Business FAQ

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Our business advisors have answered some business FAQs. Contact us if we can help further

Yes, Quarles BFS has over 40 years’ experience in helping Perth businesses get started and growing to be successful ventures. We review your individual situation, your idea, help you to assess the market and then put together strategy’s to ensure your financial success.

Check out: The Ultimate Guide to Starting a New Business in 2018

You must register for GST if:

  • Your business  has a GST turnover of $75 000 or more
  • Your non-profit organisation has a GST turnover of $150 000 per year or more
  • You provide taxi or limousine travel for passengers in exchange for a fare as part of your business, regardless of your GST turnover
  • You want to claim fuel tax credits for your business or enterprise.

If your business or enterprise doesn’t fit into one of the above categories, registering for GST is optional. However, if you choose to register, you generally must stay registered for at least 12 months.

Businesses structures can and often are changed after a business has been set up. Some reasons you may choose to change your business structure is:

  • Change in management.
  • Change in ownership.
  • Financial reasons.
  • Operational reasons.
  • Downsizing or upsizing.
  • Asset protection.

Every business is different and ensuring you understand the legal obligations various business structures will have on your business is important. If you’re thinking about changing your business structure, get in touch with the experts today.

Check out: The Complete Guide to Australian Business Structures

Now you have done your research and know how your business is going to be run, the next step is planning. The first part of your planning should be writing your business plan.

A business plan is essentially a formal, but live, document that outlines your businesses goals, reasons they are attainable and how you plan to achieve those goals. It can be intimidating especially if you have never written one. However, it does not have to be.

Just download this simple FREE Business Plan Template Guide.

One of the most common things that lead to the failure of a new small business is lack of financial understanding. It is understandable that in the early days you may opt to handle your business’ finances in an effort to minimise costs. However, this does not excuse poor finance management.

It is your responsibility as a business owner to either have the right financial tracking tools in place to track your profits, losses, sales, stock and cash flow, or otherwise hire a professional to do so.

If you are opting to complete your books yourself for now make use of helpful templates like the ones below.

Download Cash Flow Forecasting Template

Download Financial Statement Template

Depending on what market sector your business will operate in and what products or services you plan to seel there may be a variety of different registrations you will need. However, no matter the type of business you plan to run, all businesses operating in Australia require an Australian Business Number (ABN) and Tax File Number (TFN).

The Australian Business and Licences Information Service (ABLIS) is an invaluable resource when determining exactly which registrations, licences and permits you require to operate.

Insurance is something that most people try their best to avoid dealing with in their personal life, and it is no different with most business owners. Most owners set up the minimum insurance with a provider but might not have done the necessary research prior.

The industry your business will be operating in will heavily influence exactly which and how many insurances you will require. Some insurances you may need to purchase are:

  • Workers Compensation Insurance
  • Motor Vehicle Third Party Personal Insurance
  • Building & Contents Insurance
  • Assets & Revenue Insurance
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Products Liability Insurance
  • Personal Accident, Illness & Life Insurance
  • Income Protection Insurance

Rather than risk being underinsured or missing a required insurance, many business owners opt to have their insurance arranged by a broker. This saves them the time and hassle of organising numerous insurances. Also if you have a good broker they should be able to save you a little bit of money as well.

How long did you spend thinking of the perfect name for your business?

If you were like most other businesses, you went through a number of ideas before you got to the perfect one. How would feel if you were halfway through your business start-up only to find another local competitor had chosen to use that same name.

This is why you need to register your business or company name and domain name. This does not automatically give you the right to use the name as a trademark, so you may also need to consider registering the name as a trademark if you intend to take action against illegal users.

Similarly, you need to protect your business ideas. Because at the end of the day that is what’s going to be making you money and no one will pay for something they can get elsewhere. If you have a unique business idea, you should look into protecting your intellectual property (IP).

Your intellectual property includes:

  • Trademarks
  • Patents
  • Copyright
  • Design rights
  • Domain names.

