Note: The Information below is general in nature and should not be considered legal, accounting or tax advice. We recommend you speak with an accountant or tax advisor or your financial advisor and we expressly disclaim any responsibility for any action taken or not taken based on this information. We also direct you to the following sites which provide information regarding business structures and starting a business:

Australian Taxation Office – Starting your own business

Department of Fair Trading – Business structure

What is a Sole Trader?

This is the simplest form of business structure as you can trade in your own name

The structure is inexpensive to set up because there are few legal and tax formalities. If you operate your business as a sole trader, the business is you. You trade on your own and control and manage the business. You are legally responsible for all aspects of the business – debts and losses cannot be shared. Many individuals starting as a sole trader decide to trade under their own name (eg. Mary Smith). Alternatively, you can also register a business name (such as Mary Smith Cares). The decision is yours.

As a sole trader, you use your individual tax file number (“TFN”) when you lodge your income tax return. The business income is treated as your individual income and you are solely responsible for any tax the business must pay.

Does Better Caring require an ABN to list my profile?

No, although an ABN may be preferred as some clients (particularly businesses such as an Approved Home Care Provider) may require you have an ABN to hire you. You can always apply for an ABN at a later date.

What is an Australian Business Number (“ABN”)?
If you carry on an enterprise in Australia as a sole trader, you can apply for an ABN for your business and use this number for all your business dealings.

If you operate the business under a registered business name you will need an ABN or if your turnover exceeds the GST threshold of $75,000 you need to register for GST which requires an ABN.

You obtain an ABN by applying for it through the ATO via the Australian Business Register. There is no fee whether applying online or by post. If you consult a tax agent to complete an application for you they may charge a fee for their services.
You can apply for your ABN by clicking:,-Super-funds—Charities/Applying-for-an-ABN
Helpful tip when applying for an ABN

You can organise your ABN free of charge with Airtax.

Do I have to register for Goods and Services Tax (“GST”)?

You can register for goods and services tax (GST) if you carry on an enterprise. You can apply for GST registration on the ABN application form. You must be registered for GST if your annual GST turnover is $75,000 or more.

You can register for GST when you make your ABN application:,-Super-funds—Charities/Applying-for-an-ABN

You can also register for GST free of charge through Airtax.

We recommend you speak to your accountant or tax advisor to ascertain whether you are required to register for GST or have an ABN.

No person should rely on the information herein without first obtaining advice from a qualified professional person. This information is provided on the terms and understanding that Better Caring is not responsible for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information in this publication, nor for any error in or omission from this publication; and is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice.

Better Caring expressly disclaims all and any liability and responsibility to any person, in respect of anything, and of the consequences of anything, done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether wholly or partially, upon the whole or any part of this information.