Starting a small business

Have you ever wanted to work for yourself? Starting a new business is a big challenge, but it can be very rewarding too. There are many government resources to help you start a business, from checklists and templates to formal training programs. Find out more about starting your business below.


I want to start my own business

Starting a small business is an exciting opportunity, but it is not easy. It requires good financial management practices such as sufficient capital, not using business funds for personal use, managing costs and anticipating rising costs. Statistics show that only one third of small businesses succeed through the first three years of operation – but there is support available to you to maximise your chances of success.

First steps

The best place to start is our Support for self-employment page. This page contains information to help you start your own business, including:

  • Information about your obligations and tax responsibilities;
  • SelfStart, an online hub to support you through the early stages;
  • Mentoring and business support; and
  • The Self-Employment Assistance Program, which can help you turn your business idea or existing small business into a viable business. The program allows you to choose the level of support that meets your needs and the needs of your small business.

The website is a comprehensive resource for anyone thinking of starting a business. This website covers all aspects of starting a business from start to end, covering topics such as:

The website provides a business plan template, the Advisor Finder - to locate government-funded business advisory services located in your area, and general tools and resources.

National Small Business Support Line

If you have an existing business, the National Small Business Support Line is available to small business owners. The Support Line acts as a first point of contact for owners wanting to improve their business sustainability and help better manage their business. Call 13 28 46 (select option 1)


You may want to consider undertaking small business training before or after you start a business. Visit the Your Career website for the most up-to-date information on training courses for school leavers, students, apprentices, and employers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

The Government’s Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) offers a free online education program designed to help small businesses learn more about their rights and obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.