Buyers Frequently Asked Questions

The information contained in these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is intended for general guidance only and should not be relied upon as ‘legal’ of ‘professional’ advice.

To the fullest extent permitted by law, Capital Commercial Business Sales makes no representations or warranties (expressed or implied) in relation to the information, including its accuracy, currency or completeness.

The information provided in the FAQs does not constitute professional or legal advice, nor is the use of any third party resource an endorsement of the information contained in the FAQs provided. It is recommended that you obtain appropriate professional and/or independent legal advice to ensure that the material provided here is relevant to your particular circumstances.

To the fullest extent permitted by law, Capital Commercial Business Sales, or its employees do not accept any liability for any reason, including without limitation, liability in negligence, to any person for the general information which is provided in the FAQs, or in respect of anything, including the consequences of anything done, or not done, by any such person in whole or partial reliance upon the information.' Thank you from the team at Capital Commercial Business Sales.

Thank you from the team at Capital Commercial Business Sales.

The Australian Government has a broad range of Business migration visas that require newly arrived migrants to start or purchase a business in Australia.

Unfortunately, the newly arrived migrants are limited in the type of business that they can start or purchase as this will be dependent on their migration conditions. It is very hard to match a business to a newly arrived migrant as the purchaser is not just looking at the viability of the business but also the Department’s requirement. Further, migration requirements change on a regular basis, so a business that can satisfy the requirements one day might not the next; as a consequence, the “thousands of Chinese and foreign buyers wanting to buy business to gain residency” can be seen as a myth or lottery where chances of winning are very low.’

With previous sales, we have facilitated observation periods. This is when a buyer comes and examines the business for a longer period, commonly 5-10 days.

In retail and hospitality businesses, the observation period usually involves the buyer watching the operations for the whole day to try and ascertain the sales volume and business processes.

Most business sellers are apprehensive about allowing a buyer to use an observation period. Nevertheless, handled correctly and with certain conditions in place an observation period can be a beneficial process for buyer and seller alike.

We recommend that the buyer and seller agree and or resolve the following before commencing with an observation period:

  • a clear understanding of why the observation period is required
  • broad agreement on the sales terms and conditions is reached
  • what will happen in the during the observation period
  • a holding deposit into the brokers trust account is provided
  • a confidentiality agreement is entered into

What we often find is that a buyer initially requests a two week period and after several days they have confirmed what they wanted to know.

PEBITDA is acronym commonly used by business brokers and at Capital Commercial Business Sales it's frequently used.

The reasons that we use PEBITDA is to try and help buyers fully understand the owners profit and benefits generated from the business.  This helps buyers compare opportunities using a consistent profit value.

PEBITDA is an extension and slight variation of an accounting terminology - EBITDA; Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.

The reasons buyers and investors use EBITDA to try and understand a more accurate operating profit result of a business/investment opportunity.

Interest expense varies from business to business and doesn't relate to operations of the business; this also applies to depreciation and amortisation expenses.

A better way of understanding PEBITDA would be to call it owners profit, which includes:

  • wages, salaries and super paid to the owners
  • interest expense (paying loans)
  • depreciation expense
  • adjustments - this relates to expenses that are not operational and relate to the proprietor.

So PEBITDA would be all the wages paid to the owners, plus these costs added back.

So if two owners work 90 hours between them and the PEBITDA is $250,000 you have a clearer idea of what the profit result is for your effort.

In using the above example of the $250k PEBITDA, some buyers who are looking to operate the business under management might factor replacement wages for staff to perform the 90 hours at $120,000 and then determine the EBITDA (with adjustments) to be $130k.

An add back is an expense that is added back to the profit/loss of the business for the purpose of showing a more accurate reflection of the earnings that the owner has generated from the business.

The theory behind these add backs is that these expenses are purported not to relate to the operations of the business, one-time, and/or specific "owner's" expenses

What types of add backs are commonly applied?

  • Adjustments to owner’s compensation: some owners pay themselves above market value this can also include, superannuation and bonuses. A buyer may not necessarily spend that rate of pay to themselves or a replacement employee.
  • Personal expenses: Running personal expenses through the company is a frequent occurrence in closely held businesses. Personal expenses may include the following          - Owner's vehicle expenses (monthly payment, insurance, fuel, registration)
              - Owner's telephone or internet expenses
              - Family members or associated persons on the payroll.
              - Travel, meals, entertainment for personal use, not business purposes.
              - Any other expense that is personal in nature and not a business-related expense
  • Lawsuit settlements and other legal fees: These payments can be another example of a legitimate add back, assuming these sorts of payments are truly rare and extraneous for the company.
  • Rent of Facilities at Prices Above or Below Fair Market Value: Many businesses pay rent for the space they occupy. It is often the case that rent is arbitrarily set above the going market rent. PEBITDA would be adjusted upwards by adding back the arbitrary, non-arms-length rent and subtracting the true market rent.
  • Depreciation: This is a non-cash expense incurred by a business.
  • Interest: This is a non-operating expense incurred by a business and is added back to better reflect earnings.

One common strategy used by business to reduce the reported profit is to claim non-operational expenses. Some owners might claim phones, vehicles, home office expenses and related expenses like travel. 

No, there is no stamp duty payable on the purchase of a business in the ACT.

GST is payable if the sale is not ‘the sale of a going concern’, examples would be, if you purchased a fit-out located in a leased premises rather than the business, or where you purchased the assets of a business that is not operational.

The sellers solicitor in almost all circumstances prepares the contract for sale.

Please note that we wouldn't be party to a transaction that didn't involve independent and professional legal representation for both buyer and seller.

Once we have agreed on all the sales terms and conditions, we will prepare a sales advice; alternatively, described as heads of agreement.

The sales advice covers things like the amount paid for the business, asset values, handover and trading restrictions. The sales advice will be sent to both lawyers and will prompt the sellers solicitor to prepare the contract.

Essentially there are four different structures you can choose when establishing your business. These are:

  • Company
  • Trust
  • Partnership
  • Sole Trader

Each structure type has its benefits, costs, and strengths. We recommend that you speak with a business accountant about determining what structure is best for you.

Some things to consider when working with your accountant to select the best structure:

  • What is the big picture for the business?
  • Do you plan to grow the business? Franchise it? Open more outlets?
  • Who will control the business?
  • Will you need to raise additional capital in the future?
  • Will the business be asset rich, and if so what is the best way to protect those assets?
  • When you decide to get out of the business how will that happen and who will take over?
  • What are current income arrangements within the family?
  • If the business is to be controlled by one person what are the contingencies in the case of death or incapacitation?
  • What are the most tax productive solutions while maintaining the strategic objectives of the business.

We highly recommend that you seek advice from a suitable qualified legal and finance advisor about the best entity for your business. 

We are happy to provide a list of accountants that other buyers and sellers have recommended in the past. We accept no accountability or responsibility for the reliability or accuracy of the advice provided. 

