1. Choosing the right business structure

You need to decide if a company suits your needs or if you should use a different business structure. A company is a separate legal entity. By law, a company is treated as a separate person; they are separate from the people who formed it. There are also other benefits that come with owning a company, such as corporate tax rates or limited liability.

2. Choosing a company name

There are a few things you need to consider when choosing a company name. You can only use a name that is not identical to an existing company or business name. You can check that your business name is available by using ASIC's name availability search. If you aren't ready to register your company, but want to make sure your name will be available when you do, you can reserve your company name.

3. How will your company function?

Before registering your company, you need to decide how your company will be governed. Your company can be governed by:

The replaceable Rules

Replaceable rules are in the Corporations Act and are a basic set of rules for managing your company. A company can use replaceable rules if they don't want to have their own constitution.

Constitution

A company can have a written constitution instead of using replaceable rules. Companies must keep a copy of their constitution with their company's records.

Special rules for sole director/member proprietary companies

If a proprietary company has just one officeholder, they don't need to follow replaceable rules or have a constitution. If another director/member is appointed, then replaceable rules automatically apply to the company. This can be changed to a constitution at a later date.

4. Officeholder obligations

If you're an officeholder of a company, you must follow the requirements in the Corporations Act. This includes ensuring company details are up to date, company records and details are maintained and the appropriate fees are paid as required.

5. Getting consent

You must get written consent from the Director(s), Secretary(s), and Member(s). Directors and secretaries must be over 18 years of age.

6. Registering your company

There are two ways in which you can register a company:

7. After your company is registered

After your company is registered, make sure that the company's name is displayed wherever the company conducts business and is open to the public, the ABN number is displayed on any documents that are published and company details are kept up to date.