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Registering a company is a primary step in building and conducting business. When you register a company, you will be given a number of items including your:

  • certificate of registration; and
  • Australian company number (ACN).

However, before you are able to start trading, there are a number of further steps you will need to undertake to ensure that your business is ready. This article will discuss the essential steps you will need to take after you register your company including:

  • storing your corporate key;
  • considering the four key registrations;
  • opening a bank account; and
  • taking out insurance.

Your Company Register

A Company Register is a compulsory set of documents that every company needs to keep up to date. You should store your Company Register at the registered office or at the principal place of business. At a minimum, you should ensure you have the following documents in your Company Register:

  • the certificate of registration;
  • share certificates;
  • share members register;
  • company officer consent forms;
  • minutes from your opening meeting;
  • copies of forms to be lodged with the Australian Securities Investment Commission (‘ASIC’);
  • Register of Option Holders (If you have them);
  • Register of Debentures (If you have them); and
  • consent to use the registered office (if the company does not occupy the registered office).

Upon registering your company, your initial next moves should be to hold your first company meeting and complete essential paperwork. When you are signing the essential paperwork, you should remember to:

  • sign the consent to act as a director, application for shares and minutes of the first meetings;
  • collect the amounts agreed to be paid per share, issue receipts and make appropriate entries in your company accounts;
  • sign the share certificates; and
  • keep all the signed documents in your company register.

Safely Store Your Corporate Key

A Corporate Key is an eight-digit number that is associated with your company. Upon registration, ASIC will post the corporate key to your registered address within two business days. Your Corporate Key is important as it is used to:

  • authorise communications between your company and ASIC;
  • view your company records; and
  • update your company details.
For example, if you want to update your company details, you will need your Corporate Key to authorise this action.

Register for an ABN, TFN, GST and PAYG

There are four key registrations that all companies must consider once they have registered their company.

ABN – When you incorporate a company, you will be issued with an Australian Company Number (ACN). This is a nine-digit number that identifies your company.  You should also have an Australian Business Number (ABN). If you did not register for an ABN at the same time as registering for your ACN, you will need to register for one if you intend to carry on business. An ABN is important as it identifies your business and is used in dealing with the Australian Taxation Office. You will receive instant notification of your ABN if you provide all of the correct information when applying.

TFN – Your company will need its own Tax File Number (TFN) for tax purposes. You will be able to register for a TFN at the same time as registering for an ABN.

GST – You must register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) if you are turning over, or likely to turnover,  more than $75,000 annually. This is calculated as your company’s gross income, not your company’s profit. If you do not fit into this category, then registering for GST is optional. You will be able to register for GST at the same time as you are registering for an ABN.

PAYG – If you are an employer, you will need to register for Pay as you go (PAYG). This is because you have a legal requirement to keep a portion of payments made to your employees and other businesses and then make these payments to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

Open a Bank Account

You will need to open a bank account once you have registered your company. It is likely that a bank will want to verify your position in the company, whether you are a director of the company and have the authority to open a bank account on the company’s behalf. Therefore, it is important that you have the right documents on you when you approach the bank. The bank may ask for your:

  • certificate of Registration;
  • registered business address;
  • ABN; and
  • proof of identity.

The bank may also ask you to provide additional company information such as share certificates or your company constitution. In the case that the bank makes a query about the authenticity of your documents, you can call ASIC to verify your documents at 1300 300 630.

Consider Taking Out Insurance

Your business will need to arrange for appropriate insurance if it is providing services. For professional services, the insurance needed usually includes:

  • professional indemnity insurance; and
  • public liability insurance.

Professional indemnity insurance is for professionals who provide a service to customers, including providing advice. It is to protect you and your company against unfounded allegations. On the other hand, public liability insurance is to protect your business from the financial impact of causing any personal injuries or property damage to other people in the provision of your services. Depending on the nature of your business, you may require other forms of insurance. You should seek the advice of an experienced insurance adviser to determine what insurance you need.

Your Company Details

Once you have registered a company, the company name and ACN should be on display. This information should be displayed where you conduct business and are open to the public.

For example, your company name and ACN should be displayed on all of your ‘public documents’ and ‘eligible negotiable instruments’ including any:
  • contracts; or
  • order for services.

Displaying this information on public documents allows customers and other businesses to easily identify you.

Key Takeaways

After registering your company, there are a number of further administrative steps you need to take to get yourself ready to trade and run your business. You should take care to:

  • set up your Company Register and safely secure your Corporate Key for any future changes you need to make with ASIC;
  • register for any other identifiers you need such as an ABN, TFN, GST and PAYG;
  • open a bank account;
  • get insurance; and
  • put your company details on your documents, such as your company contracts.

If you need assistance to register a company or completing your company register, contact LegalVision’s Business and Commercial lawyers today on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on the page.

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