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Solo Lawyer
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Dear Benny

The first thing to look at is the ATO website. They provide some information as to whether an activity will be considered a business or hobby for tax purposes – the link is http://www.ato.gov.au/corporate/content.asp?doc=/content/00199712.htm

If you are operating a business you need to get an ABN which is free. If you set up as a sole trader the income you earn will be added to your existing assessable income. You will also be able to deduct your business expenses from your assessable income.

If you set up as a sole trader and register a business name, it will probably costless than $200 to set up. If you set up a private company the costs are significantly more – even if you so it yourself the initial set up cost is $400 with yearly payments to ASIC for your company statement. Setting up a company can also complicate your business because you will become both a director and employee.

I think that while talking to an accountant is something you will have to do eventually, a very good place to start is to look at the NSW Small Business website, particularly the Small Business Toolkit –

http://www.smallbiz.nsw.gov.au

Michael Terceiro
Solo Lawyer
http://www.terceiro.com.au