Business From Home, Work From Home, Home Business Ideas, Software

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Want to run a Business From Home? To Work From Home? Many famous businesses initially started as Home Based Business, have expanded to become significantly larger operations. These include such businesses and people as Apple Computer, started by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak from Steve's garage, Hewlett-Packard, whose original location is now a museum, the HP Garage and other businesses.

Home Based Businesses are an important sector of the Australian business community, with nearly one million people operating a business at or from home. You've decided to go into a new Home Based Business, completed your market research and written your business plan. Now you're ready to take the next step, but where do you begin?

When starting a Home Based Business there are many issues to consider. We've covered the general ones in our running a Business From Home, to Work From Home business guide. Consider the Home Business Ideas on this page before you go into Home Based Business.

When you are ready with your Home Based Business, you will need a good Business Accounting Software , you can get that here on our website, our ShopMate Business Accounting Software just may do the job for your Home Based Business.
You may also brush up and read on Accountancy Theories...

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People intending to use their home as a place of business often have to comply with particular state, territory and local government regulations.

When prospective customers had a business or had it on their mind, traditionally, Softhard Solutions was able to provide them with accounting software (often also hardware) to run their business the way they do the business.

There were, at many times, Softhard Solutions' customers who did not quite have a clear picture of the business they wanted to do or undertake. This page and similar pages are dedicated to such people. Its all tips and 'need to know' about a Home Based Business and what to do before a beginning.

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Government Regulations

These regulations often address the impact your business activities may have on the surrounding area (e.g. pollution, energy use or parking).

Some issues to consider are:

  • Taxation.

  • Employment.

  • Council approval - zoning, signage, health issues and licensing.

  • Home mortgage and rental agreement restrictions.

  • Insurance - ensure you have the correct level to protect yourself.

  • Financial management - arranging finance and setting up systems.

  • Taxation - Capital Gains Tax, deductions for expenses.

  • Location - zoning and redevelopment.

  • Set up - separate your work space from the rest of your home.

A wide range of government assistance is available to new Home Based Businesses. You may also wish to seek the assistance of a solicitor, accountant or Home Based Business adviser.

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Advice & Support

Operating a small business is not just about working for yourself, it's also about having the necessary management skills, industry expertise, technical skills, finance and of course a long-term vision to grow and succeed.

When you're starting up a Home Based Business there's a wide range of government advice and support available. Most state and territory governments provide home-based business kits and fact sheets.

Small Business Field Officers provide practical, on the ground assistance to small businesses across Australia. Business Enterprise Centers also offer a wide range of advice and support for new businesses. You'll find them in most states, the Northern Territory and the ACT.

Networking is an important way to keep up to date with business trends and to create business opportunities and friendships. Join a business association, check newspapers and business publications, and search the Internet to find events relevant to your business.

You should also consider consulting an experienced Home Based Business adviser, accountant or bank manager.

What to do...

  • Check the list of Small Business Field Officers for free general advisory services.

  • Locate your nearest Business Enterprise Center for free advice and support.

  • If you're in a rural area, contact your Area Consultative Committee about government priorities and programs.

  • Find out if you are eligible for a New Enterprise Incentive Scheme .

  • Find out about the ACCC Small Business Program which helps businesses be aware of their responsibilities under the Trade Practices Act.

  • Decide how your Home-based Business will be legally structured.

  • If you choose to be a sole trader, you can trade using your own name or register a business name with the Office of Fair Trading .

  • If your business is a company, your company name needs to be registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

  • Register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) with the Australian Taxation Office. You can register online for an ABN at the Business Entry Point .

  • Register for the relevant taxes, including GST and PAYG. You may also do this via the Business Entry Point.

  • If you intend to employ, obtain information on awards, superannuation policies, workers compensation, PAYG taxes, as well as other relevant employment information.

  • Check on what licences/registrations may be required for your business through the Office of Fair Trading.

  • Check with your local council regarding zoning, health regulations and whether you need to lodge a Development Application or Building Application.

  • Develop an Intellectual Property register for logos, trade marks, patents, copyright and designs. Contact IP Australia for more information.

  • Register your website domain name if you want a strong Internet presence. You need a legitimate business or company name, eg through the Office of Fair Trading, to get a address. You can search for and register a domain name at

  • Consult an experienced Home-based Business adviser, accountant or solicitor.

  • Draw up your Will, especially if you are a sole shareholder/director.

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To run a successful home based business you need to be able to handle a wide variety of issues. Think through the establishment of your business carefully, taking the time to research and plan your operations.

To develop your Home Based Business plan, you need to consider these points about operating from home:

  • Is your home the best location for your business?

  • Can you conduct the type of business you want under local council regulations?

  • What are your legal obligations?

  • Will your Home Based Business allow you to balance your work and family life?

  • What are the town planning requirements of your local government authority?

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Getting started

When you set up your office, you may need new furniture, office equipment and information and communications systems. It's a good idea to shop around, compare prices, and ask for advice from other Home Based Business operators.

If you decide to rent or lease equipment, rather than buy, you may be able to claim the payments as a tax deduction – check the Tax Office website about business deductions.

The way you set up your business in your home may affect your tax deductions. See the Tax Office information on home-based work and deductions.

As you may be spending a lot of time there, make sure your workplace is a pleasant, comfortable and safe environment for you and your clients. Work Cover can provide you with advice about occupational health and safety.

You may need to employ staff or outsource work to contractors and you'll have certain obligations to them. See our section on employing people for more information about their work conditions.

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Registration & licences for home based businesses

Our registration and licences topic has information about registration for all new businesses, whether it's in your home or in an office. You'll find information about how to register business and company names, registration for taxation purposes and where to go to find out about licences and permits.

But if you're using your home as a place of business then specific regulations may govern the impact of your business activities on the surrounding area, such as pollution, energy use and parking. Depending on your type of business, you may need special permits relating to zoning, signage, noise levels or health issues. Check with your local council to find out what restrictions and approvals apply to your business.

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Taxation for home-based business

As with any new business, you'll have a number of tax obligations to comply with when starting up. You may need to register for a Tax File Number, Australian Business Number, Goods and Services Tax, Pay As You Go withholding and Fringe Benefits Tax.

But if you carry on a Home Based Business there are specific tax issues you should know about, especially what expenses you can claim. Two types of expenses that are specific to running a home-based business are:

  • Expenses related to the area of your home used for business.

  • Travel expenses between your home and other business locations.

You may wish to join the Simplified Tax System which is an alternative method of determining taxable income if your small business has straightforward financial affairs.

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Insurance for home based businesses

As a Home Based Business you need to make sure you have the correct level of insurance to protect yourself. One of the most common mistakes made by home-based business operators is to assume that home and contents insurance covers their business risk - in many cases it doesn't.

Insurances to consider are:

  • Public liability cover for persons visiting your business at home (e.g. customers and suppliers).

  • Workers compensation for any employees working from your home.

  • Fire, storm and theft cover for the loss of any stock and equipment.

  • Professional indemnity insurance if you're in a service industry, especially if you're contracting to government.

  • Personal accident or illness.

  • Costs arising from interruption to your business.

  • Marine policy if you send products via freight carriers or post.

It's important to note that many policies don't cover tools of trade, office furniture or computer equipment used for your business, unless you've specifically advised your insurer and they've agreed to cover you.

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Business Tips

Some tips on how to avoid business failure:

  • Don't underestimate the capital you need to start up the business.

  • Understand and keep control of your finances - income earned is not the same as cash in hand.

  • More volume does not automatically mean more profit - you need to get your pricing right.

  • Make sure you have good software for your business , software that provides you with a good reporting picture of all aspects of your business operations.

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