The Construction industry is booming and is a great opportunity for people to take the leap and start their own business. If you are considering setting up a business in this industry, then here are a few things you should know about before you start.
- Choose your business structure. There are a few options here, so take the time and get advice about what is best for you – sole trader; partnership, company, trust, co-operative. Each of these has pros and cons and is more or less suitable according to your needs.
- Start your business officially. This must be done before you start trading, and there are several steps involved. These include registering an ABN; registering a business name; and potentially registering for GST and applying for a business Tax File Number.
- Applying for licences. Getting the correct licences is absolutely essential – it is illegal to work without them. In NSW there are different licensing requirements depending on the business structure you’ve chosen, and whether you employ other workers. A White Card is essential, and some jobs will require a high risk work licence.
- Cover yourself with insurance and contracts. Worst case scenario – you break something or someone while working, and you have to pay compensation. Insurances will cover you just in case something goes wrong. If you’re doing work over a certain value, then you will need to have appropriate contracts in place as well.
- Employ people the right way. This can be complex, and it pays to get it right from the get-go. There are rules around contractors, employees and apprentices, so make sure you follow them. Fair Work and Awards outline minimum pay and conditions; Superannuation, Pay As You Go (PAYG) Withholdings, long service leave, WHS laws are all things you’ll need to consider
- Engage with your customers. Make your business stand out by taking a positive approach to customer service. Be proactive and communicate, cover yourself with service contracts, and remember that Fair Trading and the Civil and Administrative Tribunal are there if something goes pear shaped.
This process can seem overwhelming, and a bit of a minefield for someone new to the industry. If you’re not sure about the best way to start your business, then consider looking for a trusted advisor who understands the industry and set you on the right path.
Apart from that, good luck!