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Now is a great time to start a business in Melbourne and regional Victoria. Before you make the move, there are a number of things you should consider.

Before setting up your Victorian business ask yourself:

  • do you need the industry in Victoria?
  • is there a market need for your services or products?
  • will you be able to access the skills and talent required to make your business work?
  • do you know the cost of starting a business in Victoria?
  • do you understand the regulatory requirements and tax implications in Victoria and Australia?

These questions will help you plan your move to Melbourne.

Starting a business checklist

Pre-planning is key to successfully starting your business. The following checklist has been sourced from the Business Victoria website to help you plan your business operations in Victoria.

Do market research
Understand your customers, industry and market in Victoria.
Develop a business plan
Write a business plan and define your market strategies.
Estimate your costs
Your business plan should help you determine how much money you need to do business in Victoria.
Track your financial performance
Find information here on financial statement requirement. 
Identify the location of your business
Tips on finding the right location for your business. 
Consider your business name
You may need to register a business name to establish the identity of your business.
Protect your business name and idea
Once you’ve established your business identity, it’s a good idea to protect it.
Get the right permits, licenses and registrations
The Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) can help you find the right licences, permits and approvals to meet your business compliance responsibilities.
Protect your business with insurance
Ensure that your insurance policy provides adequate cover for your business.
 
Types of business structures
Sole trader
An individual operating as the sole person legally responsible for all aspects of the business. A sole trader is also known as a ‘subcontractor’.

Partnership
An association of people or entities running a business together, but not as a company.
Company
A legal entity separate from its shareholders.
Trust
An entity that holds property or income for the benefit of others.

Every business structure has advantages and disadvantages. When deciding on a structure for your business, choose the one that best suits your business needs.

Your business structure can determine:

  • the licenses you require
  • how much tax you pay
  • whether you're considered an employee, or the owner of the business
  • your potential personal liability
  • how much control you have over the business
  • ongoing costs
  • the volume of paper work for your business.

Visit the business structures and types page of the Australian Government Business website for more information.

Speak to a qualified accountant, lawyer or other business professional to determine the best structure for your business and your registration requirements. You can also participate in Business Victoria’s Small Business Mentoring Program to help you refine your business strategy.

Export and trade

Infrastructure

Victoria provides excellent infrastructure throughout the state, including an integrated network of road, rail, sea and air transport, and access to regional, national and international markets.

Melbourne’s International Airport is Australia's largest 24-hour, curfew-free, freight and passenger airport. The Port of Melbourne is Australia's largest and most modern container-handling port, operating 24 hours a day. Victoria also operates regional ports.

Export support and assistance

Both the Victorian Government and the Australian Government support local businesses that export goods and services internationally.

Accessing global talent

Victoria is one of the most sought-after destinations in the world to live and work. If you want to employ an overseas worker, visit our employer visas page to find out how we can help you.

Useful websites

Visit the following websites for extra support:

  • The Austrade website has information about export support provided by the Australian Government
  • The Business Victoria website has a wide range of resources that will help you go into business in Melbourne
  • The Trade Victoria website has more information about trade support and opportunities provided by the Victorian Government for Victorian businesses conducting export activity.

You can also find out more about visa nomination requirements relating to export and trade.