The small business specialists
Phone: 13 12 49
Deciding whether to sell or close your business is a key decision.
There are many reasons to stop operating a business including:
The size, profitability and structure of your business can also influence your decision whether to close or sell it.
If you plan to sell or close the business consider:
TIP: The Australian Tax Office has a series of videos to guide you through selling or closing a small business.
When selling or closing your business you must contact the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to:
|Lodge final returns||
Lodge all activity statements, PAYG withholding reports, repay refunds of GST credits and pay outstanding tax debts.
|Cancel your GST||
This must be done within 21 days of ceasing business.
Cancel your ABN
This must be done within 28 days of ceasing business. Cancelling your ABN will also cancel your AUSkey and GST registrations so it is important to make sure that you have met all other reporting and payment conditions.
Record keeping obligations
Under tax law you must keep records for five years. This includes records of sales (including the sale of your business), payments to employees and payments to other businesses.
The ATO has more information.
Advise the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) if you transfer or cancel your business name.
For more information visit the ASIC website.
You will have obligations towards your employees if you decide to sell or close your business.
The exact obligations will depend on the industrial relations system you belong to and may include:
When you decide to sell or close you have obligations if you lease business premises.
If you close before the end of the lease period you must still meet the terms of your lease, including paying rent. If you sell the business, check if you need your landlord’s consent before transferring the lease.
Check your lease agreement carefully and seek professional advice if you are unsure of anything.