Firm Suburb Phone Email Website
Accounting 4 Business Gungahlin 02  6241 4042
 Accrue Deakin 02  6285-4441
 Axiom Associates KINGSTON 02 6257 0363
Benchmarc Group Phlllip 02 6173 7800
Bonsella Business Solutions Canberra 02 6257 4144
Business Innovations  ACT  Pty Ltd Kingston 02 6280 6233  
Chaloner & Associates Belconnen 02 6251 5544  
Clarity Accountants Lyneham 02 6162 1188
Clarkson Williams Partners Fyshwick 02 6280 6588
Cosgrave Soutter Canberra 02 6272 0900
Cox Sherlock Accountants WESTON 02 6288 0901
Dellavedova & Associates Canberra 02  6248 8500
DFK Everalls Pty Ltd Deakin 02 6232 4588
Duesburys Nexia Canberra 02 6279 5400
Easdowns Business Specialists Turner 02  6257 1488
Gail Freeman & Co Pty Ltd Kingston 02 62952844
H&R Block Canberra 02 6230 6661
Halletts Chartered Accountants Canberra 02  6257 5712
Hardwickes Deakin 02 6282 5999
Hussey & Hussey Dickson 02 62476735
Ian D Bain & Company Pty Ltd Scullin 02 6278 3814
ITP The Income Tax Professionals Canberra 02 62489435
JDAA Accounting Fyshwick 02 6218 9320
Kinsella Partners KINGSTON 02 6262 6655
KPMG Canberra Airport 02 6248 1111
Marisa Gonzalez & Co Isaacs 02  6162 0908
Maxim Chartered Accountants Kingston 02 6295 8744
McGuire & McGee Pty Ltd Dickson 02 6253 5777
McLean Leslie & Champion Fyshwick 02  6280 5210
MCS Accounting Deakin 02 6215 7600
Nexia Australia Canberra 02 6279 5400
Paul Clark Yarralumla 02 6281 5843
PKF Di Bartolo Diamond & Mihailaros Canberra 02 6257 7500
Poulton Deborah & Associates Kingston 02 6239 5011  
Prosperity Accounting Solutions Yarralumla 02 6281 5843
Prova Chartered Accountants Canberra 02 6230 7755
Radford & Co Lyneham 02 6262 8072  
Ravanello & Co Chartered Accountants Mawson 02  6290 2698  
Synergy Group Barton 02  6260 7477
Tax Property & Super Solutions Pty Ltd Harrison 02 6241 2600  
Tribe Strategic Accountants Griffith 02 6274 0400
Viisum Braddon 02 6268 0200
Vincents Chartered Accountants Canberra 02 6274 3400


The below table is a list of lawyers that previous clients have used. Capital Commercial Business Sales is not accountable for the service and advice provided. 

Firm Lawyer Phone Email Website Area of Foucs
Lodhia Lawyers Akash Lodhia 02 9233 7000 Franchise Sales
Carden & Co Darren Carden 02 6100 6553 Small business sales
Private advisor Ross Reid 0427003407 DNA Strategic legal advice
KJB Law Jo Twible 02 6281 0999 Franchise Agreements, Shareholders Agreements and Licence Agreements
Chamberlians Mark Noth 02 6215 9100 Commercial & Property


Yes. As business sale agents we have a legal duty and a fiduciary responsibility to disclose the names and dealings with all buyers. We will not provide your contact phone and email address to the seller without first disclosing to you the buyer that we intend to do this. 

In the vast majority (95%+) of business sales, buyers buy the business assets but not the entity that owns the business.  The best example of this is that of a company or trust that owns and or controls the business. As a buyer, you are not buying shares in the company; rather you are entering into an agreement to purchase the business assets.

So when a buyer purchases the assets of the business, the liabilities should not be transferred or carried over to the buyer.

Many buyers read the balance sheet in the financial statements and see loans and obligations and are concerned that they will inherit those debts and commitments when they buy the business. This should never happen in a conventional business sale process.

The buyers solicitor should search the assets that are being transferred/purchased with the business sale to ensure that they are unencumbered and can be freely assigned from seller to buyer through the business sale process.

Some sales require the assignment of works in progress or agreements with clients, which can require the consent of parties.

Some sales require the sale of shares in a company (5% of sales) his type of sale process is different to the traditional business sales process and commonly requires the directors (selling) to provide undertakings and warranties relating to the history and activities of the company being purchased.

A guide to completing your asset list with Capital Commercial Business Sales.

What is an asset list?

An asset list is a detailed written list of all the assets with dollar values. The list should include both tangible and intangible assets (explained in greater detail below) that will be transferred to the buyer when they purchase your business.

By omission, the asset list also indicates items not included in the sale.

The asset list is not an accounting document; it is a sale tool and is primarily used to demonstrate and defend value to buyers.

Save time and money having by having your asset list prepared before you go to market.

In almost all cases a business sale is achieved by both seller and buyer executing a business for sale contract. The contract is in most cases drafted by the seller's solicitor.

All the assets to be transferred should be written in the contract. It saves time and money to have that list ready to go and available for your solicitor as soon as you reach the agreement with the buyer.

When drafting the sale contract, your solicitor may need to make adjustments and changes to the assets in the contract as items may have been replaced or added during the marketing campaign.

Different types of assets.

Essentially there are two types of assets, tangible or intangible assets.

Our goals when marketing and selling your business are to present as many assets as possible, with accurate values which can be justified to a buyer.

Some examples of tangible assets:

Item Examples and rule
Business furniture Desk, chairs and cupboards. Exclude any personal items that you will not be providing as an example; family desk.

Fixtures and fittings or fitout.

Can be defined as leasehold improvements

Plumbing, lighting, air-conditioning and partitions. Also things like product displays.

Be certain that the improvements or assets are not owned by the property owner.
Equipment Fridges, ovens, computers and anything that is used by the business that will be transferred to the new owner.


Items that are in production that have not been finished.  If you were a carriage builder and there were 5 completed carriages that you were going to transfer to the buyer with the sale.

It’s important not to confuse stock with inventory. Stock are the products sold on a daily basis and inventory is considered to be the materials used to produce finished goods.


This would include any vehicles that are to be transferred.

Real estate

If property is going to be included with the sale.

Physical items 

Menus provided to customers. Signs fixed to buildings. Artwork placed in offices.


Helping you set the values of tangible assets.

Tangible assets are probably the easiest items to set a value for, because you should be able to provide evidence of similar items that are for sale.  

In many cases, both buyers and sellers can even find comparable items for sale through equipment distributors, equipment websites, suppliers and other used-equipment outlets, which can help establish current market values.

If you cannot find a comparable item and or value, then we ask you to estimate the value of those assets. This process should take into account what the fair market value to replace that item is, and values that we can defend when working with a buyer.

Some examples of intangible assets:

Item Examples and rules

Intellectual property rights assets, including trademarks, patents, licensing agreements, and trade secrets

It can sometimes be difficult to attribute a value to these types of items.

Ensure that the values are defendable and reflect how the new owner will benefit from owning these items.
Logos and graphics

Files provided at settlement. You can use the cost replacement principle.

A foundation that is often used when determining these values is what the cost is to create today.
Client lists and databases

Let's assume that the seller proposes to transfer a customer database that contains 5000 customer records that include contact details and customer history. 

A value of $10 per customer could be attributed based on the cost to generate and record the customer details. In this case, the total value of the database would be $50,000.
Websites and domain names

Development and content investment and website ranking placement can be used to assign value. 

In addition to ranking and development costs, the number of leads generated organically through the site can assist in determining value.

 Phone numbers  1300 and 1800 numbers and in many cases for sole trader businesses mobiles attached to the business.
Business names This should include all the business names that are being offered with the sale.
Procedure manuals

Many buyers are unaware of the time and resources allocated to create these systems and manuals.

Please ensure that you outline the total number of different types of manuals for example Procedure Manuals x 24.

Proprietary technology, systems, and processes

An example of these types of intangible assets could be technology that you have developed or have access to that will be transferred with the sale. 

This could include prepaid licences or ownership of software licences.


Helping you set the values of intangible assets.

Intangible assets can be harder to set values for because many of these items are proprietary and unique to your business.

Having a considered rationale about how you determined the value of these assets is important. 

Measuring the businesses benefits from owning the asset is also a good way of arriving at a value for individual items.

A good example of measuring an economic benefit could be the sales or leads converted from your website or generated through your Facebook page. These leads are measurable, have value and assuming all remains constant should generate revenue for the incoming owner.

If you are struggling to determine values for your intangible assets talk to your business broker, or accountant for guidance.

How to complete the asset list.

Your business broker or business information writer will email you a blank copy of the of the excel spreadsheet template. All you need to do is simply type in the item description in the asset column and the replacement value in the corresponding column.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can we just use the deprecation schedule in the financial statements? 

A: Commonly, the deprecation schedule will not accurately reflect all the assets and the replacement or market values of the assets that are being offered for sale. 

Q: What do we do if we cannot determine the value of assets?

A: In most instances you will be able to determine a fair market value using open sources like price lists and third party websites. If you are struggling to determine value, then ranking is one option. Ranking the values against other similar assets.  You can also call your broker to discuss it.

Q: How detailed should the list be?

A: Well that depends on the business and the total scope of the assets being offered with the sale. If you’re a restaurant its advised not to list every type of cutlery being sold e.g 45 knives and 64 spoons, but rather group certain types of assets like cutlery.

The main principle to observe is that this lists purpose is to defend the value of the business. Therefore, the more comprehensive and reflective of true value, the better. We have had some Asset Lists go over 3 pages.  

Q: How should works in progress, accounts receivable or work contracted but not invoiced yet be managed?

A: In most conventional business sales in Australia (95%+) the entity that owns the business and its assets is not being sold. In the case that we are selling the company then please speak directly to your broker about how to approach this.

We do not include work in progress or work contracted in the asset list, we deal with this in separate section of the business information package. These assets have different values based on the stage and cycle of production and delivery of the product or service, and we negotiate the sale, transfer or how we manage these items separately from the asset sale.

Q: What about items that are leased or financed?  

A: If the item that is leased or financed is going to be paid out and is fully unencumbered then include its market/replacement value in the asset list.

If you are aiming to assign the lease and or finance agreement to the buyer as part of the sales process, then it should not be included in the asset list. Leased or financed items that are to be assigned should be documented and stated in the business package, but immediately after the asset list section.

The expenses of the leased or financed items listed on the profit and loss can be added back to the earnings report if the financed item is going to be paid out. This is because this finance expense will not apply to the incoming owner.

Q: Can we update the asset list during the marketing campaign? 

A: Yes, most definitely and we encourage it.  As the list will form part to the business for sale, we advise that you regularly update send through us so we can update your business sales package.

If you require any assistance in preparing your asset list, please contact your business broker or designated business information package writer.

When completed please email to

An example of an asset list completed by a seller.

The item shown below is an example of a completed excel spreadsheet asset list. We will now use this list in your business sales package and for marketing purposes

Generally, the seller will pay each employee all outstanding annual leave and superannuation entitlements up to the date of settlement. Sick leave of each employee is generally not adjusted, the potential costs of long service leave of each employee is generally negotiated between seller and buyer.

When a business is sold that is operated from a premises, the lessor will first have to agree to accept the buyer as the tenant of the premises. The lessor will then deal with a transfer of the existing lease from the seller to the buyer, or provide a new lease to the buyer.

Generally the solicitor acting for the seller will contact the lessor’s solicitors to advise that the business of the seller is being sold, the lessor’s solicitors will advise their client, the lessor may ask for financial or other information in relation to the buyer before agreeing to accept the buyer as the tenant.

If they are agreeable, depending on the current tenure, an assignment of the existing lease, or a new lease will be provided.

Generally the buyer will pay the legal fees for the assignment of lease or new lease, however, this process can be addressed during the negotiations for the sale of the business and sometimes shared equally between seller and buyer.

We understand that buyers want questions answered and relevant information provided.  We are committed to doing our very best at getting the relevant information to our customers and facilitating the answers to their questions.

Once you have read the Business Information Package (BIP) if you require further information or have questions, please email

Our system files previously asked and answered questions about particular businesses and types of business, so we might have the answer your looking for.  We don't provide the detailed information, like Financials and Tax Returns with the initial BIP email that we send buyers, but rather summaries of the key components of the business. So if you require the supporting documents we may be able to provide if they exist.

If we don't have them on file, then we can request the seller to provide. We do encourage sellers to provide as much information as possible to buyers, with the understand and commitment from buyers it's provided confidentially and sensitively and should be handled with care and discretely.

Congratulations you are one step closer to owning your own business.  We need to get some paperwork out of the way.

At Capital Commercial Business Sales we like to receive offers from our buyers in writing.  We have an easy to use and straightforward template that we ask buyers to complete and return.

To receive the Offer to Own Template email requesting a copy and we will email it to you directly.

Some relevant information that we will ask you to provide when you are completing your offer.

Your information such as:

  • Name of entity buying. Is it going to be in your name or a company or other entity such as a partnership, trust, etc.? If you have not established this yet place the offer in the buyers
  • Who's your solicitor and their contact details:
  • Stock Terms (how you are proposing to purchase the stock at value): only applies to business with SAV.
  • Preferred Settlement Date:
  • Specific Sale Conditions:
  • Subject to (this means that the acquisition is subject to)
  • How you propose to fund the purchase?
  • Outstanding questions or information requests?

Once you have completed the offer form, please email to or fax to 1300 793 950.

If you would like to place the offer face to face, we can arrange to meet at our offices in the Melbourne Building Canberra City. Please email your request or call 1300 793 690.


Businesses purchases come in all types and sizes, and so do lawyers, law firms and legal services. Hiring a good lawyer is very important because they can have a great amount of input over the success, or lack of success in purchasing a business. Careful selection of the right lawyer to guide you through the process of buying a business is critical.

Depending on the nature of the sale and purchase of the business, you should expect to spend between $2,000.00 to $10,000.00 for a lawyer to assist you with the purchase of a business.

If you are purchasing a small business that is not located in a premises under a lease, then legal costs will be around $2,000.

If the business is operated from a premises and is subject to a lease, then costs will usually increase as the premises lease will either have to be assigned to you as new tenant, or a new lease provided by the landlord for you as the new tenant. It is common practice that the buyer pays all costs associated with the assignment of the lease, or for a new lease to be prepared, in this regard, depending on who the landlords solicitors are, expect to pay from $1,800.00 to $3,500.00 for legal fees to deal with the premises lease.

If you are buying a franchised business, legal fees will invariably increase. Your lawyer will be required to read a franchise agreement and the disclosure statement, then provide you with advice on the franchise documents – these documents can be complex legal contracts and require careful consideration prior to you entering into the contract to purchase the business. In this regard you should expect to pay from $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 to deal with the purchase of a franchised business.

Though the costs of retaining a lawyer may appear to be high, it is highly recommended that you do not deal with a complex business purchase without the assistance of a commercial lawyer that practices in the area of business purchases.

In regard to legal fees, you should always ask your lawyer for a quote - you can negotiate the legal fees and ask for a fixed fee quote.

Business banking specialising in business sales Canberra 2015.

Please find the below contact list of Business bankers and lenders that other clients and customers of Capital Commercial Business have used in the past.

