Know your finances

The amount of money you need to launch depends on how much your set-up costs are. You should also include the total you'll need to cover expenses without needing sales. Start with the following.

Identify your set-up costs

These can include things like equipment, vehicles, initial stock, marketing material and any costs you pay for, before you even start.

Estimate how much cash you need as a buffer

This is the total you should have in the bank to cover monthly overheads, salaries and drawings, before you begin making sales.

Conduct a break-even and profit analysis

 This will tell you if you’ll generate enough revenue in sales to cover all your costs and profit.

Forecast your cashflow

It’s also a good idea to create a cash flow forecast to identify sales and expense fluctuations each month. This will help you predict when you may have too little or too much cash. We’ve got a guide and template to help you do this.

Make it easy to make and receive payments

Offer as many ways as possible to get paid or pay. It’s important to make it as convenient as possible not only for customers to pay you, but also for you to pay suppliers. NAB has a range of products designed to help your business make and receive payments. They could be in-store, on the go or online including options such as:

Make sure you’re set up

There are a number of things that you will have to do before you can make a start and open your doors for trading.

Get an Australian Tax File Number (TFN)

A TFN is needed for the Australian Tax Office (ATO). If you are a sole trader then use your own personal TFN, nothing more to do.

Partnerships, companies and trusts need a separate TFN, and the easier way to get these is at the same time you apply for an ABN. You can do this if you set up your business with EasyCompanies or at the Australian Business Register, opens in new window.

Check what licenses or permits you’ll need.

The Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS), opens in new window can help you find the government licences, permits, approvals, codes of practice, standards and guidelines you need to know depending on your industry.

Review any intellectual property issues

Be aware of anything that could get you into trouble later, such as copying another business name by mistake, or their ideas, logo or process that you didn’t realise was protected. Visit IP Australia, opens in new window for more information.

Develop and write a great business plan

It’s important to write down what you aim to achieve in business, and how you will keep your business on track and focused on achieving its goals and objectives. Writing your business plan will help ensure they've thought through every aspect of running a business and may also help identify any potential weak points. Your business plan should include: researching the market, develop a marketing plan and plan to set up digital presence because an online business, or simply selling your products or services online, can help you reach a much wider customer base. Once it’s time to launch, a business plan with financial projections can help you get funding from investors and lenders too. It will work as a framework to run the business by outlining what’s important. We’ve got a free guide and template that will help you write your business plan.

Start organising your business accounts

Try our comparison tool to help you decide which account is right for your business. This simple side-by-side comparison compares the features and costs of our transaction, savings and specialised accounts.

Sort out your admin

All businesses are different, but in general it’s important to do the following.

  • Set up an accounting system so you know what’s happening to your money. This way you can get an overall picture of activity. Once you have accounting software you can integrate your accounting package with your NAB account to make bank reconciliation fast and easy.
  • Check with your lawyer, Business banker and accountant – they’ll ensure you haven’t missed anything. They’ll also go over your business plan with you so it’s in great shape.
  • Obtain business insurance – it’s important that your business is covered by the right insurance. We’ve got a comprehensive range of options for all businesses.
  • Opening a separate business bank account– it’s important to separate your business income and expenses from your personal for better cash flow management, reconciling your BAS and tax returns and presenting your business as more professional.
  • Have a back-up plan. Once you’ve worked out how much capital you require, it’s time to decide if you’ll need financial assistance. Some typical options small businesses adopt include:
    • using supplier finance; order product or materials and negotiate to pay for them later
    • using credit cards for initial purchases
    • accessing Vehicle and Equipment Finance if you need machinery and equipment
    • getting a Business Overdraft or a NAB QuickBiz Loan if you’re unsure exactly what your monthly shortfall will be.

Think of starting a business? NAB has tools, tips and resources to help you with every stage.

Other business moments

Related products and services

Get in touch

Contact us

Visit our business banking contact page for how-to-guides and FAQs, as well as contact numbers.

Visit a NAB branch

Our business bankers are located all around Australia.

Terms and Conditions

The information contained in this article is correct as of July 2018 and is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.