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Matt's Story

Starting a business: Matt’s journey with GOV.AU

What if we make government services so easy to use that people don’t need to know how government is structured to get things done? We spent 9 weeks imagining how it might work when we bring different government services together, to better meet user needs.

Meet Matt, a passionate cyclist, whose dream is to open his own bike shop and open a small cafe as part of the business.

When Matt tells his friends and family of his plans, they warn him that it will take months to get his shop open. But when Matt googles ‘How do I start a business’ the first search result is from the new GOV.AU.

He starts by answering a few simple questions about his business:

  • What will your business do?
    • bicycle retailing,
    • sports clothing retailing,
    • cafe operation.
  • How will your business trade?
    • online,
    • shop.

GOV.AU brings together everything he needs to know and do, to get his business up and running in Australia.

There’s a simple task list for Matt to follow. He can see what he needs to complete with government.

  • What business structure do you plan to use?
    • Company.

Matt is directed to the single online business registration space. Matt notices that he can register his business name, get his ABN, and tax set up in the one place, which will save him time.

He is told about all the licenses and permits he’ll need for his business. He can start applying for these online because his store is in New South Wales.

  • Where is your shop located?
    • Same as registered business location: 1 Main Street, Orange, New South Wales, Australia.

11 months later, Matt gets an email from GOV.AU. He notices some information on how to find staff and learns that he might be able to sponsor a skilled worker from overseas.

This is perfect timing. Matt was thinking about inviting a fellow cyclist, Ken, who has some great ideas about developing custom made mountain bikes, especially designed for Australian conditions. This innovation would help expand Matt’s business.

He starts the questionnaire about Finding Staff. Matt didn’t know how to employ someone from overseas.

  • What position do you want to employ someone for?
    • Industrial designer.

But, just like when he started his business, once he answers a few simple questions, he’s given clear instructions and a list of all the things he needs to do.

When he does some more investigating, GOV.AU lets him know that his business is qualified to bring someone in.

  • What nationality is the person you’ll employ?
    • Japanese

He didn’t even have to re-enter his business information. Matt now understands what he needs to do to sponsor Ken and completes his application.

What we’ve just shown is how GOV.AU can bring together different parts of government such as: the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Australian Business Register, Australian Taxation Office, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, the Fair Work Ombudsman, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the NSW Government Food Authority, Service NSW, and local government, the City of Orange.

We think it’s possible to do that in a way that lets people get things done without feeling confused, overwhelmed, or getting it wrong.

We believe that our design approach will work well with many other government services in Australia. This is how we can make government services simpler, clearer, and faster.

Watch the illustrated video version: Starting a business: Matt’s journey with GOV.AU.

GOV.AU story and video by the Digital Transformation Office

Production: February 2016, release March 2016.

Copyright Commonwealth of Australia (Digital Transformation Office) 2016.

With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms and where otherwise noted, this product is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence