How to Start an Import Business in Australia | Just Updated

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The import business industry in Australia has grown significantly over the past few years. Australian importers imported roughly $638 billion worth of products into the country, and this number continues to rise each year. With so many options on how to start an import business in Australia, it can be difficult to choose which one will be right for you. For guidance on how to start an import business in Australia, follow these helpful tips and tricks from industry experts.

Taking the first Step

It’s not enough just to dream of starting a business, you have to take action. Find out which category your idea fits into and then start reading all you can about getting started. Contact at least three people who are already operating import businesses in Australia and ask questions. Look for trade shows or industry events in your area, attend them and speak with as many people as possible about starting an import business; get their advice on pricing, sourcing overseas, taxes, contracts, and much more. Take copious notes and be sure that everything is written down; it will make starting a business much easier if you have all of these details organized before you start putting any money down.

Finding your market

Before you start your import business, it’s important to take some time and do some research. First and foremost, you need to find a market for your products; that is, determine who needs your product (or service) enough that they will buy it. Do they have any other options? And if so, how can you beat them? For example, one of our clients was selling roasted nuts. The existing market was served by local retail outlets such as corner stores. In order to sell more nuts than anyone else on a street corner or at a neighborhood barbeque, we had to make our almonds taste better than anyone else’s – even if it meant charging slightly more for them.

Finding a supplier

Once you’ve identified a product you want to import and considered if there’s a demand for it, your next step is finding a supplier. There are many different options when it comes to where you source your products, so make sure you do some research before deciding on one. Some products may be easily sourced locally or online, while others may need to be imported from abroad. If that’s the case, think about how long it might take for those goods to reach you—you don’t want buyers waiting too long after they’ve purchased something! You also want to keep import costs down, which means looking at factors like shipping distance and port accessibility.

Pricing your product

As a first-time entrepreneur, one of your first major tasks will be deciding how much you should charge for your product. Depending on where you’re at with your import business idea, pricing may be relatively easy. If you have a completed product that is ready for sale, it’s just a matter of thinking about what other products are like yours and setting a price that reflects similar offerings. If you’re still in the development or early prototyping stages, you may want to think more broadly. Ask yourself: how do I determine how much something is worth? And why would someone pay what I am asking? You might find value in asking similar questions while thinking about the pricing of future competitors or products available on Amazon.

Setting up a Pty Ltd Company

When it comes to importing goods into Australia, you need a Pty Ltd Company. Importing goods and reselling them is a great way for you to make money but it’s not as easy as some people think. The first thing you need is a business name. If your chosen business name is already taken, then you will need to choose another name that hasn’t been used before. You are required by law in order for you to import goods or services into Australia; start off with your local state government or New South Wales if importing goods into Western Australia, Victoria if importing goods into Queensland, and Tasmania if exporting goods from Tasmania.

Registering as an Importer

To start importing, you need to register as an importer with Customs. If you’re moving goods worth more than $1000, you will also need to apply for a license (if you don’t have one) with Customs. There are restrictions on what types of goods can be imported and how they’re distributed. For example, you can’t import offensive material (like pornography), and there are rules around making sure products comply with Australian standards and regulations. If unsure about anything, it’s always best to consult a professional before moving forward—and taking on extra expenses or risks.

Working with Customs

Setting up an import business in Australia is not all fun and games, of course. Importing products isn’t exactly a simple process, especially when it comes to dealing with customs duties. You have three options for importing your products: (1) Duties and taxes will be paid by you; (2) The customs department pays for duties and taxes; or (3) Your company buys them from another Australian business. Since items imported from other countries may need repair or cleaning before they can be sold, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and give yourself enough time between ordering your products and getting them into stock.

Sending products by sea or air?

Most small businesses send their goods by air freight. It’s expensive, but it gives you control over your shipment. You can track your items every step of the way, so if they get misplaced or there are delays due to weather or customs, you can take immediate action. Shipping by sea is much cheaper, but shipments take weeks—sometimes months—to arrive. Once you’ve got a handle on how shipping works and what fees apply, consider which method is right for your import business in Australia. You might even consider doing some test shipments using both methods to get a better sense of what works best for you and why.

Dealing with risk when importing

When you are dealing with imports from overseas, there is a very real risk that your shipment may get delayed or lost. Delays happen all of the time and most shipments don’t encounter any problems at all. However, it is still worth it to know how to deal with any delays as they occur so that you can ensure your business keeps running smoothly even if a few shipments don’t arrive on time. There are three main things that you need to think about: what if your shipment arrives late? what if your shipment gets stuck in customs? what if your supplier sends the wrong product? To help you figure out what to do if one of these situations arises, let’s look at some examples.

What is import duty?

Import duty is a tax that businesses pay when they import products into Australia. The amount you will be charged will depend on a variety of factors, including what you’re importing and whether you want to pay duty upfront or delay it until later. The amount of import duty a business has to pay is determined by which kind of license it holds.


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