Small businesses account for 95 per cent of all businesses in the State. Estimates show small businesses employ around a third of the State’s labour force.
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), based on Australian Business Number registrations, indicate there were 202,818 small businesses in Western Australia as at June 2009. The 2006 ABS Census indicates there are more than 156,000 self-employed people in Western Australia.
The industries in which most small businesses in Western Australia operate are:
- agriculture, forestry and fishing;
- finance and insurance services;
- transport, postal and warehousing; and
- retail trade.
Indicative figures show that almost a third (32 per cent) of small businesses in Western Australia are operated by sole traders. The remaining small businesses in the State are evenly spread across company, partnership and trust business structures.
You may be considering migrating to Western Australia for business reasons, or specific business opportunities. There are three ways you can own a business.
Buy a business
Buying an established business can be a big commitment of time, money and energy. Read the important points you need to consider before buying a business on the Small Business Development Corporation website.
After you have thoroughly read the information and are confident in moving forward with buying a business, you can start looking at business listings.
Researching businesses for sale
- Newspapers in Western Australia include The West Australian Saturday paper and has information under ‘Business Opportunities’. You can also find small businesses for sale in your local community newspaper. These free newspapers are delivered to homes weekly.
- Business brokers are similar to real estate agents, except they deal with businesses, rather than properties. They list businesses for sale and work on behalf of the seller to find a suitable buyer. You can often find business brokers online. Two examples are listed below:
- Internet, magazines, and trade journals can also be a source of useful information. australia.businessesforsale.com/australian is an example website.
The Small Business Development Corporation also provides a summary of places to search for business opportunities.
Buy a franchise
In its simplest form, franchising is a business method based on the use of another person's business philosophy. Read more about buying a franchise on the Small Business Development Corporation website. Examples of franchises in Western Australia include:
You can find franchising opportunities through business brokers and online. Some examples of useful websites are below:
Start a business
Instead of buying a pre-existing business, you may want to start your own. Starting your own business is much more involved than buying an existing business with proven cash flow and profits. Carefully read the Small Business Development Corporation information on starting a business to make sure this option is for you.