Your own business

Information and resources to help you consider how to use your skills to start a side-hustle or a small business

Your own business

Small Business Overview

Tasmania has nearly 40 000 businesses and over 95 per cent of these are small businesses. 

Small business accounts for over 97% of all Australian businesses:

  • 62.8%  are sole trader (one owner-operator)
  • 25.7 % are micro business (2 – 4 employees)
  • 8.9% are small business (5 – 19 employees) 

Many people are content for their side-hustle to add a little extra income. Some people use this to grow a small business. 

It’s important to consider your migration situation and personal finances together with the realities of the business itself. 

It’s hard work, the lifestyle is not for everyone, and it might not be the right time in your migration experience, but it can be satisfying to be your own boss. 

Migrants and small business

Migrants are entrepreneurial and tenacious. More than one third of Australia’s small businesses are run by first or second-generation migrantsAnd more than 80 percent of these small business owners did not own a business before coming to Australia. Nationally, 14% of migrants report small business income

Migrant businesses also support social harmony by creating a space for people of different cultural backgrounds to interact, breaking down barriers to understanding.

Small business stories



Learning is mandatory but qualifications are not

To be successful in small business requires continual learning. Formal qualifications are not the only type of learning.  

Vocational Education Training

These are nationally recognised qualifications:

Tertiary qualifications

Migrant business owners are more likely to have a bachelor degree or higher (51%) compared to non-migrant business owners (38%)

These are some university qualifications:

Even if you do study, you also need to know how to use formal and informal supports to fill in knowledge gaps for different stages of a business.  


Your Skill Development

Career development

Starting a small business develops many transferrable skills that valued by employers such as initiative, problem solving and time management.

Business training

Start Up incubator


Resources of self-directed learning

Personal development




Small business news

Network by participating in Enterprize projects

Follow on Facebook

Event calendars to bookmark

Subscribe to find networking opportunities

Platform to promote your business


Tasmanian Resources and Advice

Small business resources

No-interest loans

Advice for small business 

Enterprise Centres Tasmania have free appointments with business advisors. You can seek advice on:

  • starting or expanding a business
  • managing your cash flow
  • dealing with unforeseen events
  • developing a marketing strategy
  • taking your business online
  • commercialising an idea
  • exporting your product
  • identifying new opportunities and networks
Work Safe Tasmania have advisor about work health and safety.
Scam Watch has information about how to protect your small business from common scams. 


Where to run your business

Home based business

Nearly a million Australians run a business from home. Consider these tips from

Office space

Enterprize is a pair of co-working spaces in Hobart and Launceston designed to serve and build the Tasmanian startup community.

Online business

Digital Ready helps small businesses get online. Service includes:

  • A check-up for your business
  • Videos for learning
  • 4 hours of digital coaching

Meeting space

Multicultural Council of Tasmania manages the Hub which has free meeting space, and hall space for hire. 

Market stalls

Markets stalls can be a way of doing business research. Stall fees and requirements vary. Find markets in Tasmania by:

  • Looking at local council website – e.g. community halls, art centres
  • Civic clubs such as Rotary – e.g. fundraising markets
  • Asking locals – e.g. fresh produce, crafts markets


Some businesses may have space or resources that could help your business. If negotiating a co-location agreement, consider fees paid to rent or use the space, and be ready to show that you have insurance to cover your activities. 


Create your own job

Know when a hobby becomes a business

Understand the definition of a business and the tax obligations that are different to hobby sales.

Business in Australia

Running a small business in Australia; What you need to know is published by ASIC.  

Getting ready

First Business App was developed by the government to help you work out whether you are ready to start a business. Available on Apple and Android. 

Your Australian Business Number

Register an Australian Business Number for free.

Business structure

Sole trading is the simplest business structure. Sole trader advice from the Australian Taxation Office.

Business registrations

Other registrations may include a business name and website domain.

Business development tools

These tools guide your business planning: 



The Migrant Network acknowledges the invaluable input from the business community.

Contributors and reviewers of this Small Business page: Daniela Schurink-Moeller, Business South

"It was very pleasant to be part of this program. It is very good to see this in our community, always looking to help others" Skilled migrant, 19 April 2021

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    About MRC Tas

    Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania (MRC Tas) is a not-for-profit organisation that has been supporting people from migrant and humanitarian backgrounds to settle successfully in Tasmania since 1979.

    About Migrant network tasmania

    Migrant Network Tasmania draws on the goodwill, stories and tips of migrants and the wider community to help fellow migrants to establish lives and careers in Tasmania.