Business Structures and Advice

Consider your trading structure
If you are a business owner, have you taken time to consider whether your current trading structure is still right for you?
If you are looking to start a business, the most important decisions you will make is choosing the right legal structure.

Want advice on business structures?

There are broadly speaking four structures through which you can operate your business:
Sole trader?

Types of Business Structures

Sole trader A sole trader is the simplest business structure. The structure is inexpensive to set up because there are few legal and tax formalities. If you operate your business as a sole trader, you trade on your own and control and manage the business. You are legally responsible for all aspects of the business – debts and losses cannot be shared.

Partnership For tax purposes, a partnership is an association of people who carry on a business as partners or receive income jointly. A partnership is relatively inexpensive to set up and operate. A formal partnership agreement is common, but not essential. If you operate your business as a partnership, control or management of the business is shared. Income and losses are shared among the partners. Each partner is responsible for the debts of the partnership, even if you did not directly incur or cause the debt.

Company An incorporated company is a distinct legal entity, regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). A company is a complex business structure, with higher set-up costs and administrative costs because of additional reporting requirements.

Trust A trust is an obligation imposed on a person – a trustee – to hold property or assets (such as business assets) for the benefit of others. These others are known as beneficiaries. Setting up a trust can be expensive, as a formal deed is required and there are formal yearly administrative tasks for the trustee to undertake. A trust deed outlines how the trust is to operate.

How can Liberty Wealth Group help:

Liberty Wealth Group can discuss with you the different types of business structures pointing out the advantages and disadvantages of each so that you can make an informed decision for your business.

We can advise of the Tax Implications (Income Tax, FBT and CGT) of each structure but importantly we can also discuss with you the Asset Protection issues related to each structure.

Other factors to consider includes:
Start up costs and ongoing costs
Succession planning
Research the industry
What experience do you have
Who are your customers
What staff do you need
What business structure would be suitable
Consider a business and marketing plan
Estimate your expenses
Complete a cash flow analysis
Check for financing the business
Is a grant available
Apply for the required registrations and licences
If you need a business name apply for registration
What insurance do you need
Decide on a computer accounts package
Understand your tax obligations
Ease of understanding and ability to comply