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Ways to start

Choose your business structure

Defining the structure or type of business you want to set-up is an essential and helpful way to start.

The structure you choose will depend on many factors including your interests, skills and experience, financial situation, goals and aspirations.

Your business structure can determine:

  • the licenses you need
  • 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 and volume of paperwork for your business.

If you have a viable business idea, you can start your own. But you don’t have to develop an original idea to be in business – you can buy an established one. You can buy a franchise, join a cooperative or set yourself up as a contractor.

Each business option has its own benefits and challenges.

You won’t be locked into one business structure for the life of your business. As your business changes, you may decide to move to a different type of business structure.

The Business Registration Service contains an easy online tool which can help you decide which business structure best suits you and your business when you are ready to start.

You should consider seeking professional advice to discuss your business structure from an advisor, accountant or lawyer, and certainly before making any offers or signing any contracts.

Five ways to set up your business

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