5 Small Trades Business Set up Costs You need to Know

Small business costs start piling up before the doors are even opened.

If you’re looking to start your own venture, you’ll need to invest in it first to prepare the essentials, help build your brand and attract clientele.

Being your own boss has become the ideal Aussie dream for many. But with a high failure rate in the first 18 months, it’s not recommended for the faint-hearted.

Tradies also run some of Australia’s busiest small businesses. Thus, planning ahead for your business’ set up costs is crucial.

To give your small business the best chance at survival, here are the costs that apply to most start-ups. Although expenses will vary depending on your business and its needs, these generic costs should be included in your trades business plan:

1. Small Business Registration

If you choose to operate your small business under a name other than your own, it’ll need to be registered on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website.

Businesses may be registered annually ($36) or for three years ($84). Business names must be connected to an ABN, which is free to acquire. If you don’t have an ABN, both can be set up here.

2. Industry-Specific Permits and Licenses

Don’t get caught out by not having the right licenses in place.

Industry-specific permits / licenses are often managed by State and need to be obtained before any work can commence. Depending on your trade and where you work, you may need to secure one or more of the following:

  • White card
  • Building licences
  • Electrical or plumbing licenses
  • Heavy vehicle licenses

Trades businesses who don’t have the right permits for the job, including any staff or contractors working for you, will be fined. Your State licensing body can help with the information you need to keep up to date with changing requirements specific to your trade.

3. Insurance Cover

Different businesses and industries will require different insurance types.

Tradies can be exposed to more risks than most other occupations. Some of the insurance covers to consider include public liability, workers compensation, vehicle and heavy machinery insurance, tools protection and income protection. However, it’s always good to check which policies are best suited to your line of work.

For the most updated and accurate information, a good insurance broker who specialises in trade insurance can help you stay on top of your insurance essentials and ensure you have the right cover for your needs.

Some insurance types, such as workers compensation, are compulsory in Australia and must be taken out before any work may commence.

4. Tools of the Trade

Every tradie needs a good set of tools for the job.

Make sure you have the right vehicles, equipment and tools that are aligned to your business needs. Consider options for short-term hire and buying new vs buying second-hand to factor costs into your budget.

5. Website Creation and Online Marketing

To supplement your brick-and-mortar business, establishing an online presence is important.

Creating an online presence through a website helps to build credibility. If budget is tight, a simple site covering who you are, what services you provide and project photos can be sufficient. You’ll also want to include contact details, solid references and building, licensing or permit numbers.

To encourage people to better find you, ensure your site is optimised for SEO.

Link your website to relevant social media pages to further showcase your work, build credibility and get your brand and business in front of your audience’s eyes.

Starting a new business, whether it be trades or something else, is a challenging and rewarding experience. Through careful preplanning and factoring essential costs into your budget, you’ll be in a better position to setup your small business properly.

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