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'Australia is one of the easiest places to start a business'

How hard is it for migrants to set-up a small business in Australia? SBS Urdu talks to a legal expert to explain the way forward for small and medium entrepreneurship in Australia.

Farhan Rehman, principle lawyer at RSG Lawyers and also an entrepreneur, believes Australia is one of the easiest places to start a business.

For instance, he says, an aspiring entrepreneur can set up an Australian Business Number (ABN) in 15 minutes, free of cost. An ABN is a unique identifier issued by the Australian Business Register which is operated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and is required to run a business in Australia.

Lawfully, every business in Australia requires an ABN. This also applies to selling things on online shopping sites, such as e-Bay.

He explains that both permanent and temporary residents, including international students, can acquire an ABN. However, there may be some restrictions, for instance working rights on visa conditions.

Mistakes to avoid: Do you have a plan?

Mr Rehman says making sure that a business’s foundations are strong is crucial to its success.

He puts a business model on top of the list of things to do first. Through that, he adds, one can do their SWOT analysis to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business completion and project planning.

“Mostly they make the mistake of starting first and then coming back to a business plan once they face a loss.”

Farhan Rehman says the secret to a successful business in a regional area lies in developing deep relationships with the people.

He explains that the ATO website has business plan templates that can be accessed for free and are extremely helpful.

“If you spend a few hours on it, you can draft it yourself,” he adds.

He says a business can be set up with a minimum investment. For instance, an online marketing business or similar that does not require an office space and can be run from home.

Businesspeople having meeting in office
Businesspeople having meeting in office

Small business in small towns

To a question about setting up successful businesses in regional areas, Rehman replied with the words: trust and familiarity.

Rehman, who grew up in the regional town of Wagga Wagga in NSW before moving to Melbourne, says the secret to a successful business in a regional area lies in developing deep relationships with the people.

“The difference between a [metropolitan] city and a regional area is that there are less people in regional areas. These places are strongly community-oriented; most people know each other and thus have a trust-based business culture.”

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