Profit improvement, put simply, is the practice of implementing strategies that help to increase your business’ net income.  This can be done in a number of ways, such as decreasing business operating costs, increasing sales and revenue, improving business processes and technologies and various other techniques. Quarles has over 40 years’ experience in helping businesses to grow their profits by assessing what would be the most beneficial move on an individual case by case basis.

A cash flow forecast is the most important business tool for every business. The forecast will tell you if your business will have enough cash to run the business or pay to expand it. It will also show you when more cash is going out of the business, than coming in.

A cashflow forecast gives the business owner a guide as to when the money comes in, when it goes out, where it goes and the likely bank balance at any one point in time in the future. This allows you to plan for your business and personal future.

You need to know there will be sufficient cash to cover pay roll and your GST/BAS. You need to know when is the best time to purchase that new piece of equipment or what will be the effect of financing that asset? Can we afford to take extra money out of the business and pay for that family holiday?

The easiest way to prepare a cash flow forecast is to break the task into several steps. Then bring all the information together at the end. The five steps to preparing a cash flow forecast are:

Cash flow forecast template >>

Any cash flow forecast is better than no cash flow forecast, as long as it is accurate and tailored for your business.

We prefer to create a live cash flow forecast that updates with actual figures over time. It can then be updated as your needs change.

We prefer to use a program called FUTRLI for forecasting, reporting, planning and monitoring the implementation of those plans.

“The cloud” is a term used for when instead of storing and accessing data on your computer’s hard drive, it is done via programs over the internet. We recommend and use a number of cloud programs such as XERO and FUTRLI. Do you want to know more about these programs and why they are great? Get in touch today, we would be more than happy to go over exactly how these programs can help improve your business.

Check out: What is the cloud and how safe is it?

If you are operating a business from home and have a designated room or space for your workplace you can claim a number of expenses such as:

  • The cost of using a room’s utilities, such as gas and electricity (based on percentage of use)
  • Business phone costs
  • Depreciation of office plant and equipment, such as desks, chairs, computers. If it is also used for non-business purposes, your claim must be based on the percentage of business use.
  • Depreciation of curtains, carpets and light fittings.
  • Rent, mortgage interest, insurance & rates. Again this must be based on the percentage of the home that is used for your business. Be aware of CGT on your home though!

If you operate a Small Business Entity, which means your turnover is less than $2 million you may be entitled to concessions on income tax, capital gains tax, GST, PAYG instalments and FBT. Want to know more about if your business is eligible? Get in touch with the business experts at Quarles BFS today!

Installment notices are generated by the ATO based on your previous year’s tax return and annual GST Return. If they believe you are earning enough that you should be paying GST or PAYG Instalments, they will send installment notices to pay what they think should cover your tax bill for this quarter.

If you believe this assessment to be wrong you are able to vary the Instalment Notices and pay only as much as you think you are required to. If you are unsure how much you should be paying in PAYG Withholding and GST, get in touch with the experts at Quarles BFS today.

This is the plan for how to remove yourself from a business that you have created either via sale of the business or passing it on to the next generation.

It is important to think about this long before you think about “getting out”.

Having a proper strategy in place will maximise the return you make on the business and will hopefully minimise your exposure to taxation.

Check out: Business Improvement Programs

This is an increase in sales or fees earned over a certain period of time. It is important to strategise on methods to grow your revenue and manage that growth in a stable manner. Rapid growth can be a hindrance to a business that is not ready for it.

This is the percentage increase in revenue between any two periods (e.g. month one and month two, year one and year two). When people discuss “growth”, they are usually talking about increasing revenue.

Revenue Growth % = [(Revenue this period) – (Revenue last period)]/(Revenue las period).

Hopefully this is not in the negative, unless you have a planned downsizing.

Your forecasted revenue will usually be the units you sell multiplied by price per unit.

Once you know your pricing, it becomes a matter of how many units we can sell and what is an achievable level of units we can sell this period