31 Online Business Ideas in Australia PLUS 5 AU Specific Steps to Start

May 21, 2024

The best online business ideas in Australia are:

  • Local lead generation (AU$800 to $4,500/month per website)
  • Blogging (AU$8,000/month on average)
  • Membership website (AU$0 to AU$8,000+/month)
  • SEO agency (AU$1,000 to AU$10,000/month per client)
  • Email marketing agency (AU$6,700/month on average)

An aspiring entrepreneur in Australia that wants to start an online business has many options to choose from and will be happy to know that Australian small business owners make great money. Considering that Australia ranks in the top 10 globally for countries with the highest GDP per capita in the world, according to Visual Capitalist, starting an online business in the country has immense profit potential. Small business owners in Australia make an average of AU$110,000, according to Glassdoor. Whether you already have some professional skills or are fresh into the world of online business, below is a comprehensive list of the best small business ideas that you can employ in Australia to start generating online income. 

1. Local lead generation

Local lead generation is an online business model that entails using local SEO to rank websites on the first page of Google in order to attract customers for local service businesses. The business idea works by targeting a specific service in a specific location, such as roofing in Perth of Western Australia, and getting a business website that promotes that service to show up in the Google map pack when potential customers in that location search for that business service. Then, you partner with an actual local Australian business who performs the specific service to take the leads and pay you a monthly fee, typically ranging between AU$800 and AU$4,500/month, for use of the website property. 

2. Blogging

Blogging is a small business option that involves creating a website and publishing content for a niche audience, such as personal finance tips for Australian university students. Bloggers in Australia bring in approximately AU$400/day on average, according to employment platform Indeed. Australian bloggers are able to generate this kind of income through various blog monetization methods, like:

  • Google AdSense revenue
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sponsored posts
  • Selling merchandise and digital products

Starting a blog is relatively affordable. You can choose a domain name and set up a year of web hosting, such as Australia-based WP Hosting, for around AU$200 or less. Then, you need to focus on publishing consistent content to grow your blog and attract an audience so your blog starts making money online.

3. Membership website

A membership website is an online platform that charges a subscription membership fee in exchange for access to exclusive content, like forum archives, downloadable templates, and videos. For example, affLIFT is a membership website for affiliate marketers that has over 97,500 members and charges $20/month for access to exclusive content. Membership websites require a more specialized setup than a standard website, so you’ll need to pay a web developer to help you create the site. According to Smart Blogger, membership websites can earn upwards of AU$100K/year or more, depending on how many members join the site. Growing a membership community can take time, but this online business idea can definitely pay off in the long run.

4. SEO agency

An SEO agency is an online business model where you provide search engine optimization services to businesses looking to improve their online visibility on search engines like Google and social media platforms like Instagram. Therefore, you need to develop an advanced understanding of SEO to be able to provide businesses with actionable insights that generate marketing results. Australian SEO agencies like Web Refresh and RankRise typically charge at least AU$1,000/project, according to Semrush. SEO is typically long-term project, so SEO agencies can often retain clients for an extended period and service them through a variety of SEO-related tasks, such as SEO-optimized content and backlink outreach.

5. Email marketing agency

An email marketing agency specializes in creating email marketing campaigns for businesses to increase customer awareness, build stronger relationships, and generate sales. Email marketing agencies need to have at least one team member with strong copywriting skills to draft compelling email sequences that generate the intended result for the brand. Australian email marketing agencies typically charge between AU$130 and AU$360/hour, according to Digilari Media. Glassdoor notes that an email marketing specialist in Australia brings in around AU$80K/year on average. As an email marketing agency in Australia, you need to carefully follow the laws of the Australian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA) to ensure you maintain compliance for your clients. 

6. PPC advertising agency

PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, is a type of digital marketing where you pay each time your advertisement is clicked by a potential customer on the internet. A PPC advertising agency specializes in setting up profitable PPC campaigns so that their clients make more money in revenue than they spend on advertising. Some of the most popular PPC advertising networks include Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Bing Ads. As an example of how much you can expect to spend for a click on your PPC advertisement, the average cost for Google Ads in Australia back in 2021 was AU$3.20, and it tends to go up as the space becomes more competitive with growing demand. Small businesses in Australia spend between AU$5,000 and AU$15,000/month to run a Google Ad campaign, according to WebApeX, so there’s some great income potential there for Australian PPC agencies with the right skills.

