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If you want to open a print business in NSW, we've gathered transactions you may need to help get you started. 

Choosing a business structure

It's important you choose the best structure for your business type. The most commonly used business structures are sole trader, company, partnership, and trust.

Set up as a sole trader
Operating as a sole trader is the simplest and cheapest business structure you can set up. You control and manage the business, and although you 'trade' on your own, you can still employ people to work for you.

Register a company
If you've decided a company structure is best for your business, you'll need to register your company with the Australian Government.

Register a limited partnership
If you’ve decided a limited partnership structure is best for your business, you’ll need to register the limited partnership with the NSW Fair Trading’s Registry Services.

Set up a trust business structure
A trust is an obligation imposed on one person or entity – the trustee, to hold property for the benefit of another – the beneficiary. The trustee can be an individual or a company, the latter providing some asset protection.

Register a co-operative
If you've decided a co-operative is best for your business, you'll need to register the co-operative with NSW Fair Trading's Registry Services.

Starting a business

Register an Australian Business Number (ABN)
You don't have to register for an ABN, but an ABN will let you claim Goods and Services Tax credits, energy grants credits, register an Australian domain name, plus more.

Register a business name
You'll need to register a business name, unless you're a sole trader or partnership and your business name is exactly the same as your or you and your partner's first and last names. You'll need an ABN or ABN application number to register your business name. 

Register your business for Goods and Services Tax (GST)
You must register your business for GST if your GST turnover is $75,000 or more.

Apply for a business Tax File Number
If you've decided a company, trust, or partnership structure is best for your business, you'll need to apply for a business Tax File Number.

Apply for an individual Tax File Number
If you’ve decided a sole trader structure is best for your business, you’ll need to apply for an individual Tax File Number.

Check the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR)
Before you buy or lease vehicles, equipment, stock or goods for your business, search the PPSR to avoid property that is stolen, unable to be insured, or subject to a debt or security interest.

Developing your premises

Help with leasing business premises
You can find out about commercial leasing on the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner website.

Apply for a development application (DA)
If your proposed development is located within certain local government areas, you can create an account on the NSW Planning Portal and submit your DA online.

Apply online for a complying development certificate (CDC)
If your proposed residential development is located within certain local government areas, you can create an account on the NSW Planning Portal and submit your CDC application online.

Apply to install a street awning or a business sign
Before you install any street awnings or business signs at your premises, you may need to apply for permission from your local council.

Apply for a zoning certificate
To find out about any controls, requirements and restrictions on a property, apply to your local council for a zoning certificate (Section 149 planning certificate).

Apply to make changes to a heritage listed place
If you want to make changes to a heritage listed place, you may need to seek approval from your local council or the Heritage Council of NSW.

Apply for a construction certificate
Before you start any building work, you need to apply for a construction certificate from your local council. This certificate confirms the construction plans are consistent with the development consent and other requirements.

Appoint a principal certifying authority
After being issued with development consent or a construction certificate, and before you start any approved construction, you need to appoint a principal certifying authority to oversee the building work.

Apply for a fire safety certificate
You’ll need to have a final fire safety certificate from your local council before a final occupation certificate can be issued for a new building or an existing building that’s changed use.

Apply for a compliance certificate
After your building work is complete, you may need to apply to your local council for a compliance certificate to confirm the development meets council and regulatory requirements.

Apply for an occupation certificate
Before moving in to your premises, you’ll need an occupation certificate from your local council to occupy or use a new building, or change the use of an existing building.

If you're opening a print business, you'll need to work closely with your local council. You can find your local council online to get the information relevant to your situation.

Before you start trading

Register a regulated water system
You need to register a regulated water system, like a water cooling or warm water system, with your local council.

Apply to discharge commercial trade waste water
You may need approval from your water provider to discharge commercial trade waste water into a public sewer. 

Apply to place commercial waste in a public place
You’ll need approval from your local council if you want to place commercial waste from your business in a public place for collection.

