Types of Business Entity in Australia in 2023
At the beginning of a new firm, choosing a correct business structure is crucial because it may influence the tax implications and reporting obligations in the future of the company.
Australia allows a wide range of legitimate firm structures, offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to select a set of advantages that are essential for
their specific business circumstances. When establishing a business structure, consideration should be given to elements like the number of employees who will be employed by the company, what the company will produce, how much revenue the company is projected to generate, and the planned expansion of the company.
When a business is incorporated in Australia, you can select among the most common legal entities, including, trusts, partnerships, sole proprietorships, proprietary companies, and public companies.
Through this article, we will be examining the distinct types of business entity in Australia and even the pros & cons of each.
Different Types of Business Entity in Australia
Picking the right type of business structure that skillfully suits your requirements and objectives is crucial. The most standard types of legal entity in Australia are companies, sole traders, partnerships, and trusts.
1. Company Business Structure
A solid business entity is established when an entrepreneur enlists their company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). However, companies can also be complex and expensive to set up and maintain, and there are strict legal and financial requirements that must be met.
The company then separates from the native business owner as a distinct lawful entity. This implies that the business itself is capable of owning assets and concluding agreements with third parties autonomously.
A company is a very ordinary type of business entity in Australia operated by numerous entrepreneurs.
Pros and Cons of the Company
- Firms can be easily transferred by selling shares, making it easier to transfer ownership of the company.
- Decreased accountability for the firm’s losses and expenses.
- Compared to greater marginal tax rates, company tax rates are significantly lower.
- Funds are simpler to obtain.
- It provides a clear separation between the ownership and management of the company.
- A firm could be complex and expensive to set up and maintain.
- Operating as a company can be more expensive
- Firms are subject to increased regulation, which must comply with the Corporations Act 2001.
2. Sole Trader Business Structure
In Australia, forming a sole proprietorship is a simple procedure. Just like other business structures, a sole trader doesn’t have to enrol their entity with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
If your firm is anticipated to have an annual revenue of $75,000 or above, you will eventually have to enrol for Goods and Services Tax (GST) and get an Australian Business Number (ABN).
As a sole proprietor, you have total authority over the company and are entitled to all earnings. You are fully liable for any obligation or damages that the company suffers. Additionally, you are accountable for any civil cases brought against the company directly.
Despite these risks, many small businesses in Australia choose to operate as sole traders due to the simplicity and flexibility of this business structure. A solo trader is apparently comprehended as the best types of legal entity in Australia.
Pros and Cons of solo traders in Australia
- A sole proprietorship is reasonably easy to set up.
- Fewer compliance requirements compared to other business structures.
- You have complete control over your business.
- Operating as a sole trader generally incurs lower costs compared to other businesses.
- Sole traders may be eligible for a range of tax benefits.
- In a sole proprietorship, losses, and obligations are solely your responsibility.
- It can be difficult to raise capital for your business, as you cannot sell shares to investors.
- Difficulty to obtain business loans.
3. Partnership Business Structure
Partnerships in Australia are governed by the Partnership Act 1958 (Cth) and are relatively simple and flexible to set up. However, each member has a share in the profits and losses of the business and is privately liable for the losses and obligations of the partnership.
Partners can also be held liable for the actions of other partners, so it is important to choose your partners carefully and have a clear agreement in place outlining the terms of the partnership.
A partnership is eventually considered one of the best types of business entity in Australia.
Pros and Cons of partnership company in Australia
- Each partner is responsible for a share of the business operations.
- Partners can pool their resources, skills, and knowledge, making it easier to start and grow the business.
- Partners can contribute money, property, or other assets to the business, providing a way to raise capital for the business.
- They can work together to take better judgments on the firm’s future plans and goals.
- Each partner is liable for the partnership’s obligations and responsibilities on their own.
- If a partnership can’t settle its losses then the assets of the partners may be in trouble.
- Partnerships can be vulnerable to disputes between partners, which can negatively impact the business and its operations.
4. Trust Business Structure
In Australia, trusts are commonly used for various purposes, including estate planning, wealth management, and business operations. In this type of legal framework, a trustee manages finances or ownership on account of beneficiaries.
If not handled carefully, then the trusts can be complicated, costly, and time-consuming, and even there are strict rules around the management of trusts in Australia.
However, it includes tax planning opportunities, protection of assets, and the ability to pass on wealth to future generations. Trust is one of the distinct types of legal entity in Australia that can be operated easily.
Pros and Cons of Trust
- Trusts are normally exempt from paying taxes.
- Flexibility in how revenues are distributed to recipients.
- Decreased personal liability for any business losses and obligations.
- Wealth can be passed down to succeeding generations through the use of trusts.
- Establishing and maintaining trusts can be difficult and costly.
- The trust’s assets are under the trustee’s management.
- Conflicts can arise between the trustee and the beneficiaries.
Book end-to-end experts consultation with Odint company formation experts
Australian business formation is quick and simple, taking only a few days as long as the necessary preliminary documentation is completed. A small amount of Australian dollars is all that is needed to get started when registering a new firm with the Australian Business Registrar.
Eventually, operating as a company in Australia has its pros and disadvantages, and it is important to carefully consider before choosing the right types of legal entity in Australia.
It is best advised to consult with a professional expert from Odint Consultancy to help you choose the suitable types of business entity in Australia. Contact us today.
Yes, a company in Australia can change its ownership structure by issuing new shares or buying back existing shares.
The profits of a partnership in Australia are usually divided among the partners according to the terms of the partnership agreement.
Yes, a sole trader in Australia can have staff. However, the sole trader is responsible for paying the wages, superannuation, and any other employment-related obligations.
Yes, a trust may sign an agreement and possess property in Australia.
The benefits of conducting a business as a partnership in Australia include the ability to pool resources and expertise, and the sharing of profits between the partners.
The trustee of a trust in Australia is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the beneficiaries.
Azhar Ansari is a company formation specialist with 8+ years of expertise in international business. Financial planning, risk management, and other related areas.