“ The Accountants Direct team set up a new family trust and corporate trustee for us recently. We were brought through each option methodically and eventually decided on the best solution for our family and business partners. We’ve now protected our assets better and look forward to associated tax savings. I’d highly recommend Accountants Direct for any business or high earner looking to improve their financial position.”
Bibin Markose

Choose Your Business Structure Wisely

Get your structure right from the start and you’ll reap the rewards earlier and avoid risk. You can of course change your structure contingent on changes in the business (i.e. growth, strategy or if you look to sell)


An individual person is the owner of the business and operates on their own


Couples or groups running a business together as equals


A separate legal entity run by directors and owned by shareholders


People or companies running a business for the benefit of beneficiaries

You Can Relax

Knowing That You’re Set Up Perfectly for the Future

Your business structure can have a significant impact on how much tax you pay. Growing sole traders should consider a change in structure earlier than later to lock in tax minimization. Here’s more on the primary business structures used by aussies.




Is the best place to start if you don’t plan on earning more than $100k in your first year (otherwise look at an alternative from the start) It’s simple and the least expensive option to set up. But if things go bad (i.e. divorce, lawsuits or even bankruptcy) your personal assets are likely to be more exposed than other options. You are responsible for the lot and you can’t share debts or losses with other parties.




Also a good place to start, easy to set up and relatively inexpensive (though you’ll usually have a lawyer draw up a personalised agreement). However, the partners have joint and several liabilities meaning that each partner is liable for all partners debt. You’d better know (and trust) your fellow partners well!




This very common legal entity is more expensive to set up and administer but most suitable for higher growth businesses due to the lower fixed tax rate. Also, shareholders (owners) can limit their personal liability and are usually not liable for any company debts. On the downside a company can’t access the general CGT (Capital Gains Tax) discount so it unsuitable for property investment for example.




A discretionary trust with trustee company is a structure we recommend often especially for families and related entities. It allows the 50% general capital gains discount and offers asset protection and income splitting. Beneficiaries (often family members) receive at the discretion of the trustees which could vary year on year.




A unit trust is similar to a discretionary trust but is more suited to unrelated parties’ or families that don’t get along ☺ . Beneficiaries have fixed entitlement (nondiscretionary) access to incomes year on year. It also allows the 50% general capital gains discount and offers asset protection and income splitting (but less flexibility compared to a discretionary trust ). Also stamp duty is payable on the sale/transfer of units (assets) in most aussie states though its generally easier to operate from a compliance perspective.

* There are potential legislative changes that may affect this structure in the near future

Frequent Business Structure Gaffes

Its easy to find yourself in a structure with sub-optimal features.
Here’s some of the common mistakes we have encountered.

Next Steps?

Let’s See If We Can Save You Tax and Protect Your Assets Better

There’s many factors to consider when setting up the ideal structure, including your growth outlook, current wealth and income, the industry and regulatory environment and whether you are looking to sell anytime soon.

Each structure has its operational pros and cons. Set up and ongoing compliance costs vary greatly between options. It’s vital however that the optimal structure is set up as early as possible to avoid any unexpected fees such as capital gains or stamp duties.

Of course, we can assist and are happy to set up a free initial chat and longer structuring sessions online.

And being a registered ASIC agent, we can effect all necessary changes ourselves at low cost, quickly and effectively.

Just book in here and we will get things moving.

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If you earn a high income in Australia, you’ll get taxed accordingly –between 30% to 38% is not uncommon for those on top salaries. It’s one of the highest rates in the world. Quite simply, choosing an optimal legal tax structure could save you a lot in tax – that is you’ll keep a lot of your own money. 

There’s no one answer to this question. It very much depends on your current personal and financial situation, your future goals, your assets and if you own and operate a venture (or wish to). The optimal structure could be made up of several different structures and or entities. See above for further information or contact us today for a free initial chat.