Selling goods

Comply with Australian Consumer Law
It's important you're familiar with consumers' rights for purchases of goods and services under Australian Consumer Law, and understand your responsibilities for complying with consumer guarantees. 

Comply with competition and consumer laws
It's important you understand and comply with competition and consumer laws that govern how all businesses in Australia, including online retailers and those with a shopfront, must deal with their competitors, suppliers and customers.

Meet requirements for displaying or advertising prices
You must comply with pricing regulations, and display prices accurately and clearly.

Apply for an exemption from restricted trading days
If you wish to open your shop on a restricted trading day, such as Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Anzac Day (prior to 1pm), or Christmas Day, you may need to apply for an exemption.

Applying for environmental licences and permits

Comply with NSW environmental legislation
It's most important to make sure you comply with all environmental laws covering water, land, air, noise pollution and waste management.

Apply for an assessment certificate for new industrial chemicals
If you're planning to import or manufacture a new industrial chemical in Australia, you'll need to apply for an assessment certificate. 

Manage the risks of using hazardous chemicals
If you use, handle or store hazardous chemicals in the workplace you must comply with the relevant standards, codes of practice, and legislation to manage the work health and safety (WHS) risks.

Provide hazardous chemicals notification
If you store, handle or process hazardous chemicals that exceed the quantities specified in the work health and safety legislation, you must notify SafeWork NSW, and lodge an emergency plan with Fire and Rescue NSW.

Setting up workers

Comply with Fair Work requirements
If you’re employing staff you must comply with Fair Work requirements such as minimum pay and conditions.

Comply with long service leave requirements
If you're employing staff you must comply with NSW Industrial Relations requirement to pay long service leave.

Paying employees at, or above, award rates
You must make sure you're providing at least minimum wages and conditions for your employees. These conditions are covered in the awards.

Register for PAYG withholding
You'll need to register for PAYG withholding if you have to withhold tax (on behalf of the Australian Tax Office) from payments you make to employees, contractors, or other businesses that haven't supplied you an ABN.

Paying super contributions using SuperStream
SuperStream is the way all employers are required to pay contributions and send information to super funds.

Register for the superannuation clearing house
If you have 19 or fewer employees or have an aggregated turnover below $2 million, you can register for the small business superannuation clearing house to pay super contributions to your employees in a single online location.

Use the superannuation guarantee contributions calculator
Use the calculator to check the super contributions you need to pay your employees.

Comply with work health and safety laws
You must comply with work health and safety (WHS) laws so that your workers, and people who come into contact with your business (customers, contractors or visitors) are kept healthy and safe. As part of WHS laws, you'll also need to manage the risks to health and safety for hazardous manual tasks, hazardous chemicals and noise at work.

Apply for a workers insurance policy
If you're going to pay more than $7500 a year in wages, you'll need to have a workers insurance policy.

Managing contractors and employees
You have different responsibilities if you engage contractors rather than permanent employees. It's important for you to learn about the differences.

Other things to consider

Gain relevant printing certification
To ensure you're competent in the skill sets required to operate your printing business, make certain you've completed any relevant training courses, and apprenticeships or traineeships.

Register a trade mark
A trade mark (sometimes called a brand) is the way you show your customers and the public who you are.

Register a domain name for your business
With an ABN, you can register a website name that ends with '.au'.

Get liability insurance for your business
You can choose to take out public liability, professional indemnity, or product liability insurance. Public liability insurance protects you and your business against the risks of damage or injury to people or property. While it's not mandatory, it's recommended for a business.

Comply with Australian standards
Australian standards set out specifications and design procedures to ensure products and services consistently perform safely, reliably, and the way they're intended to.

Apply to register a design
You can protect your design, provided it is both new and distinctive, by registering it with IP Australia.

Apply for a patent
If you've developed a new device, substance, method, or process, you can apply for a patent to give you rights over your invention in Australia. There are 2 types of patents, standard and innovation.

Notify SafeWork NSW of an incident
Under work health and safety legislation, certain 'notifiable incidents' must be immediately reported to SafeWork NSW. 

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