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The 4 most common types of business structures in are:
- sole trader – the simplest structure, gives you full control
- company – more complex, limits your liability because it’s a separate legal entity
- partnership – made up of 2 or more people who distribute income or losses
- trust – where a trustee is responsible for business operations
- A company business structure is a separate legal entity, unlike a sole trader or a partnership structure. This means the company has the same rights as a natural person and can incur debt, sue and be sued.
- As a member you’re not liable (in your capacity as a member) for the company’s debts. Your only financial obligation is to pay the company any amount unpaid on your shares if you are called on to do so. However, directors of the company may be held personally liable if found to be in breach of their legal obligations.
So if your business sells goods and services that aren’t GST-free, you’ll have to register for GST if:
- You run a business or enterprise with an annual turnover of $75,000 or more
- You run a not-for-profit organisation with an annual turnover of $150,000 or more
- You are a taxi or ride-sourcing driver – regardless of what your annual turnover is