18857436433_7ae5a1d284_zYou have this wonderful idea for a business and you have established there is a market need for your idea, however before you decide to invest your life’s savings and inflict yourself on the unsuspecting public.

3 words of cautionary advice !

  • Skills
  • License
  • Name

From Australia to the UK I have found so many business owners in deep financial problems, some haven’t acquired the appropriate license to carry out their chosen trade. Others have begun business in the wrong trading entity and only realized when the tax authorities have slapped a huge fine on them. Still more have been subjected to raids on their premises because they failed to show they had the appropriate and certified skills. Whilst your business efficiency can be improved by the use of Business Management Systems such as JGID ( www.JGID.com ) your trade skills are market and trade specific.

This section for preparing your Business Plan covers the 3 sectors that frequently catch out the unwary entrepreneur, required skills, licences and the trading name. The specifics and links are for Australia, however, I can assure you it is very similar in France, the US, the UK, in fact most countries have strict rules governing these three issues.

Please remember ALL customers will typically assess your product or service within the following 3 parameters. Do you possess the;

  • Required skills, which means it is an essential basic trade capability.
  • Preferred skills, which means this is the professional standard most customers will expect.
  • Desired skills, which means you have the skills to satisfy specific market demands.

In most cases, especially in today’s market, you’ll probably need all or almost all of the required skills, plus at least half of the preferredskills in order to gain the work. If you have one or more of the desired skills, your chances are even better.


1 – Skilled Occupations List

  • If you are considering trading how do you know you have sufficient skill ? and,
  • how do you persuade potential customers you can do the work at the appropriate standard ?

The answer is really simple, check with your regional assessing authority directly to obtain a skill assessment. You can do this on line. The assessing authority will provide all necessary applications forms and associated information relating to the assessment. The Australian information is available for migrants but also existing citizens via the B.I.B.P. site

Here is the link : http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/Work/Skills-assessment-and-assessing-authorities/skilled-occupations-lists/SOL

A skills assessment helps you find out if you have the necessary skills and qualifications to work in your nominated occupation. TheSkilled Occupation List provides a complete list of the relevant assessing authority for each occupation on the list, as well as contact details for these authorities. This is Australia specific at the moment. I will add more countries in a later posting.

A skills assessment should not be confused with licensing or registration. A skills assessment helps you to determine whether your skills and experience is relevant to meet national standards in your nominated occupation while registration or licensing means you hold a license or registration and have permission from the relevant authority to practice in that region.

For example, to work as a plumber in Australia, you must be registered with or obtain a license from a local authority in the state or territory where you want to practice as a plumber. In some cases, a successful skills assessment is also required in addition to meeting the licensing and registration requirements.

You can check if your occupation requires registration or licensing by visiting the Australian skills recognition information page and selecting your occupation.

For further information about skills assessments, contact the relevant assessing authority. For questions relating to licensing and registration, contact the relevant registration body in your state or territory. For help with running your business most efficiently visitdev.snkeee.com.au/jgid.


2 – Certificates and Licenses

Australian Department of Education & Training

Registered Training Organization Finder

This tool identifies the locations where assessments are available for respective occupations. You should confirm which program is right for you, and whether you meet the eligibility requirements by using the TRA Pathfinder

Trades Recognition Australia is a skills assessment service provider specializing in assessments for people with trade skills, for the purpose of skills recognition.

They offer three options;

  • to assist you to find the right program,
  • to access detailed program information or
  • to progress a TRA application

Always remember that in this digital age where most customers have smart phones, customers will check you out before placing the business.

Don’t get caught,

get smart,

get licensed.

Licensedtrades.com.au is Australia’s only comprehensive license checking website. They index over 47 licensing authorities and over 1 million trade professionals! So potential customers can do all their licensed trades checks in one place.


3 – Trading name

Do you need to register your business name

If you are using your own name – your given name(s) and/or initial(s) followed by your surname – as a business name, it does not have to be registered

You need to register your business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) if:

  1. you include other words with your name, such as Joan Smith Party Hire or John Smith & Sons
  2. you are trading under a name that is different from your own name
  3. you are operating a company (Pty Ltd) and want to trade under a different name to your company name.

Registering your business is important because

  • it prevents you from mistakenly using the name of another registered business, company or corporation.
  • It lets the public know who is conducting a business under the business name, and
  • allows you to open a business bank account under your registered name

You cannot use an unregistered business name, or a name that is different from your own name or company or corporation name

Business name or company name?

A business name (e.g. Acme Trading Services) is different from a company name (e.g. Acme Pty Ltd).

  • A business name is used by consumers to identify the company or persons behind a trading name.
  • A company is a separate legal entity from its directors and shareholders

Registering a company name prevents an identical business name or company name from being registered by competitors anywhere in Australia. If you want to operate your business as a company, you will need to register with ASIC

Your rights as a registered business name holder

Registering a business name only gives you certain rights over that name. For example, it does not:

  • give you ownership of the name or the exclusive right to use the name
  • stop another person from registering a similar name
  • prevent the name being registered as a trademark
  • prevent the name being used by someone that has already registered it as a trademark
  • protect you from legal action if the name of your business infringes the intellectual property rights of another (for example, a name which is a registered trademark).

To protect your business name further, you need to register it as a trademark.

I believe all knowledge that helps businesses progress should be available to all, FREE at the point of need.

Thank you for reading this blog and please feel free to add any comments to the discussion.