Choose your business structure

Before starting a business, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type of business structure and decide which best suits your needs.

Your business structure can affect the safety of your personal assets and taxation obligations. A change in ownership of an ongoing business may require a new registration to be made depending on the type of structure the business operates. There are several business structures, the first four are the most widely used in Australia.

  • Sole trader – an individual trading on their own
  • Partnership – a number of people or entities running a business together, but not as a company.
  • Company – a legal entity separate from its owners.
  • Trust – an entity that holds property or income for the benefit of others
  • Co-operative – member-owned business organisation with at least five members
  • Incorporated association – an entity usually established for recreational, cultural or charitable purposes.

Visit the Small Business Development Corporation and the Australian Taxation Office for more information about choosing your business structure.