Monday to Friday:- 8:45am – 5:15pm (Sydney Office)

Business Set Up in Sydney

Business Structures

There are three different ways for you to establish a business in Sydney, including:

  • Buying an existing business;
  • Buying a franchise; or
  • Starting up your own business.

If you are thinking of starting or buying a business, it is crucial that you choose the correct business structure. Each business structure comes with a unique set of duties and obligations, which may or may not suit your particular business.

The four business structures that you might consider are:

Sole Trader

If you decide to set up a sole trader business in Sydney, you will need to register for an ABN. You can either use your own name or a business name to trade under.


A partnership involves two or more people coming together to run a business. Partners will share the profits, losses and liabilities of their business.

Company (Pty Ltd)

A company needs to be incorporated and comprised of:

  • At least one director
  • A secretary
  • At least one shareholder

A company is unique in that once it is incorporated, it becomes a separate legal entity. This means that the company itself and not the people running it hold any profits and liabilities.


A trust is a business structure that is made up of a trustee and beneficiaries. A trustee can be an individual or a company. If it is a company, it is known as a corporate trustee. The trustee is responsible for the everyday running of the company and must run the company in a way which is beneficial to the beneficiaries. If the trustee undertakes their duties responsibly, then they will not be held liable for losses. However, negligent trustees may be held liable for losses. The beneficiaries of the trust receive dividends from the business. There are several types of trusts, each of which is suitable to different types of businesses. To find out more about them, contact our lawyers in Sydney.

Start up lawyers sydney

How Can We Help?

It is wise to seek professional legal advice before starting up or purchasing a business. Each business structure comes with its own distinctive set of legal and taxation obligations so it is important that you choose astutely. When choosing a business structure, you cannot take a ‘one size fits all’ approach. You must choose a business structure that will best protect both your personal and business assets. The size, industry and turnover of your business will influence the structure you choose. If you are starting a small business, you may initially choose to be a sole trader. However, as your business grows and its turnover increases, you may choose to incorporate a company to lessen tax and ensure that your personal assets are protected.

By choosing the most suitable business structure from the beginning, you can ensure that the following areas are covered:

  • Asset protection
  • Limited liability
  • Tax effectiveness
  • Minimising capital gains tax

Call our lawyers in Sydney on 1300 907 335 to find out which business structure is most suitable to your circumstances. Alternatively, you can fill out the contact form on this page and we will contact you soon.

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