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1. Get an ABN or ACN (I think as the manufacturer would like some share of the company, I would need an ACN instead of an ABN, could anyone clarify this?)

You might need both.

If you set up as a sole trader for example, then you (personally) would obtain the ABN – it would be in your name, as you will be considered the legal entity. You would also then need to register a business name if you are planning to call your business something other than your own name.

An ACN is an Australian Company Number… this is automatically allocated to you upon registration of a company – such as a Pty Ltd company. So, if the manufacturer is also going to be a share holder this would probably be more appropriate than acting as a sole trader. However, for your Pty Ltd company (associated to the ACN) to actively trade the business, it will also need to obtain an ABN.

Business names and Companies are all registered through http://www.asic.gov.au these days. But, I would encourage you to seek further advice to ensure the right structure is set up for your new business, and ensure you understand any implications of the manufacturer holding shares in your company etc.

have secured myself a Korean garment/household/beauty/health products manufacturer who is willing to make me the sole distributor for their products in Australia.

If they are going to supply you with branded products, I would also make sure that their brand is registered as a trademark in Australia – or, at the very least the brand name is not going to infringe the existing rights of any Australian trademark holder. It would be horrible to find out after investing time and money into importing their branded products that you can’t actually promote the brand because it belongs to someone else already in Australia!