Small business ideas you can start in Australia

Roberto Efflandrin

Australia is a fantastic place to grasp many types of opportunities, in particular, opening a small business. As of 2021, there were close to 2.5 million small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in operation.¹

Australia’s favourable laws and conditions make it possible for anyone with working rights to be able to set up and run their own business.

If you’ve always thought about starting your own business, but aren’t too sure what to do, we are here to guide you through some small business ideas you can start in Australia.

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Small Business ideas you can do in Australia

We know you’re eager to get some small business ideas, but first let’s just be clear about something - the possibilities are endless and the ideas we’ll go through here is just a drop in the ocean of what you can do. Let’s check out what you could start.

Sell products online. Start your own Ecommerce store

If you like shopping online, and think you have an eye for finding the next in-demand product, you could open your own ecommerce store, or set up stores on major ecommerce platforms like Amazon, Shopify or eBay. To set up an e-commerce store you will have to decide where you acquire your items and how you want to sell them. This could be by:

  1. Making and selling the items yourself
  2. Sourcing a manufacturer domestically or abroad to make the products for you
  3. Buying pre-existing products from a wholesaler and selling them at a premium
  4. Partnering with a dropshipping partner

Secondly, you will need to register your business and apply for GST once your business grosses over a certain threshold. This idea can require a bit more effort than some other ideas we’ll go through but once you have your ecommerce store set up, you’ll have:

  • Global reach for customers
  • Can be low cost to set up and manage
  • Sell items you love
  • Can work your business from anywhere
  • Unlimited scalability

Overall, the best part about this idea is that you can start your business with just one item to sell and can adjust your business model as it begins to grow.

Read more: Amazon FBA Australia. How it works and how to get in.

Become an online coach

An online coach is a good small business idea if you are someone with specific expertise in a certain field and like to work directly with people. Think life coach, fitness or wellness coach, business coach, accountability coach, the list goes on.

To set up an online coaching business in Australia is quite simple but will require you in some cases to have some form of certification, especially if you are thinking of coaching within the fitness or wellness sector. Becoming an online coach can be very rewarding, allowing you to work from anywhere and help people work through some of life's common dilemmas.

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Become a Vlogger/Content creator

If you’ve ever thought about sharing your own unique content online, and make some money from it, you can become a video blogger. Vlogging is literally blogging your ideas, experiences or personal tips through making videos. Although you can share content on just about anything, it’s best to find your own niche audience so you can begin building your fanbase. Once you have built a following, you can monetise your channels with product placement and advertisements, sponsorships and even your own products.

Vlogging content creator

This is another simple small business idea that you can do from anywhere. To become a Vlogger in Australia, you’ll just need access to some decent camera equipment and choose a platform to post your content.

Write your own E-Books

What makes this small business idea great is that absolutely anyone can write their own e-books and organise to get them published. Writing E-books is a great side hustle idea if you are looking for something that could bring you a bit of passive income in the future with minimal set up costs and low time commitment.

Setting up and making this small business idea happen just depends on when you can start writing. There's also no time restrictions or deadlines you have to meet to get it done, meaning you can take your time and enjoy the process.

Start your own affiliate marketing business

This small business idea sounds like it could be something complicated but it actually is pretty straightforward. You set up websites or social media channels and promote them such that they gain traffic, then you promote goods and services as an affiliate of the producer.

Everytime you make a sale, you get a percentage of the sale you referred. This business idea is really simple to set up. However, it will require a lot of promotion, marketing and patience to start getting traffic.

Read more: Starting a business in Australia

Start your own catering business or food truck

Food trucks have become increasingly popular as a small business idea because it’s relatively simple to set up, and you can focus on a few dishes, without the need for a full blown restaurant set up. If you were thinking of going down this track, you’ll first need to look into finding an equipped vehicle.

You will also need to apply for several special licences and permissions in order to legally operate and work with food in Australia.

food truck business

You can find out more information about permits and licences on the Queensland gov website –- Starting a food business - QLD Gov — or by searching on the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) website.

Most of the time, starting your own food truck is a passion project, and will require more time and money than some other ideas. Nonetheless, it can be an incredibly rewarding and lucrative endeavour if done effectively.

Become a freelancer

We’ve kept this idea till last because you can literally become a freelancer in any skill that can be offered as a service. Here are some skills you can offer in a freelancing capacity.

  • Virtual Assistant
  • Graphic Designer
  • English Proofreader/Editor
  • Writer
  • Software developer
  • Website developer
  • Remote customer support
  • Data Entry

There are many sites dedicated to connecting freelancers with businesses that need certain tasks handled. This route is the cheapest and easiest, and usually just requires you to take some time to create a profile that showcases what skills you are offering as a service. The second way is by creating your own website and promoting your business through various social media avenues to gain your own clients organically.

Becoming a freelancer provides you with the freedom to work from anywhere you choose, on your own schedule and using the skills you have already mastered.


Whatever small business you choose to start, you can check out some more specific information, procedure and requirements for setting up a business in Australia.

However, we will quickly go through some expectations and tips for success when going through the process of setting up a new small business.

  1. Opening and running a small business of any size will require you to invest time on top of your usual commitments.
  2. Some small business ideas are easier to set up than others, but there are always going to be challenges.
  3. You will have to invest money and returns are not guaranteed.
  4. Depending on your available resources (time and money), you need to decide if your business idea is best set up as a side hustle alongside your current employment commitment.
  5. Success can take time! Don’t be disheartened if things don’t take off straight away.

Even though some of these ideas we have listed can be started overnight, starting and managing a small business is never an easy task. Preparation is key, and making sure you find ways to promote it at all times.

The Wise way

Once you’ve decided on your next small business venture, you will need to find a way to make business payments locally or abroad and to receive money for the hard work you’ve put in. The Wise Business accountcould be that account. The Wise Business account allows you to conduct international business cheaply, with low fees for paying and receiving money from abroad.

The Wise Multi currency account enables you to convert and hold 53 currencies through a single account. You’ll get local account details for 10 of those currencies including AUD, GBP, USD and EUR, and there’s no monthly account fees to worry about. You can also order a Wise debit card, which automatically converts your money for easy international spending.

If you're curious to see how Wise could benefit you then take a look for yourself - creating an account can be done in minutes.

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  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) small business statistics

Sources checked on: 29 June 2022

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