Please note we are not accountable for the service provided by the individuals or firms outlined below.

You may provide information provide by our office, to your financiers, under the condition that it doesn’t conflict with the signed deed of confidentiality agreement and disclaimers provided and willingly entered into by yourself.

Contact Lou Gaspari
Position Business Banking Manger ANZ
Firm ANZ
Phone 0434 183 707
Office location Canberra
  • Franchise lending above $400k
  • Business purchase lending above $400k


Contact Sitauti Mailei
Position Business Banking Manager at NAB
Firm National Australia Bank
Phone 0404 886 326
Office location Canberra
  • Business / Commercial Lending above $500k ie Purchase
  • Business, Purchase Commercial Property, Property
    developments, Equipment Finance / Leasing, Debtor/Trade
    Finance, Foreign Exchange / Risk Rate Management - inclusive of
    all personal financial requirements for Directors


Contact Ben Miller
Position Owner
Firm North Finance
Phone 0405124036
Office location Canberra
Specialisations Finance Brokers


Contact Rick Reeks
Position Business Owner
Firm Capital Business Services
Phone Office 02 6162 1132
Fax 02 6162 1134&nbsp
Mobile 0412 624 685
Office location Queanbeyan
  • Home loans
  • Equipment leasing
Licence type: Tobacco licence
What the licence authorises the holder to do: This licence is required in order for a proprietor to offer Tobacco products for retail sale. The licence enables you to sell tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars, at the premises specified in the licence.

Licence classes: Retail and Wholesale tobacco licence.
Relevant legislation requiring the business to hold the licence/Registration: Tobacco Act 1927 (Australian Capital Territory)
New application process:

To obtain a new Tobacco Licence, the proprietor must submit a new licence application. Fees: 2016 schedule

Column 1 Section

Column 2 Description Column 3 Fee payable


Payable By



Application for a wholesale tobacco merchant 's licence:

  1. If apply from September to November
  2. If apply from December to February
  3. If apply from March to May
  4. If apply from June to August

$411 per business

$308 per business

$206 per business

$103 per business

Owner of the business

to which the application for license relates

Application for a retail tobacconist's licence:

  1. If apply from September to November
  2. If apply from December to February
  3. If apply from March to May
  4. If apply from June to August

$411 per business

$308 per business

$206 per business

$103 per business
Owner or occupier of the premises to which the application for license relates

Renewal of a wholesale tobacco merchant 's licence

$411 per business

Owner of the business to which the renewal of license relates

Renewal of a retail tobacconist's licence

$411 per premises

Owner or occupier of the premises to which the renewal of license relates


Forms: Application for a Tobacco Licence - New or Renewal


Transfer process: This licence is not transferable.


Licence type: Responsible Service of Alcohol
What the licence authorises the holder to do: Authorizes the proprietor to sell and serve alcohol.
Relevant legislation requiring the business to hold the licence/Registration: Liquor Act (2010)
New application process:

Licensees are required to have successfully completed an ACT approved responsible service of alcohol (RSA) training course. RSA training will be required every three years if you are a licensee. RSA courses are provided online and are generally inexpensive and quick to complete.

Fees: $30 - $45


Transfer process: Not transferable.


Licence type: Registration with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)
What the licence authorises the holder to do: A registered training organisation (RTO), in Australia, is an organisation providing Vocational Education and Training (VET) to students, resulting in qualifications or statements of attainment that are recognised and accepted by industry and other educational institutions throughout Australia
Relevant legislation requiring the business to hold the licence/Registration: National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011
New application process:

Becoming registered as a registered training organisation (RTO) is a complex process.
As a deliverer of nationally recognised training, each RTO must meet a range of mandatory requirements to ensure that it can deliver training and assessment to the high standards expected by students, and by Australian industry and employers.

Your initial registration application will undergo a rigorous assessment process to ensure your organisation is able to comply with (and remain compliant with) the required standards. On average, applications for initial registration take between seven and nine months to assess (see FAQ)—if you are fully prepared to become an RTO and if you have submitted a complete application to ASQA.

Before submitting an application for initial registration, you must:

  • develop a thorough understanding of the requirements of registration
  • ensure your organisation is eligible for registration with ASQA, and
  • be prepared to demonstrate the financial viability of your organisation.

Forms and Fees:

Application lodgement fee: is $800 per application.

Assessment fee: This fee covers the costs of ASQA’s assessment of your organisation’s compliance with the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Quality Framework and the conditions of registration prescribed in the National

Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011. This includes a comprehensive risk assessment and (in most circumstances) an audit of one or more of your delivery sites.

  • The base application assessment fee is $8000
  • This base fee covers registration for up to four qualifications (including accredited courses), 20 individual units of competency, and up to two delivery sites.
  • In addition to the base fee:
  • each additional qualification (or accredited course) is charged at $145
  • each additional unit of competency is charged at $50
  • each additional Australian delivery site is charged at $1395
  • The total application fee (the sum of the application lodgement fee and the application assessment fee) is capped at $50,000

Annual fees are determined by the number of qualifications (including accredited courses) on your scope of registration:

  • on the first day of the calendar month following ASQA’s approval of your registration, and
  • every 1 July thereafter.

Annual fees for CRICOS registration are:

  • Up to 2 qualifications $950
  • 3–4 qualifications $1645
  • 5–50 qualifications $4375
  • 51 or more qualifications $7100 



Transfer process:

If the person or corporation to whom the RTO is sold or transferred is an RTO prior to the sale or transfer:
The person or corporation must gain approval from ASQA to extend its scope of registration to cover any additional accredited qualifications it wishes to deliver after the sale or transfer.

If the person or corporation to whom the RTO is sold or transferred is not an RTO prior to the sale or transfer: The person or corporation must apply for initial registration, and ASQA must approve the application, before the new owner can operate as an RTO.

Forms and Fees: Transfering ASQA registration is a complicated process, beyond the scope of this table. we recommend you make further enquiries with ASQA


Licence type: Infection Control licence
What the licence authorises the holder to do:

The Infection Control Unit at the Health Protection Service is responsible for regulating all businesses in the ACT that perform skin penetration procedures. These businesses are required to be licensed and comply with the relevant code of practice. The businesses are inspected regularly by public health officers from the Infection Control Unit to check for compliance with the legislation. Authorises the proprietor to operate a business which provides any of the following services:

  • Acupuncture
  • Beauty Therapy
  • Body piercing
  • Dental Practice
  • Dry Needling
  • Facial Waxing
  • Nail Salon
  • Pathology
  • Podiatry
  • Tattoo Studio
Relevant legislation requiring the business to hold the licence/Registration: Public Health Act 1997 (Act)
New application process:

To obtain a new Infection Control Licence, the proprietor must submit a new licence application. In this application they must include the following information:

  • A floor plan showing the layout of all fixtures and fittings of the premises must accompany this application.

Forms and fees

1 Year (fee $179)
2 Year (fee $358)
3 Year (fee $537)

Infection Control Activity Licence Application Form


Transfer process:

This licence is transferable. The proprietor must complete and submit an application to transfer the Infection Control Licence.

