Chapter 7

Registering a business and other admin tasks

After all the excitement of deciding to start a business, you’ll have some paperwork to do.

Person puts up a sign for their business called Sticks and Thrones.

How to register a business with the government

The government will want to know you’re going into business. Get in touch with the:

  • Government department responsible for business and commerce: This is a great first stop. They often guide and support new businesses through the startup process. They can also tell you what other branches of government to go to, and they may issue you with a business identification number.
  • Tax office: Depending on where in the world you are, you may have to pay tax on your income and tax on each sale. The tax office can set you straight on your obligations and tell you how to lodge your returns.

There may be other departments to speak to for things like:

  • Permits and licences: You may need permission for certain types of business activity, such as retail, manufacturing, or handling particular types of products.
  • Employing people: If you’re hiring staff, the government will want to track and tax your workers’ pay, and they’ll expect you to comply with employment rules and regulations.

Where to get help

If you’re unsure of your obligations to the government, there are people who can help. Look for industry associations for your type of business, search around for a Chamber of Commerce and other local business advocacy groups, find businesses like yours and ask the owners what regulations they have to comply with, or simply speak to a local accountant.


Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the provided content.

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