources: 

Having a great idea is important, but do you have the skills and resources to bring it to life? Creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) can help you test your business concept. An MVP is a basic version of your product or service that you can use to gather feedback from early customers and attract potential investors. It will help you to test the market, identify areas for improvement, and focus on the most important aspects of your business which might have not drawn your attention yet.

Steps to start a business

STEP 1: Check the availability of your business name

So the first step is to check the availability of your business name. Ensure that the name you want to use is not already taken. You can search for the name on your State Website and see if the domain name is available. It’s a good idea to purchase the URL even if you don’t plan to create a website. Creating a professional email account using your domain name. This will help you establish trust with your customers.

STEP 2: Register your business

Second step is to get your business registered. In Australia, you can register your business through the Business Registration Service. This will allow you to apply for an Australian company number (ACN), Australian business number (ABN), and other important business registrations at the same time.

Talking about ABN. You need an ABN to legally start a business in Australia. It’s a unique 11-digit number that identifies your business to the government. Getting an ABN will help you to register your business name, identify your business to others, claim taxes, and access credits.

ABN is very important if you are thinking to start a business.

It will:

– Legally verify your business identity and credibility.

– It will enable you to apply for important services through the ABN online application process. These services include creating a myGov account, properly registering for taxes, and applying for a national business name or Australian domain name to represent your new business.

STEP 3: Create a Partnership Operating Agreement

Create a partnership operating agreement. It tells you about the rights and obligations of company members, including rules for running the business, tax payment procedures, and profit/loss distribution.

The Operating Agreement will also list the members of your company and their ownership stakes. Even if you’re the only owner, it is good to have an operating agreement.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account

Having a separate business checking account is good for maintaining liability protection. Using a personal bank account for your business can lead to personal liability issues in court.

Contact different banks to know their requirements, such as minimum initial deposit, minimum balance requirements, and monthly maintenance fees. Make sure to close any existing sole trader business accounts and open a new one in the company’s name.

STEP 5: Obtain necessary business licenses and permits

Get the necessary business licenses and permits. These will be needed to operate your business legally in Australia.

Now, the licensing details vary from state to state, and there may be additional short classes required. Fees will vary based on the type of license. Contact the local agencies in your business’s location to learn more about them.

STEP 6: Understand your tax obligations

Sole traders and limited partnerships have different tax and reporting obligations in Australia.

As a sole trader, you must lodge an annual tax return. Most important, companies need to lodge their own tax return and pay income tax. The taxes and superannuation you will need to pay and report will depend on your business activities.

STEP 7: Obtain a business phone number

Then get a business phone number. Consequently, it will be helpful in forwarding calls to your cell phone or configuring it as required.

STEP 8: Hiring employees

Lastly, if you plan to hire employees, make sure to follow the legal requirements. Verify that new employees are eligible to work in Australia, report them as new hires to the state, provide workers’ compensation insurance, withhold employee taxes, and display compliance posters in your workspace. For further information, visit your state’s Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation website for more information.


Therefore, it’s important to remember that as your business grows, you may need to make changes to how it operates. This could involve adjusting your business structure, hiring employees, or outsourcing some specific tasks.

As you finish your studies, your visa status may change. If you decide to stay in Australia, it’s a good idea to consult with a migration lawyer to discuss any visa-related decisions. With proper planning and preparation, starting a business as an international student is not only possible but also rewarding.

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