 Forms and fees:

Infection Control Activity Licence Variation Form

 Source: of Ownership


Licence type: Outdoor dining permits
What the licence authorises the holder to do: An Outdoor Dining Permit ensures that all cafes and restaurants with outdoor dining areas on public land are appropriate and suitable for patrons, businesses, the public and the community at large. If you are a business intending to place non-fixed or semi-fixed objects in an outdoor dining area, you need to apply for a permit through Access Canberra. There is no requirement for a Development Application (DA) unless there is a proposal to construct permanent fixtures on the site.
Relevant legislation requiring the business to hold the licence/Registration: Public unleased land Act (2013)
New application process:

The permit process has two parts:

  • The application process - gathers general information about the business, the location, hours of operation and the business owners.
  • The assessment process - ensures all safety checks are undertaken for both you as a business owner and for pedestrians. These checks also ensure that utilities (above and below ground) can continue to be accessed and that the public has access to open space facilities such as bubblers, bike storage areas and bins.

Please note: If you plan to sell alcohol in the outdoor area and do not have a current liquor license, please contact the Access Canberra before submitting an outdoor dining permit application.

Fees: this is contingent on a variety of factors, e.g number of chattels, whether or the business serves alcohol etc. and fees may vary.

Forms (online): Application for outdoor dining permit.


Transfer process:

This permit is transferable:

  • The current permit holder must apply to transfer the permit to the proposed new permit holder.
  • If the proposed new permit holder is a company, a separate applicant details page of this form must be completed by each company director.
  • If the proposed new permit holder is a partnership, a separate applicant details page must be completed by each partner.

Fees: may vary.

Forms: Application for an outdoor dining permit - including new application, renewal, transfer or amendment (Online)



Licence type: Builder licensing (Class A, B C or D).
What the licence authorises the holder to do:

Class A
Described as:

  • Building work other than specialist building work or handling asbestos.
  • This licence permits building work of unlimited height on any Building Code of Australia (BCA) class of work.

Class B
Described as:

  • Building work (other than specialist building work or handling asbestos) in relation to a building that is three storeys or lower; and
  • Basic building work.

Class C
Described as:

  • Building work (other than specialist building work or handling asbestos) in relation to a building that is two storeys or lower and is a class 1, 2 or 10a building; and
  • Building work (other than specialist building work or handling asbestos) in relation to a building that is a class 10b structure (other than a swimming pool or swimming pool fence) and is ancillary to a building mentioned in paragraph (a); and
  • Basic building work.

Class D
Described as:
Non-structural basic building work, other than specialist building work or handling asbestos.

Relevant legislation requiring the business to hold the licence/Registration: Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004
New application process:

Unless the assessment timeframe has passed, or a more information request has been sent, licensing will not be able to discuss an application.
Forms and fees:
For an application to be deemed lodged you must pay the application fee of $473.00 (if lodged at an Access Canberra customer service shopfront) or $430.00 if lodged online. This application fee is non-refundable should you not be successful in obtaining a licence. If the licence application is successful you will be contacted to pay a licence term fee.


Transfer process: This licence is not transferable.
Licence type: Motor vehicle repairer licencing
What the licence authorises the holder to do:

A person carries on business as a motor vehicle repairer if they perform work on a motor vehicle, motor vehicle part or motor vehicle system including:

  • examining or assessing condition or performance improvement;
  • diagnosing and detecting faults;
  • overhauling;
  • dismantling and assembling servicing and maintenance;
  • replacing and adjusting objects for performance improvement;
  • painting and treatment;
  • modifying, altering, installing or fitting work; or,
  • giving advice on any of the work mentioned above.
Relevant legislation requiring the business to hold the licence/Registration: Fair Trading (Motor Vehicle Repairer Industry) ACT 2010
New application process:

Forms and fees: You may apply for a motor vehicle repair licence by completing an Application for a motor vehicle repair licence (Online) and paying the prescribed fee. Before lodging your application it is important that you have obtained all the necessary planning and other approvals.

These may vary depending on individual business circumstances, but generally around $310 per annum.


Transfer process: This is not transferable. If you are selling your motor vehicle repair business the proposed purchaser must apply for a new licence. It cannot be assumed that they will automatically receive a licence as the eligibility tests must still be met for the proposed new owner.
Licence type: Electricians licences (all classes)
What the licence authorises the holder to do: Type of work one can undertake depends on the class. 
Relevant legislation requiring the business to hold the licence/Registration: Constructions Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004
New application process:

Assessments of a licence/accreditation/registration application for an individual, company or partnership, will take a minimum of four weeks for processing if the application is complete. If an application is incomplete, or a delegate requires more information or verification of experience, the assessment of an application can take considerably longer. More information requests will be sent to an applicant by email in the first instance. Assessments of applications will not be fast tracked in any circumstances. Ensure that the assessment timeframe is taken into consideration when planning to undertake work requiring a licence/ registration in the ACT. Unless the assessment timeframe has passed, or a more information request has been sent, licensing will not be able to discuss an application.

Costs: For an application to be deemed lodged you must pay the application fee of $250.00 (if lodged at an Access Canberra customer service shopfront) or $228.00 if lodged online. This application fee is non-refundable should you not be successful in obtaining a licence. If the licence application is successful you will be contacted to pay a licence term fee.

Transfer process: This is not transferable.
Licence type: ACT Liquor Licence
What the licence authorises the holder to do:

Off licence: authorises a licensee to sell liquor at a single licensed premises:

  • in sealed containers for consumption off the premises; and,
  • at licensed times.

General licence: authosizes the licensee to sell liquor at a single premises:

  • in open containers for consumption at the premises; or
  • in sealed containers for consumption off the premises; and,
  • at licensed times.

On licence:  (sub-classes of nightclub, bar, or restaurant and cafe licence) - authorises the licensee to sell liquor at a single premises:

  • in open containers for consumption at the premises; and
  • at licensed times

Club licence: Authorises a club to sell liquor in stated parts of a single premises:

  • in open containers for consumption on the premises; or
  • in sealed containers for consumption off the premises;
  • to an adult who is a member of the club who is at the licensed premises at the invitation of an adult member of the club who is also at the premises; and authorised by the club to be at the premises; and,
  • at licensed times;
Relevant legislation requiring the business to hold the licence/Registration: Liquor Act (2010)
New application process:

Along with a completed Application for liquor licence (DOC) and the prescribed fee, applicants must also provide the following:

  • suitability information for all applicants, close associates, influential people (for a corporation), people with day to day control, and the premises;
  • police certificates for all of the abovementioned people (including for a corporation);
  • approved plans, certificates of occupancy, and Provision of lease advice from the Environment and Planning Directorate; and,
  • a risk assessment management plan for general, on, club and special licence type applications

Applicants applying for a new liquor licence must also undertake a public consultation period for 30 days, by having a notice published on the ACT Open Government website and displaying a sign (which will be provided to you upon application) at the proposed premises.

Forms and fees (2017):


Transfer process

The person who wishes to take on the licence must fill out the form and the current licenses or authorised person must sign on a section of the application agreeing to transfer. When the application of transfer is received the department reviews the application and generally approves if all required documentation is included and is correct. Then the liquor licence is passed to the new vendor who is now licenced to sell liquor.

