Melbourne city has an illustrious history of supporting entrepreneurship and small businesses. The bustling city constantly promotes innovation and entrepreneurship in order to continuously build upon their prosperous business environment. If you’re thinking of having your own business, then Melbourne is definitely on the list of best places to start. However, before you even begin your journey, here are five important tips you would need to know.
#1 Research your business
Melbourne is a start-up capital of Australia and more than 83 per cent of all businesses in the City of Melbourne are small businesses. In order to convert an idea into a viable and successful business – it requires a lot of planning together with in depth analysis and data collection. You must ensure that you have all the required permits and registered your business with the authorities!
The City of Melbourne website provides you with the number of businesses that already exist in your sector. It also further elaborates on the number of people who live in the suburb to make it easier for you to identify your target audience.
#2 Registering your business
Once you’ve decided on what type of business you would like to start, you will need to apply for:
- Australian Business Number (ABN);
- Depending on your business structure, a tax file number;
- Australian Company Number (ASIC); and
- Register the business name (ASIC).
When registering your company name, make sure to check if the name you want to register is available. If you’re also planning to have a website then you should check out https://ausregistry.com.au/ to see if your chosen domain name is available.
Registering a business name however, does not give you the rights to the trademark so you should check with https://search.ipaustralia.gov.au/trademarks/search/quick to confirm that the business name is not registered as a trade mark.
If you’re planning to run a small business, you may consider applying for grants to help you get started. The City of Melbourne supports small businesses in taking their first steps in their entrepreneurship journey by providing a plethora of financial grants to get them going. The program introduced, provides financial assistance to the businesses that already have products and services ready to enter the market. It also provides funds with regards to capital improvement or anything from factory upgrades to website development, and specialised equipment or software.
However, not all business are eligible for these grants. They are open to innovative and progressive small businesses currently located or intending to locate within the City of Melbourne.
- You must have 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
- You must have registered your business (See #2)
- You must have a business proposal that is able to proceed without the grant
- Application must be sent complete and include financial statements
If you’re running a franchise, or a large company, you are not eligible to apply. Branches of foreign companies not registered as an Australian company are also not eligible to apply.
Grants categories include:
- Start-ups – Increasing diversity by supporting the establishment of new and innovative small businesses. (Grants up to $30,000)
- Business expansion – Assisting existing businesses that are expanding (Grants up to $30,000)
- Export entry – Encouraging businesses to enter or expand into new overseas markets. (Grants up to $10,000)
- Business support services – Supporting member-based organisations to deliver new initiatives and tangible benefits to their members. (Grants up to $10,000)
#4 Co-working spaces in Melbourne
Co-working spaces offers flexible desks and office space targeted to different types of entrepreneurs – not for profits organisations, freelancers, social entrepreneurs, and start-ups. The benefits of choosing to have a co-working space as an office is that it is within the city and is more affordable as compared to setting up an office. Co-working spaces also provide you with exposure to the different entrepreneurs and innovators with similar goals.
Some notable co-working spaces include:
It’s a corporate office space located across Queen and Market Street in Melbourne’s Central Business District that overlooks the Yarra. So you can be sure to get an incredible view while working there. The space is extremely well equipped with multimedia meeting rooms and fancy technology.
This space is one of the best co-working space for freelancers and startups to get involved and network. It’s an incredibly nurturing space for new startups with boasts an open concept with cool bean bags, a pool table and quirky plants. At Inspire 9 it’s definitely all about being social, networking and non stop office parties!
Rotson Studio is located in Fitzroy with an incredibly polished interior. It’s minimal, light and also very conducive to work in. The team at Rotson is made up of vibrant young entrepreneurs and creatives.
Read more here to find out about the different co-working spaces in Melbourne.
#5 Growing your business
If your business is looking to expand, you may consider Melbourne as a location for your company’s next office. Local businesses are often receptive to giving up equity in exchange for the access to global markets. Visit the Invest Victoria website for a detailed breakdown as to how to go about doing this.
Attracting business investment
The City of Melbourne uses its sister city relationships and the Business Partner Cities network to open doors for business. The Australian Industry Group (AIG), together with The City of Melbourne coordinate business missions to partner cities hosting the annual BPC roundtable meeting. These missions also provide ideal networking opportunities for business owners. Participants will be able to meet key business owners from the different cities.
It is definitely exciting to branch out your business in a new city! However, make sure you do enough research before diving into foreign waters. Always hire a consultant to help you calculate the risks if you’re unsure about you next business adventure.
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