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Paul – FS Concierge
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Hi Ana,

I understand your thought process as I lived through it.

My business was making about 50K AUD (converted) at the time and it was my side hustle while I was working a full time job.

I was a sole trader as my business was very low risk of having an insurable event occur and didn’t have turnover that warranted anything more than registering an ABN.

Basically, I am straying into Accountant’s territory (and shouldn’t because things may have changed and/or, your circumstances may be different and Tax Law can be un-forgiving if you “hope” you are right – you MUST be right or potentially pay the consequences) – but being a sole Trader was the lowest cost option for me and suited me at the time. A lot of soloer’s never have a Company or Trust. Ever. Again Accountant’s can advise your best option but seek the advise of a few because some will try to up-sell you on expensive options you don’t need.

In any quarter, had I done more than 1/4 of the GST threshold, I would have been required to register for GST.

Depending on the nature of your business – (you haven’t stated what it is), you may need to consider public liability insurance and be aware of the situation in Australia and the US. Another issue is product returns if you have any and how you handle them.
Thankfully, my business was a Job Board (recruitment) and didn’t at the time, have to worry about that. Amongst my biggest problems was spotting and dealing with Credit Card fraudsters (of which there were many) and keeping my PayPal record in-tact because PayPal was known to shutdown accounts that attracted too many fraudsters without consultation. Had Stripe been available then, that would have been my choice.

One thing – and this is NOT advise – is that compliance measures that the Govt had for overseas transactions at the time were basically non-existent. I paid tax on my income anyway and all my transactions were through PayPal at the time so I had decent records to support my position. I had some friends that set up Asian based bank accounts and simply never reported income to Aussie authorities.

Back on being an Aussie supplying a service to US based customers. I didn’t have to look like I was from the US at all – and this was a surprise to me. Australian’s overall are a bit less trusting.

I was just in a growth phase when I had a cataclysmic disaster with my software that ended up shutting me down – (which is one of the reasons I prefer platforms like Shopify). But I had accounts with Comcast and the U.S Postal Service – all from my little home office out on the deck of my house at the time. They knew I was Aussie and they were still happy to deal with me. They would send me cheques = lol Americans – to my home address in Queensland – so I never, for example, had a mail box or mail forwarding service.

Keep the main thing the main thing – be contactable via chat, email and/or a US based 1800 Number and make it easy to be found and easy for customers to buy from you.

I hope some of this helps.