This licence is transferable. The vendor must provide the following for the application:

  • Evidence of Citizenship or Resident status (if born outside Australia)
  • Police certificate issued within the previous three (3) months (use the consent form available from - fees apply)
  • Personal particulars
  • Two forms of identification (at least one form to be current photo identification)
  • Statutory declaration regarding their suitability
  • Copy of driver licence, proof of age card or birth certificate
  • Organisation particulars
  • Police certificate for the corporation issued within the previous three (3) months (consent form can be obtained from the AFP)
  • Evidence of business registration / creation of the organisation (g. company or incorporation extract, club constitution and evidence of financial member numbers,enabling legislation, or certificate of registration)
  • If the proposed licensee if a corporation, a current company extract issued by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) within the last 30 days
  • Current licensees’ details

Forms and fees (2017)




Licence type: Food Business licence
What the licence authorises the holder to do: Authorizes the proprietor to sell and serve food
Relevant legislation requiring the business to hold the licence/Registration: Food Act (2001)
New application process:

To register a food business, the Food Business New Registration Application form must be completed and submitted to the Health Protection Service. A registration fee applies. The fee is based on the risk classification of the food business

Registration applications must be accompanied by plans and specifications of the food premises and an Application for Fit-out and Plan Assessment for consideration by a Public Health Officer. An inspection will be carried out before a new registration can be granted. Once the business is deemed to have met the requirements of the Food Standards Code and the Food Act 2001 a registration certificate is issued.

Forms and fees: please see the Registration Information Sheet below to find out which category your business falls under.

Length of Registration

Risk Classification

Low Risk Medium Risk High Risk
1 Year $127 $185 $249
2 Year $254 $370 $498
3 Year $381 $555 $747


Food Business - Registration Application

Food Business - Fit-out Assessment Application Form

Food Business - Final Fit-out Inspection Checklist


Transfer process:

This licence is transferable. The proprietor of the business must advise the Health Protection Service within 7 days of a change in ownership of the business. The vendor must complete the Health Protection Service Food Business Application to Vary or Transfer Registration form.

Forms and fees:

No fees apply to this application



Yes please see the attached templates.

  1. Business Plan Template: You can find a reliable and practical business plan template here at the website. .  Much on the information required to complete this business plan will be will provided with the Business Information Package provided for your relevant business.

  2. Personal Assets and Liabilities (version 1). Often landlord will ask for a statement of assets and liabilities. This is an easy to use dashboard.

  3. Cashflow forecast.

The Personal Property Securities Register, most commonly known as the PPSR, is an official government register. It is a public noticeboard of security interests in personal property that is managed by the Registrar of Personal Property Securities.

Sellers of businesses may have trade accounts, business loans or equipment leases that are recorded on the PPSR by trade suppliers or banks, these registrations must be removed by the Seller from the PPSR if they relate to the assets or trading stock of a business when the sale is completed.

Annexures and schedules are documents or information that relate to the business that are included in the contract that are not contract terms. They can include employee lists, stock lists, assets lists, premises leases and licences.

In the ACT, liquor and food licences can be transferred from the seller to the buyer – the buyer will generally pay for all associated costs with each application to transfer – other licences may be required, such as outdoor dining permits, separate applications can be made for and paid for by the buyer.

Vendor finance is when the seller of a business agrees to accept payment of a portion of the purchase price by way of finance. Generally a separate loan deed will be prepared noting the seller as lender and the buyer as borrow, the parties will agree on the sum of the finance, the length of the term, and repayment terms, including the payment of interest. Under the terms of the loan deed, the seller can register their interest in the business against the buyer (as grantor) on the PPSR.

Core Data of businesses sold by Capital Commercial
Business Sales and our team

SectorLocationSale PriceSAV Earnings MethodTurnoverGross Profit Owner Notes
Deli Belconnen, Canberra$320,000 $50,000 PEBITDA $125,000 $980,000$392,0001 FT Click
Resturant - 6 days and nights no breakfast Hawker, Canberra$160,000 $30,000 Proft/Loss $90,000 $741,000$445,00015 Hours per week admin and relief shifts. Click
Tyre and Automotive Phillip, Canberra$260,000 $180,000 PEBITDA $120,000 $2,095,000$
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2 FTE Click
Tennis Centre Hawker, Canberra$1,200,000 $0 N/A $0 $0$0Asset sale. Click
Boost Juice Canberra$560,000 $5,000 PEBITDA $204,000 $881,000$615,000Owner 40 hours per week. Click
Standalone Bottleshop Charnwood, Canberra$190,000 $125,000 PEBITDA $67,000 $654,223$143,5101 FTE Click
Steakhouse Dickson, Canberra$390,000 $25,000 PEBITDA $242,000 $956,000$575,0002 FTE Click
Framing shop Civic, Canberra$110,000 $40,000 PEBITDA $131,081 $545,000$438,0001.5 FTE Click
Speciality Retail (Sports) Braddon, Canberra$1,125,000 $
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PEBITDA $260,000 $1,570,000$630,0001 FTE Click
Kitchen Retail DFO, Canberra$175,000 $80,000 N/A $0 $825,000$407,000Under management - Interstate based onwer Click
Synthetic Grass Installation Northside, Canberra$174,000 $20,000 Profit/Loss $75,000 $220,000$
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Under management 20 hours per week. Click
5 Day a week Cafe Braddon, Canberra$180,000 $7,500 PEBITDA $89,000 $365,473$251,4412 FTE Click
IGA/Newsagency Mitchell, Canberra$410,000 $125,000 PEBITDA $115,000 $2,073,581$375,3031 FTE Click
Beauty Salon Belconnen Town Centre, Canberra$85,000 $15,000 PEBITDA $41,000 $365,778$291,0802 PTE - 40 hours per week. Click
Mechanics Bungendore, NSW$325,000 $37,000 PEBITDA $151,092 $713,000$406,0001 FTE Click
Post Office/News South Canberra, Canberra$225,000 $70,000 PEBITDA $120,000 $460,000$253,0001.5 FTE Click
Sumo Salad Belconnen, Canberra$
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Kebab Franchise Civic, Canberra$140,000 $10,000 PEBITDA $84,000 $630,000$415,0001 FTE Click
Convenience Store + Freehold Civic, Canberra$
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$25,000 PEBITDA $75,000 $875,000$119,0001 FTE Click
Resturant Inner North, Canberra$150,000 $35,000 Profit/Loss $-110,133 $1,030,000$423,0002 FTE Click
Newsagency and Liqour + Including freehold. Weston Creek, Canberra$990,000 $115,000 PEBITDA $220,000 $2,100,000$440,0002 FTE Click
Health and Gym South Canberra$1,275,000 $0 Profit/Loss $284,000 $1,611,000$1,510,0001.5 FTE Click
Supermarket and freehold Charnwood, Canberra$985,000 $35,000 Asset sale $0 $
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1 FTE Click
Plumbing Business Canberra$260,000 $30,000 PEBDITA $220,000 $650,000$
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1 PTE 20 Hours Click

Business Sales Terminology


Administration Appeals Tribunal


Activity Based Costing


Australian Business Number


Australian Business Register


Australian Bureau of Statistics

Accounts payable - 

A record of all short-term (less than 12 months) invoices, bills and other liabilities yet to be paid. Examples of accounts payable include invoices for goods or services, bills for utilities and tax payments due.

Accounts receivable

A record of all short-term (less than 12 months) expected payments, from customers that have already received the goods/services but are yet to pay. These types of customers are called debtors and are generally invoiced by a business.

Accounts receivable finance

See factoring.

Accrual accounting

An accounting system that records transactions at the time they occur, whether the payment is made now or in the future.


Australian Company Number


Adjusting Journal Entry


The process of expensing for intangible assets such as goodwill and intellectual property over a period of time. See also Depreciation.


Account Payable


Account Receivable


Australian Security and Investment Commission


Are things you own. These can be cash or something that can be converted into cash such as property, vehicles, equipment and inventory.


