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Why Are Some Businesses Returning JobKeeper?

Retail industry vs Covid-19 vs JobKeeper payment

Super Retail Group – owner of the Supercheap Auto, Rebel, BCF and Macpac brands – handed back $1.7 million in JobKeeper payments (a scheme to support businesses and not-for-profit organisations significantly affected by COVID-19, to help keep more Australians in jobs.) in January after releasing a trading update showing sales growth of 23% to December 2020. Toyota announced that it will return $18 million in JobKeeper payments after a record fourth quarter. And, Domino’s Pizza has also handed back $792,000 of JobKeeper payments.


Toyota, Super Retail Group, and Domino’s were not obliged to hand back JobKeeper. Under the rules at the time, the companies qualified to access the payment. However, Toyota CEO Matthew Callachor said, “Like most businesses, Toyota faced an extremely uncertain future when the COVID-19 health crisis developed into an economic crisis …We claimed JobKeeper payments to help support the job security of almost 1,400 Toyota employees around Australia ….In the end, we were very fortunate to weather the storm better than most, so our management and board decided that returning JobKeeper payments was the right thing to do as a responsible corporate citizen.”


Domino’s Group CEO and Managing Director, Don Meij said, “We appreciate the availability and support of JobKeeper during a period of significant uncertainty. That period has passed, the assistance package has served its purpose, and we return it to Australian taxpayers with our thanks.”


Why are some businesses returning JobKeeper? 

Companies that received JobKeeper and subsequently paid dividends to shareholders and executive bonuses have come under particular scrutiny, not just by the regulators but by public opinion.


The first phase of JobKeeper did not require business to prove that they had actually suffered a downturn in revenue, just have evidence turnover was likely to drop in a particular month or quarter. For many businesses, early trends indicated that the pandemic would have a devastating impact on revenue. Many also took action and prevented the trend entrenching by actioning plans to protect their workforce and revenue. The fact that business improved, does not impact on initial JobKeeper eligibility. In the first phase of JobKeeper, employers were not obliged to stop JobKeeper payments if trends improved.


Speaking at the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19, ATO Deputy Commissioner – Jeremey Hirschhorn stated that the ATO rejected some $180 million in JobKeeper claims pre-issuance. Approximately, $340 million in overpayments have been identified. Of these, $50 million were honest mistakes and will not be clawed back where the payment had been passed on to the employee.


Where the ATO determines that JobKeeper overpayments need to be repaid, they will contact you and let you know the amount and how the repayment should be made. Administrative penalties generally will not apply unless there is evidence of a deliberate attempt to manipulate the circumstances to gain the payment.


Taxpayers can object to the ATO’s JobKeeper overpayment assessment. If you are contacted by the ATO, please contact us immediately for assistance and we will work with the ATO on your behalf.


If you want more suggestions and seek for assistance about trusts, call BOA & Co. accountants on 02 9904 7886 and our Trust Specialist will be pleased to assist you.

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setting up a new company in Australia, forming a company

7 steps to set up a company in Australia


Setting up a company may be the first step people think of when coming across starting up a business. Although that is not always the case, there are other structures also available for running a business like mentioned in our previous post “comparison-on-business-structures-in-Australia”. Thus a company is still the most common form that people operate their business under. 


Here are the 7 steps on forming a company and get ready to operate. 


A company is a separate legal entity that is apart from the individuals who run it. You must register a company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and operate a business across Australia without having to register in each state and territories. 


Assuming you have decided a company as your business structure, the steps to set up a company are set out below.

1. Choose a Company or Business Name

In choosing a company name you should consider the following:

  • You do not have to have a company name if you wish.  If you do not use a company name, you can use the company’s Australian company number (ACN) as the company name such as 123 456 789 Pty Ltd;
  • In Australia, most companies’ names end with proprietary limited or Pty Ltd companies.  
  • You can only choose a name that is available (not been occupied by another company or business name yet). Here, you can search in ASIC and reserve the name prior to registering a company;


2. Choose the State/Territory To Register Your Company In

A company can be registered in any state or territory of Australia. You must set up a company in one of the states or territories. You may also be required to register for GST. Once you are registered, you will receive a certificate of registration.


3. Choose the Principal Place of Business and Registered Office

A company must nominate a principal place of business and registered office. 

If the registered office is not at premises occupied by the company then the occupier’s consent must first be obtained.


4. Prepare Your Company’s Rules or Constitution 

Before you start a company you must decide what rules will apply to govern the company.  This can generally be:

  • the replaceable rules from the Corporations Act, which means that the company does not require its own written constitution; or
  • a constitution; or
  • a combination of the two.

However, if the company is a sole director or member proprietary company, you do not need a constitution.


5. Decide Your Shareholders and Officers

You must decide who will be the members (shareholders) and officers (directors and secretary) of the company.  A company’s directors are the people who make decisions in the company.  You must have at least one director ordinarily resident (live) in Australia and each director must be at least 18 years of age.

You must obtain written consent from each person who has agreed to act as a director of the company and who has agreed to become a shareholder of the company.


6. Allocate Your Company Shares

After you have chosen your shareholders you must allocate how many shares will they each own and what class of shares will they own.  Ordinary shares are the most common. There is also another class of shares, which may have different rights on voting on company affairs and receiving dividends. 


7. Complete the Relevant Paperwork 

After you have made all the decisions in steps 1 to 6 above and obtained the relevant consents then you can register the company with fillup relevant application forms with AISC or through BOA & Co. as registered ASIC agent so we can make the process much easier for you. 

Do you need professional assistance to set up your own company? Call BOA & Co. accountants in Chatswood on 02 9904 7886 and our specialists will be pleased to assist you.

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register for an ABN

How to Register an Australian Business Name (ABN)?

What is an ABN?

Your ABN is an 11-digit number that represents your business to the gov, other businesses and the public in Australia. Legally you are required to have an ABN if you want to start an enterprise in Australia, or if you want to register for GST (Goods and Services Tax). 

You are required to register for GST if your business has a GST turnover of $75,000 or more ($150,000 for not-for-profit businesses). 

If you don’t have to register for GST, you are still expected to have an ABN.

3 Ways to apply for an ABN

There are three ways to apply for an ABN in Australia. The following are the methods. 

    • Registered through the ABR, for free (Australian Business Register)
    • Through your Tax agent
    • Download the form, complete it, mail it

You have to be a business entity to apply for an ABN. There are 4 types of entities. 

    • Individual/ sole trader 
    • Partnership
    • Company
    • Trust 

11 Things to note when registering for an ABN

These questions are some that you should ask yourself before you apply for your ABN. Your answer will relate to your ABN application as these are the details that you have to give to the government.

  • Do you have a previously registered ABN?

In the case that you have applied for an ABN at a previous date, you must provide the details of your previous application. Use this link to see if you have an ABN already.

  • Are you using the services of a tax agent? 

Tax agents are representatives that can resolve any issues with the ATO on your behalf. If you are currently being represented by a tax agent, you can provide their registration number, which is usually found on an income tax return.

  • Do you have an ACN or Australian Registered Body Number?

All companies and registrable Australian businesses must register with ASIC before applying for an ABN. Once registered, ASIC will give you an ACN or an ARBN (Australian Registered Body Number). 

  • The name of your business 

If you are a business organisation, you must give the legal name of your business entity, which will be shown on all official business documents and legal papers. If you’re an individual, use your own name will suffice.

  • What is your TFN? 

You TFN can allow quick application for an ABN online. During the application, you can give your own TFN and/or the TFN of any of your business associates. Without a TFN, your ABN application may be stalled.

  • Where is your business location? 

Details such as the following

    • Street address
    • Business activity details 
    • Phone and email contacts 
  • What are your contact details? 

You have to nominate a contact during your application to deal with all issues related to the business’s ABN, make changes and updates when required. This could be yourself, or a person who you nominate who will bear this responsibility. 

You have to give these following details for this person.

    • Name 
    • Position held
    • Mobile, phone and fax numbers (if applicable)
    • Email address 
  • The details of your business associates. 

Based on your entity (Sole Trader, Partnership, Company and Trust), your business associates may be Individuals or Organisations

    • If your associates are Individuals, then you must provide their 
      • Date of birth 
      • Gender 
      • Position held 
      • TFN 
      • Residential address
    • If they are an Organisation, then you must provide their
      • ACN or ARBN (if applicable)
      • ABN 
      • TFN or address 
      • Date of formation 
  • Describe the main activity of your business. 

You will be required to give out what your main income-generating activity is for your business. 

If you work in multiple locations, you may be required to give out the main business activity for each locale.

  • When do you need your ABN? 

You have to specify the date when you need your ABN. Typically, it should be on the date that you want to start your business. 

  • Are you providing the correct information? 

At the end of your application, you must declare that all the information you have provided is true and accurate. This is to ensure you can be held accountable for dishonesty. 

Do you need professional assistance to set up your own company? Call BOA & Co. accountants in Chatswood on 02 9904 7886 and our specialists will be pleased to assist you.

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australian business structure in australia, company type

Comparison on Business Structures in Australia

At BOA & Co., we pride ourselves in our ability to give you the best financial advice for your business, so that you can have the ease of mind when opening a new business venture, or when you are planning on expanding your business to the next level. Therefore, this article is dedicated to educate you on the different business structures in Australia and to see which one is most suitable for you. 

The 4 main business structures in Australia are the Sole Trader, Partnership, Company (Private/ Public), and Trust (Discretionary Trust/ Unit Trust). 

With each having their own advantages and disadvantages, and distinct characteristics, we will highlight the key features and issues of each to give you an overall understanding of each structure. 

But first, we believe that for each business it is crucial to have certain key elements, as follows. 

  • You should maximise your personal asset protection 
  • Minimise your tax exposure 
  • Comply with all legal requirements 
  • Allow new partners and investors to enter 
  • Have future access to Discount Capital Gains Tax Concession 

Sole Trader 

Typically in Australia, Sole Traders are small scale business operated by its owners directly, usually by family members and close friends. 


    • Can have direct control over the business and all its success
    • Low costs and minimal legal requirements to start up 
    • Easy to change the business structure
    • Greater privacy
    • Easy to disband 


    • Owners have to bear full responsibility for liabilities (unlimited liabilities)
    • Owner’s personal assets may be used to pay business debts 
    • Pay tax for all profits (Business income are taxable, included in their ‘annual personal income tax return’ and taxed at marginal rates)


Partnerships are formed by 2 or more business ventures. Once the partnership is formed, both sides become Owners or Principles of the business. In a Partnership, it is required to have a TFN of its own, since it is considered a new entity. They also bear profits and losses together, as well as set terms and conditions for the duties each side will have to follow. Under the Business Name Act, the name of the partnership must also be registered. 


    • Allows combination of different skills from each side
    • Partnerships are able to receive tax advantages 
    • Usually, partnerships dissolve if one partner passes away 
    • Taxable income or loss of Partnership is shared, according to Partnership Agreement; if not, is still divided between parties 


    • Unlimited liability spread between Partners, their property and assets
    • Required to lodge Income Tax Return 
    • Each Partner is responsible for other’s share of business liability


Companies can be divided into private and public companies, are run by directors and owned by shareholders. They can also be listed and unlisted on the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) 

Similar to a Partnership, companies are required to have their own TFN, the business is operated by directors and owned by shareholders. 


    • Liabilities are limited to the Company’s assets, will not extend to the owner’s assets (within a limit)
    • All profits are taxed at a fixed rate 
    • Company can distribute franked divided to their shareholder without having them to pay tax again (franking credit)


    • There is setup cost and annual reporting due to ATO and AISC compliance requirements 
    • Additional legal and financial reporting obligations

Trust (discretionary and unit trusts)

There are two types of Trusts- discretionary and unit trusts. Trusts are required to have their own TFN, and to have a Trust Deed. The purpose of a Trust Deed is to set out the powers of the Trust, making it legally binding for the parties involved and create asset protection. 


    • Can hold properties for beneficiaries
    • Flexible in income distribution (discretionary trust only)
    • Discretionary Trust offer the greatest level of asset protection 


    • Can be difficult to dismantle
    • Need to lodge a separate Tax Return for the Trust 
    • Beneficiaries pay Personal Income Tax on their income from the Trust 

Should you have any questions about setting up your own business, call BOA & Co. accountants in Chatswood on 02 9904 7886 and our specialists will be pleased to assist you.

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How to start a business in Australia

If you’re an up and rising entrepreneur looking to start your own business, but have no idea where to start, then this article is for you.

To start, you have to understand what company structures there are, and see which one best applies to you.

Companies in Australia acts as a separate legal entity from its owners. This means that companies have the same legal rights as a person would, such as being able to incur debts, have its legal responsibilities and can be taken to court. As the owner of your company, you are the director for the company’s management and operations. On the other hand, as a shareholder, you are only financially tied to the business. has a ‘Help me decide’ tool which you can learn more about which company structure applies to you best. Click here to access it.

There are 2 main types of companies you can choose- Private and Public companies.

Private companies are mainly proprietary companies, such as having an owner or have a trade name. Public companies can be classified as NFP (not-for-profit) or charitable organisation, registrable Australian body, or special purpose company. Learn more about business structure here.

Regardless of the type of company that you operate in, your company must be registered with ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commision), and you must complete the following 5 steps in order to complete your registration.

1. Choose a name for yourself

Your company name is an integral part of your business. Not only does originality and creativity matters when choosing a name for you company, the name should also reflect the company’s legal status, ensure that it does not breach ASIC’s naming conventions and has not been taken by another financial body in Australia.

If you’re a privately owned company, then your company name should include “Pty Ltd” to show the status of your company as a proprietary company. You should also take care in not naming your company with words such as ‘Bank’, ‘Trust’, ‘Royal’, ‘Incorporated’ without proper government approval, as these breach ASIC’s naming conventions for companies. However, you are allowed to trade under a different business name after you have registered your company’s name. For example, ABC Party Pty Ltd can trade and sign under as ‘ABC Party’ for their business.

2. Choose your company rules (constitutions or replaceable rules from Corporations Act)

There are two types of company rules- Replaceable Rules and Constitutions.

Replaceable rules are a basic set of rules, from the Corporations Act, which guides you on how you can manage your own company. These rules are a guideline for all Australian company which they have to follow.

On the other hand, Constitutions are a set of rules that you form for your company, but also has to be based on and according to the Corporations Act, and has to be kept in company records. With Constitutions, you can tailor your company rules based on the needs of your company, while you only need to follow the rules if you choose Replaceable Rules.

3. Officeholders/ Crucial members of the company

All companies will have to have an appointed secretary, director, and shareholders, which forms the members of the company. Each of your nominated member will have to sign a written consent to show they accept and understand the obligations of their position, which holds them accountable to the company and their compliance to the Corporations Act.

Some examples of common obligations for companies are ensuring that company details are up-to-date, maintaining company records and details on register, pay their lodgement fees and annual fees as required.

4. Share structure

Share allocation to shareholders is also crucial to the company. How many shares per shareholder, what class of shares they will be issued, these are some questions that you will have to think through. Normally, companies will offer ordinary shares to the members of the company, but they must not disclose any information to them.

5. Nominate a principal place of business

Companies will require to have a primary place of conducting business in the form of a registered office. If your registered office does not belong to your company, for example if your registered office is your accountant’s office, you are required to get a written consent from them to use their address for your company.

– Registering with ASIC

Register via the Australian Government Business Registration Service

One you have done the above 5 processes, you can begin lodging your application to register with ASIC via 3 following ways.

  • the Australian Government Business Registration Service.
  • Use private service provider through your accountant or solicitor
  • Lodge a paper form directly with ASIC

Once you’ve completed your registration form, given out all required information, signed and paid for the lodgement fees, you will receive an Australian Company Number (ACN).

  • After you have registered

Once ASIC has approved on your registration, they will send you a certificate of registration and a corporate key. The corporate key is a unique number that represents your company, and you are required to create an account online and make sure the details of your company are accurate.

As the owner of a registered Australian company, you have to make sure that your company’s name is on display when conducting business and is open to the public. You also required to show the ABN and ACN of the company on all documents that are published by the company.

Should you have any questions about setting up your own business, call BOA & Co. accountants in Chatswood on 02 9904 7886 and our specialists will be pleased to assist you.

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