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  • #983036
    LaunchmyBusiness
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    Hi There,

    I have been looking for an online business for the last 1 year with no much luck. I have very limited capital and I think i have a brilliant idea if it is legal….ABN/GST/Company Registration.
    I’m slowly setting up a site to help new entrepreneurs get their business on the feet by offering to get their ABN set up, GST and offering basic advise on what they may need to get their business up and running such as insurance, workcover, wtc. My worry is, is this really legal…will ABR/ATO complain as I will charge for what they’re offering free? What was your experience getting your ABN and other legal registrations? Would you pay to get your business registered by a third party? What other info would you want them to provide/advise?

    Thanks

    #1140249
    CindyK
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    Hi,

    Hmm, sounds a bit on the ‘not-so-okay’ side, but I don’t know the answer.

    What I will say though is are you in anyway registered with the ATO as a Tax Agent or BAS Agent? Have you any insurance broker licenses or business qualifications or law training/degree?

    When you are advising on small business, that small business (especially if they have paid) will expect you to advise them correctly and hold you accountable for any errors. Are you qualified to say they can now register for GST and advise them on the implications? Are you qualified and able to say when a business should or should not be registered? Can you advise when the should register as a trust or company to protect assets rather than as a sole trader? Are you able to negotiate insurance for them or recommend a best fit? Most of those services relate to regulated industries.

    Some of those things sound like the cross the line into tax agent/bas agent services – for which you must be registered. Civil penalties are enforcable for anyone receiving a fee for providing such services without a license.

    Helping small business is a great idea, but this ones could be a legal nightmare for you. Hope you get further responses.

    #1140250
    Divert To Mobile
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    Hi LaunchmyBusiness,

    As cindy said, I dont think you can actually sell abn’s.
    But, I dont see any problem with providing a service that does all the running around and registrations on behalf of the customer. Of course that service of running around
    would come at a charge.
    Coupling it with organising insurance, business cards, website, phone number* etc would be a good value add.

    Best of luck,

    Steve

    #1140251
    LaunchmyBusiness
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    Thanks Cindy and Steve…Steve, I like the idea of coupling the services and providing a one-stop shop to start-up entrepreneur. Wonder if bank, printers, phone co would be willing to pay a commission for referrals?

    Cindy, I’m a CPA and have been working for a couple of years locally and overseas. However, from the questions, I’ve realised i do have knowledge gaps ad might need to consult a lawyer or experts to get more info .

    Q – When you are advising on small business, that small business (especially if they have paid) will expect you to advise them correctly and hold you accountable for any errors.
    Q- Are you qualified to say they can now register for GST and advise them on the implications?
    As a CPA, I can advise if GST is required…will look into obtaining a BAS registration.
    Q-Are you qualified and able to say when a business should or should not be registered? Can you advise when the should register as a trust or company to protect assets rather than as a sole trader?
    At this stage, I would let the customer decide the company setting they require(sole trade/patnership/co) other than me advising them. This way, its what they want and I advise the requirements in the category chosen.

    Q- Are you able to negotiate insurance for them or recommend a best fit? Most of those services relate to regulated industries.
    Good point, might need to talk to a few co and see if they can advise further if i guide the potential customer to them.

    Q – Some of those things sound like the cross the line into tax agent/bas agent services – for which you must be registered. Civil penalties are enforcable for anyone receiving a fee for providing such services without a license.
    Helping small business is a great idea, but this ones could be a legal nightmare for you.
    This is my worry, there is a very thin line between offering the basic advise necessary to start a business(e.g ABN no, GST reg,etc) and being held liable for leaving an important requirement for a particular industry start-up such as police check requirement for an aged care staffing agency. Is there a way I can push the liability back to the customer for them to find more info by offering basic advise? Can i put in a disclaimer clause before they use my service or will that put off potential customers?

    Thanks

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