Australian Stock Exchange


Asset  Turnover


Australian Taxation Office


A physical check performed by an auditor or tax official on a business' financial records to check that everything is accounted for correctly.

Bad debts

Money owed to you that is unlikely to be paid to you in the foreseeable future.

Balance sheet

A snapshot of a business as of a particular date. It lists all of a business' assets and liabilities and works out the net assets.

Balloon payment

A final lump sum payment due on a loan agreement. Loans with a larger final 'balloon payment' have lower regular repayments over the term of the loan.

Bank reconciliation

A cross-check that ensures the amounts recorded in the cashbook match the relevant bank statements.


An individual is bankrupt when they cannot pay their debts and aren't able to reach an agreement with their creditors


A process where an individual is legally declared bankrupt and their assets and financial affairs are administered by an appointed trustee.


Business Activity Statement


A set of conditions against which a product or business is measured.


The process of comparing your business to similar businesses in your industry.

Bill of sale

A legal document used in the purchase of property or other assets that details what was purchased, where the purchase took place, and for how much.


The process of recording the financial transactions of a business.


Where a business funds growth purely through personal finances and revenue from the business.

Bottom line

See Net profit.

Break-even point

The exact point when a business' income equals a business' expenses.


Business  Service Authority


A listing of planned revenue and expenditure for a given period.


Beginning Balance (See also EB)


Block Value


Chartered Accountant


Wealth in the form of money or property owned by a business.

Capital cost

A one-off substantial purchase of physical items such as plant, equipment, building or land.

Capital gain

Is the amount gained when an asset is sold above its original purchase price.

Capital growth

An increase in the value of an asset.


Consolidated Activity Statement


Includes all money that is available on demand including bank notes and coins, petty cash, certain cheques, and money in savings or debit accounts.

Cash accounting

An accounting system that records transactions at the time money is actually received or paid.

Cash book

A daily record of all cash, credit or cheque transactions received or paid out by a business.

Cash flow

The measure of actual cash flowing in and out of a business.

Cash incoming

Money that is flowing into the business.

Cash outgoing

Money that is flowing out of the business.


Capital Gains Tax

Chart of accounts

An index of the accounts a business will use to classify transactions. Each account represents a type of transaction such as Asset, Liability, Owner's equity, Income, and Expense.

Chattel Mortgage

Is similar to a hire-purchase agreement although the business owns the asset from the start. Chattel mortgages require regular ongoing payments and typically provide the option of reducing the payments through the use of a final 'balloon' payment.


Closing Journal Entry


Contribution Margin(= Sales Less Variable Costs)


Cost of Goods Manufactured


Cost of Goods Sold


See Security.

Commercial bill

(Also known as a bill of exchange) is a form of commercial loan that can be offered on an interest only basis, or reducing basis. Commercial bills typically require some sort of security and suit short-term funding needs such as inventory.

Contingent liability

A liability that only needs to be paid if a particular event or circumstance occurs.

Cost of goods sold

The total direct costs of producing a good or delivering a service.


Certified Practicing Accountant


Consumer Price Index




A lending term used when a customer purchases a good or service with an agreement to pay at a later date (e.g. an account with a supplier, a store credit card or a bank credit card).

Credit history

A report detailing an individual's or business' past credit arrangements. A credit history is often sought by a lender when assessing a loan application.

Credit limit

A dollar amount that cannot be exceeded on a credit card or the maximum lending amount offered for a loan.

Credit rating

A ranking applied to a person or business based on their credit history that represents their ability to repay a debt


A person or business that allows you to purchase a good or service with an agreement to pay at a later date. A creditor is also anyone who you owe money to, such as a lender or supplier.

Crowd funding

Is a way of financing your business idea through donations of money from the public. This is usually done online, through a crowd funding website.

Current asset

An asset in cash or that can be converted into cash within the next 12 months.

Current liability

A liability that is due for payment in the next 12 months.




In double-entry bookkeeping a debit is an entry made on the left hand side of a journal or ledger representing an asset or expense.


Any amount that is owed including bills, loan repayments and income tax.

Debt consolidation

The process of combining several loans or other debts into one for the purposes of obtaining a lower interest rate or reducing fees.

Debt finance

Money provided by an external lender, such as a bank or building society.


A person or business that owes you money.

Debtors finance

See Factoring.


A failure to pay a loan or other debt obligation.


The process of expensing an asset over a period of time. An asset is depreciated to spread the cost of the asset over its useful life.


Money that is paid out by a business.


A reduction applied to a full priced good or service. See also Markdown.

Double-entry bookkeeping

Is a bookkeeping method that records each transaction in two accounts, both as a debit and a credit.




Personal expenses paid for from a business account.

Drip pricing:

Is when one price is presented at the beginning of an online shopping experience and gradually, incremental fees and charges are added (or 'dripped') as you progress, for example, when buying a plane ticket. Drip pricing can result in the customer paying a higher price for a service or product than they first thought. As a business owner, you are required to show fees and charges at the beginning of an online shopping process and not grad


Double Taxation Agreement


Ending Balance (see also BB)


Earnings Before Internet and Tax


Earnings Before Interest ,Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation


Electronic Lodgement Service

Employee share schemes

An employee share scheme (ESS) is where you give your employees the opportunity to buy shares in your company. It is also known as an 'employee share purchase plan' or an 'employee equity scheme'.


An encumbered asset is one that is currently being used as security or collateral for a loan.


Earnings Per Share


The value of ownership interest in the business, calculated by deducting liabilities from assets. See also owner's equity.

Equity finance

Is money provided to a business in exchange for part ownership of the business. This can be money invested by the business owners, friends, family, or investors like business angels and venture capitalists.


Economic Value Added

Excise duty

An indirect tax levied on certain types of goods produced or manufactured in Australia including petrol, alcohol, tobacco and coal.


A predetermined arrangement such as an account offered by a financial institution to a business (e.g. a bank account, a short-term loan or overdraft).


(Also known as debtors finance and accounts receivable finance) — is when a factor company buys a business' outstanding invoices at a discount. The factor company then chases up the debtors. Factoring is a way to get quick access to cash, but can be quite expensive compared to traditional financing options.


Fringe Benefit Tax


Fixed Costs (see also; VC)


First In, First Out (see also LIFO)


Money used to fund a business or high value purchase.

Financial statement

A summary of a business' financial position for a given period. Financial statements can include a profit & loss, balance sheet and cash flow statement.

Financial year

A twelve month period typically from 1 July to 30 June.

Fixed asset

A physical asset used in the running of a business.

Fixed cost

A cost that cannot be directly attributed to the production of a good or service.

Fixed interest rate

When the interest rate of a loan remains the same for the term of the loan or an agreed timeframe.


Is when a private company offers shares in the company to the public for the first time. See Initial public offering.


Future Maintainable Earning


A prediction of future financial transactions. Forecasts are often used to help plan a more accurate budget.

Fringe benefits

Non-monetary benefits such as company cars and mobile phones, included as part of a salary package.


Financial Statement


Family Tax Benefit

Fully drawn advance

Is a long term loan with the option to fix the interest rate for a period. These loans are usually secured and can be used to fund a new business or equipment.


Fiscal Year End; (e.g.: FYE2010)


General Ledger


Generally Accepted Accounting Principal


An intangible asset that represents the value of a business' reputation.


Gross Profit


Gross Profit Margin

Gross income

The total money earned by a business before expenses are deducted.

Gross profit

(Also known as net sales) the difference between sales and the direct cost of making the sales.


