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Tips on writing a business plan


Do you know that every state or territory requires the applicant to write a business plan for the proposed business in Australia?

For all business visa applications, the state or territory requires the applicant to show their proposed business activity to see how their intended business plan fits into the economic activity of the state. A business plan is crucial as it will affect the nomination of the applicant.

The business plan must be specific, direct and achievable and most importantly, it will fit into the state nomination guideline.

The business plan should have the following:

1. The Business

• A full description of the business activity

• A full description of the products and services to be provided

• Where will the business be located (please identify postcode and suburb)

• Description of the premises where the business will locate (if known) and

purchase/lease terms (if any)

• Is this a new business or are you purchasing an existing business? For an

existing business, how much will you pay to purchase it?

• Who will own the business (identify shareholding percentages)

• How many staff will the business employ? What will be their roles? What will

be their salaries? Are they new or existing jobs?

2. Market

• Name customers, which products they will buy, at what volume, at what price,

how many sales will be export sales

• Name suppliers, what products/inputs they will supply, at what volume, at

what price

• Name your three closest competitors, what product they supply, at what price

3. Finances

• Provide a simple profit and loss statement for three years (on one page).

Explain details (how you have derived projected sales, cost of sales, prices

assumed and volumes assumed, rental/lease costs, salary costs)

• Identify working capital and how it will be financed

• Provide a simple capital expenditure plan identifying start-up costs and future

capital expenditure and how it will be financed (on one page)

4. Research

Applicants for State Nomination need to demonstrate research of the Business environment and how you will be able to operate a successful business in this environment. Your Business Plan should detail how this research has informed your proposed business activity including sound analysis of:

  • The Australian market

  • The regulatory environment, including local market conditions (e.g. information on what licenses are required to operate the business)

  • Practical matters such as proposed customers, suppliers, competitors, and likely business location

You should provide evidence to support your research. Appropriate evidence may include:

  • copies of correspondence and records of meetings with potential customers

  • copies of agreements with customers

  • If purchasing an existing business, copies of financial statements of a business to be purchased, advertisements ‘business for sale’, agreements with prospective business sellers

5. Supporting documentation

Supporting documentation is essential to show the ability of the business in generating incomes and benefits to the state. Supporting documents such as the following can be provided:

  • Forecast on the business income statement

  • Sales forecast for the business

  • Forecast payroll and human resources plan

  • Sales strategy and plan

  • Plan to employ and create jobs for the local employee


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