A Quick Guide to Setting Up A Restaurant in Australia

Exciting times are ahead. To get you ready, and save you $$$ dollars and stress to start on the right foot, here is an easy-to-follow playbook of tips.

Choose your business type and structure

In Australia, the four main business structures are sole trader, partnership, company and trust. There are pros and cons to each, so do your homework before deciding.

Types of business include those that are already established, franchises, online, and independent contracting. Business.gov.au has helpful fact sheets for industry research.

Apply for an ABN and register

Registering for an Australian Business Number (ABN) is free, and you can register your business name at the same time. The whole shebang can be done online.
Just because you came up with a great name like Bob’s Beastly Burgers doesn't guarantee you can use it. Search on the ASIC site to make sure it’s available.

You’ll want to register a website name, too. Find info on domain names at AUDA.

Register for taxes and licensing

Tax might be the thing we love to hate, but it’s a reality. Check the tax page of business.gov.au for details about GST, FBT, payroll and other taxes.

While you’re at it, visit ABLIS to see if your business needs any operating permits or licenses.

It's not required by recommended to use an accountant to help set up your legal structure, and to work with a bookkeeper to ensure the accuracy of the business’s financials.

Buy or lease suitable property

Unless you’re operating from home, or as a digital nomad, you’ll likely need some space. Options include leasing or buying commercial property. Now is a great time to talk to an accountant and solicitor.

Check the ATO website for tax implications of owning and leasing commercial property.

Arrange business insurance

You’ll want to protect your business, so research business insurence policies that cover what you'll need. It’s worth getting quotes from different companies. Policies are all different, so make sure you’re not comparing beer with champagne.

A licensed insurance broker can talk to insurance companies on your behalf and help find the best deal. You can check ASIC’s professional services register to make sure yours has a current licence.

Get into the cloud

You’ll want your business tools to be user and customer-friendly. Use cloud-based accounting solutions that meet BAS and TAX requirements, and can integrate with your other software.

For tracking bills and expenses, look for a solution that extracts info from tax invoices and receipts, and pushes it into your accounting program.

If you have staff, you’ll also want software for rostering, payroll and employee communications.

Learn about selling goods and services

Now we’re talking. Visit business.gov.au for info on everything from looking after customers to invoicing and payments.

Customers are looking at new ways to pay for goods and services, example of payment systems include bitcoin, Apple Pay, or Google Pay, eftpos as well as cash and credit cards.

Other options include apps like Liven, that allow customers to pay in app, with inbuilt reward system for customer acquisition and retention.