Goods and Services Tax


A person who promises to pay a loan in the event the borrower cannot meet the repayments. The guarantor is legally responsible for the debt.


Higher Education Loan Program


A type of finance contract where a good is purchased through an initial deposit and then rented while the good is paid off in instalments plus interest charges. Once the good is fully paid the ownership of the good transfers to the purchaser. See also Rent to buy.


Instalment Activity Statement

Initial public offering (IPO)

When a company first offers shares on the stock market to sell them to the general public. Also known as floating on the stock market.


A business or company is insolvent when they cannot pay their debts as and when they fall due.

Intangible assets

Non-physical assets with no fixed value, such as goodwill and intellectual property rights.


The cost of borrowing money on a loan or earned on an interest-bearing account.

Interest rate

A percentage used to calculate the cost of borrowing money or the amount you will earn. Rates vary from product to product and generally the higher the risk of the loan, the higher the interest rate. Rates may be fixed or variable.


An itemised list of goods or materials a business is holding for sale.


An asset purchased for the purpose of earning money such as shares or property.


A document provided to a customer to request payment for a good/service received. See our Payments and invoicing topic.

Invoice finance

Is finance offered based on the strength of a business' accounts receivable. This form of financing is similar to factoring, except that the invoices or accounts receivables remain with the business. See also Factoring.


Income Statement


International Standards Organization


Journal  Entry


Just In Time


Key Performance  Indicator


A financial obligation or amount owed.


Last In, First Out (see also: FIFO)

Line of credit

An agreement allowing a borrower the ability to withdraw money from an account up to an approved limit.


To quickly sell all the assets of a company quickly and convert them into cash.


The process of winding up an insolvent company. An appointed administrator will do this by ceasing business operations, selling assets, and paying creditors and shareholders.


How quickly assets can be converted into cash.


A finance agreement where a business borrows money from a lender and pays it back in instalments (plus interest) within a specified period of time.

Loan to value ratio (LVR)

Your loan amount shown as a percentage of the market value of the property or asset that will be purchased. The ratio helps a lender work out if the loan amount can be recouped in the event a loan goes into default.


Line of Credit


The difference between the selling price of a good or service and the profit. Margin is generally worked out as a gross margin percentage which shows the proportion of profit for each sales dollar. See alsoMark up.

Margin call

When the value of a property or asset falls below a certain LVR. For higher risk loans such as margin loans, the lender will request further payment to bring the LVR back to the agreed percentage. See also Loan to value ratio (LVR).

Mark down

A discount applied to a product during a promotion/sale for the purposes of attracting sales or for shifting surplus/discontinued products. See also Discount.

Mark up

The amount added to the cost price of goods, to help determine a selling price. Essentially it is the difference between the cost of the good/service and the selling price, but it does not take into account what proportion of the amount is profit. See also Margin.

Maturity date

When a loan's term ends and all outstanding principal and interest payments are due.

Net assets

(Also known as net worth, owner's equity or shareholder's equity) is the total assets minus total liabilities.

Net income

The total money earned by a business after tax and other deductions are taken out.

Net Profit

(Also known as your bottom line) is the total gross profit minus all business expenses.

Net Worth

See Net assets.


Net Income


Net Tangible Assets


Office of Fair Trading



Overdraft facility

A finance arrangement where a lender allows a business to withdraw more than the balance of an account.

Overdrawn account

A credit account that has exceeded its credit limit or a bank account that has had more than the remaining balance withdrawn.


The fixed costs associated with operating a business such as rent, marketing, utilities and administrative costs. See also Fixed costs.

Owner's equity

See Net assets.


Profit and Loss


Pay as You Go (tax)


Pay As You Go Instalment


Pay As You Go Withholding

Personal Property

Covers any property someone can own, except for land, buildings and fixtures. Examples include goods, plant and equipment, cars, boats, planes, livestock and more.

Personal Property Security Register (PPSR)

The PPSR replaces a number of registers of security interests and provides a single national noticeboard of security interests in personal property.

Petty cash

Cash for the purposes of small miscellaneous purchases such as postage.


Profit/Loss Statement

Plant and equipment

A group of fixed assets used in the operation of a business such as furniture, machinery, fit-out, vehicles, computers and tools.


Profit Margin


Personal Property Security Register


The original amount borrowed on a loan or the remainder of the original borrowed amount that is still owing (excluding the interest portion of the amount).


The total revenue a business earns minus the total expenses. See also Revenue.

Profit and loss statement

(Also known as an income statement) is a financial statement listing sales and expenses and is used to work out the gross and net profit of a business.

Profit margin

See Margin.


See Forecast.


Process Value Analysis


Stands for 'research and development'. Businesses conduct research and development to innovate, create new products and find better ways of doing things.


Reserve Bank of Australia


Retained Earnings


A document provided to a customer to confirm payment and to confirm a good/service has been received.

Record keeping

The process of keeping or recording information that explain certain business transactions. Record keeping is a requirement under tax law.


When a new loan is taken out to pay off an existing one. Refinancing is often done to extend the original loan over a longer period of time, reduce fees or interest rates, switch banks, or move from a fixed to variable loan.

Rent to buy

Is a type of finance arrangement where a good is purchased through an initial deposit and then 'leased' while the good is paid off. Once the good is fully paid the purchaser has the option (but no obligation) to buy the good or continue leasing. See also Hire purchase.


The process of a bank or other lender taking ownership of property/assets for the purpose of paying off a loan in default

Retention of title

A type of clause that can be included in contracts where a buyer may physically receive property, but doesn’t take legal ownership from the seller until the full purchase price is paid.

Return on investment (ROI)

A calculation that works out how efficient a business is at generating profit from the original equity provided by the owners/shareholders. It's a way of thinking about the benefit (return) of the money you've invested into the business. To calculate ROI, divide the gain (net profit) of the investment by the cost of the investment - the ROI is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.


(Also known as turnover) the amount earned before expenses, tax and other deductions are taken out.

SAG Expenses

Selling, Administrative,  and General Expenses


A deliberate and targeted deception designed to obtain money or information unlawfully. See our Business scams section.


(Also known as Collateral) is property or assets that a lender can take possession of, in the event that a loan cannot be repaid.


Superannuation Guarantee Charge

Shareholder's equity

See Net assets.


Stock Holders  Equity

Single-entry bookkeeping

A bookkeeping method used within a cash accounting system and records one side of each transaction.


Stands for self-managed superannuation fund. An SMSF is a way of saving for your retirement. Unlike other super funds, an SMSF is self-managed, which means you're responsible for making sure the super fund complies with super and tax laws.


Stock on Hand


Sales Price (price of goods/services sold)


State Revenue Office


The actual goods or materials a business currently has on hand.


A regular process involving a physical count of merchandise and supplies actually held by a business, completed to verify stock records and accounts.


Money set aside for retirement, that must be paid into a complying superannuation fund.


Tax Agent Portal

Tax invoice

An invoice required for the supply of goods or services over a certain price. A valid tax invoice is required when claiming GST credits. See also Invoice.


Trial Balance


Tax File Number


See Revenue.

Variable cost

A cost that changes depending on the number of goods produced or the demand for the products/service.

Variable interest rate

When the interest rate of a loan changes with market conditions for the duration of the loan.


Variable Costs (see also: FC)

Venture Capital

Capital invested in a start-up business that is thought to have excellent growth prospects but does not have access to capital markets because it is a private company.



Working capital

The cash available to a business for day to day expenses.