How to Start a Sole Trader Business

If you have been considering starting your own sole trader business, but just needed a bit of guidance on where to start, you’ve found the right article. This guide is here to cover the basics on how to launch your sole trader business without the headache.  

These simple steps go through some of the processes that you need to think about and make happen when starting your sole trader journey.  

Who might choose a sole trader business structure? 

There a broad range of occupations that the sole trader structure may appeal to. Some of the common ones include: 

  • Tradies- painters, plumbers, carpenters, etc 
  • Professional contractors- people who may work for other organisations on a contractual basis, e.g. management consultants 
  • Small business owners operating businesses like a hairdressing salon, a personal training business 
  • People who turn their side hustle into a business for example market stall holders, furniture makers and wedding photographers  

Where to start? 

The basis of a strong sole trader business and most businesses for that matter is with a solid business plan. Think of it as your grand plan, your roadmap of where you want your business to go, and how you’re going to get there.  

A business plan often includes details about your business’ budget, competition, product and services, marketing and accounting plans.  

Making it legit 

The next step is to make this sole trader dream a reality. This involves a bit of admin and getting things sorted through the right authorities. These are some of the main links and things you will need to consider when making your business official: 

Get your business name registered–use the ONECheck tool to check that your business name is available to us. It will let you know if your chosen  business name, trademark, web domain and social media username is being used by someone else or not.  

Arrange your New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)- the NZBN is a series of numbers that uniquely identify your business and all the important details about it. Operating as a business in New Zealand, this number will make accessing government business related sites a whole lot easier. You will need to register online for this.  

Get your RealMe® login –it is central login which is used across multiple government sites, helping you save time.  

Dollars and sense  

You’ll be wanting to have all the right systems in place and ready to take customer payments as soon as you open for business. These are a few things you can do to get ready: 

  • Set up a business banking account and any payment facilities that may be required 
  • Talk to your tax agent about your tax obligations, what you can claim, and any best practices you can implement from the get go to make tax time a bit easier 
  • If you have a website to sell your products, make sure you have all the right functions set up to take payments and process orders 
  • Invest accounting and invoicing software, preferably ones which talk to each other! 

Protect your business with insurance  

Once you get all the nitty gritty sorted to get your business up and running, it’s time to look at the different types of sole trader business insurance options and how they can protect all your hard work. Every sole trader business is unique and has its own level and exposure to different risks. 

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to business insurance, so take some time to understand what kind of risks your business may be exposed to, and what you need to look at protecting it from.  

For some industries insurances like Public Liability and Professional Indemnity* may be a required to be in place before you can conduct business. If you are ever unsure, check with your industry body to confirm. 

These are some of the types of business insurance coverages that are available, but you don’t necessarily need every coverage on the market.   

Some of the typical kinds of business insurance include:  

  • Public Liability insurance* 
  • Professional Indemnity insurance* 
  • Business Insurance* 
  • Cyber Liability*                           

Setting up your own sole trader business doesn’t need to be overwhelming, neither does getting your business insurance arranged for your sole trader business*. BizCover offers business insurance solutions to help all kinds of sole trader businesses from Public Liability* to Tool Cover and protecting your bricks and mortar with Building and Contents insurance* too. 

Visit bizcover.co.nz and get insurance for your sole trader business without drama so you can get on with your day. If you’d prefer to pick up the phone and chat, you can find us at 0800 249 268. 

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2023 BizCover Limited. 

Compare multiple quotes online in minutes

Compare FREE quotes

Compare multiple quotes online in minutes

Try NZ's #1 comparison and buy site for business insurance.

Compare FREE quotes

Popular Searches