7. Social media marketing agency

A social media marketing agency specializes in developing an online presence and reaching customers for brands on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. Although social media marketing agencies are often equipped to run PPC advertising campaigns on social media platforms that offer it, like Facebook and Instagram, they also perform many other social media related tasks, like:

  • Social listening
  • Content creation
  • Content scheduling
  • Direct messaging
  • Community management
  • Influencer marketing

Considering that Australians are spending around 1 hour and 57 minutes per day on social media, according to Social Media Perth, social media is a great way to drive marketing initiatives for Australian businesses. Social media marketers in Australia make around AU$62K/year, according to PayScale. 

8. Social media influencer

Another opportunity to take advantage of Australia’s extensive time spent on social media is to become a social media influencer. A social media influencer creates content for social media platforms like TikTok in order to grow their audience base. With an established audience, you can monetize your social media account through partnering with brands and promoting their products through sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, and selling your own products to your audience. According to Yahoo Finance, social media creators in Australia earn an average of AU$109/hour. Although it can be difficult to establish yourself on a social media platform, if you do, you can make some great money in Australia.

9. Online coaching

Online coaching is a business model where you work with individuals or organizations to help them meet their objectives. An online coach’s job is to provide guidance and support through digital channels like video calls, chat, and email. In order to be an online coach, you need to specialize in a specific area, such as nutrition. For example, an online health coach in Australia makes approximately AU$135 per hour, according to Jooble AU. This can be a very profitable business idea because you don't have many overhead costs when operating your business, outside of marketing your services. 

10. Online fitness trainer

For Aussies who enjoy keeping their bodies in peak physical form, online fitness training can be a great way to make money online by sharing exercise and diet tips. An online fitness trainer works with clients through digital formats like emails, video, chat, and apps. As an online fitness trainer, you can charge clients for creating custom training schedules, devising meal plans, and ensuring accountability. According to the International Sports Science Association, online fitness trainers can expect to earn anywhere from $30 to $125/hour.

11. Sell online courses

As of 2022, the online education industry in Australia is worth approximately $9.1 billion, according to IBIS World. Online courses provide students a more convenient, and typically cheaper, alternative to traditional education. As such, their popularity is growing immensely and you can make a nice chunk of money in Australia by creating and selling them yourself. If you have a skill you can share with the world, such as digital marketing or computer science, you can package that skill as a course that can be sold to many interested students. There are many platforms that can support you in hosting and promoting your online course, like Udemy, Teachable, Skillshare, and Thinkific. Online courses can generate anywhere from $1,000 to $100K or more per year, according to Online Course Host.

12. Podcasting

Podcasting is a small business idea that entails creating digital recordings on niche topics and making them available online for streaming or download. For example, Hamish and Andy host one of Australia’s most popular podcasts, attracting an audience of over one million listeners each month to their comedy skits. Australian podcasters bring in an average of AU$6,370 per month, according to Jooble AU. To get started with podcasting, you just need a niche to create content around, podcast recording and editing equipment, and a podcast hosting platform like Spotify to upload your podcasts for your audience.

13. Publish eBooks

An eBook is a piece of written content available for digital download. Platforms like Amazon KDP and Google Play Books allow you to self publish eBooks and earn royalties when readers download your work. Typically, these royalties range from 35% to 70% of the selling price. Although the income potential of writing eBooks can vary greatly, it’s worth noting that the average hourly pay for a writer in Australia is approximately AU$37.34, according to PayScale. 

14. Sell handmade goods on Etsy

If you enjoy crafting with your hands, selling handmade products on Etsy can be a great opportunity to generate income online. There are around 115K Australian Etsy shops selling handmade goods in Australia and international markets, according to Australian Ecommerce review platform Take a Tumble. Although Etsy does not require a seller to have a business license to sell on the platform, the Australian government does require it. You need a license to sell online in Australia because without it, you are subject to legal action from your customers. The Australian Business License and Information Service website provides guidance on obtaining a business license for an Ecommerce store.

15. Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA is an Ecommerce service for Amazon sellers that simplifies selling on the platform. Amazon FBA takes care of:

  • Inventory storage 
  • Picking and packing products
  • Shipping 
  • Customer service
  • Returns processing

As such, an Amazon FBA seller’s primary focus is to source profitable products to sell, which can be accomplished through a range of Amazon FBA product sourcing methods like private label, wholesale, or retail arbitrage. Amazon is rapidly growing in popularity in Australia. In fact, Amazon sales are expected to grow from just 12.5% of Australian Ecommerce sales in 2021 to 20% of Australian Ecommerce sales by 2026, according to Statista. Around half of Amazon sellers make between $1,000 and $2,500/month, according to Jungle Scout. However, there are also Amazon sellers generating millions of dollars in revenue through the FBA program, so your income potential can vary greatly depending on which products you choose to sell and how you source them.

16. Print-on-demand (POD)

Print-on-demand is an Ecommerce selling method where you provide designs to a supplier that they can print onto a range of merchandise, like T-shirts and coffee mugs, and ship them directly to your customer. Print-on-demand works by setting up an online store that has merchandise with your customized graphics and then having a print-on-demand supplier like Gelato or Printful actually create the product and ship it to your customers when you get sales. Although print-on-demand has slimmer profit margins than other Ecommerce selling methods, it’s a relatively low-risk and hassle free way to sell online in Australia. 

17. Dropshipping

Similar to print-on-demand, dropshipping is a low investment Ecommerce business model that leverages the product supplier to ship orders directly to the customer. Dropshipping entails finding products from supplier marketplaces like AliExpress where goods can be purchased for near wholesale price without the wholesale quantity and marketing those products online through platforms like Amazon and eBay, or through an online store, such as a Shopify website. Dropshippers in Australia typically earn between 15% to 20% profit margins on their goods, according to Forbes. Although far from the norm, one Sydney college dropout Andy Mai was able to turn an AU$5,000 investment into an AU$170,000/year dropshipping business, according to News.com. 

18. Dropservicing

Dropservicing is an online business model you can do from Australia where you offer digital services to clients, like web development and SEO projects, and outsource the work to freelancers on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. A dropservicing business makes money by charging their client a higher cost than they contract freelancers for. According to AI automation service provider FlashHub.io, dropservicing businesses can earn upwards of 70% profit margin on each project. 

19. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a digital marketing strategy that entails outsourcing brand promotion to third-party marketers, called affiliates. As an affiliate marketer, you obtain a custom affiliate link for a brand’s product that you want to promote and then use various digital marketing channels to promote it on the internet and generate sales for the brand in order to earn commissions. Some of the most common digital marketing channels where affiliates promote their affiliate links include:

  • Blogs
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Social media platforms, like TikTok and Instagram
  • Paid advertising campaigns, like Google Ads

Affiliate marketing can be a great place for an Australian entrepreneur to start because you can make money without even having your own product. Also, there are top high ticket affiliate marketing programs in Australia that you can check. You can learn high value skills like sales and digital marketing without much risk on your end. Successful affiliate marketers in Australia are compensated well, earning around $94K/year, according to Indeed.

20. Start a YouTube channel

Popular Australian YouTubers like Chloe Ting and LazerBeam are worth millions because of the video content they upload. In fact, Australian YouTubers are some of the highest paid in the world because of the high wealth the country has comparative to the rest of the world, enticing advertisers to spend more money to run ads. The primary way most YouTubers make their money is by allowing advertisers to run ads on their videos through the Google AdSense program. However, YouTubers can also monetize their video content through:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sponsored posts
  • Membership subscriptions
  • Super Thanks, Super Stickers, and Super Chats

Australian YouTubers with at least 100,000 subscribers can make between $500 and $2,000 per video, while channels with over 1,000,000 subscribers can make $5,000 to $20,000+ per video, according to Overseas Students Australia.

21. Streaming

Streaming platforms like Twitch enable content creators to make money by interacting with their audience in a live setting. Live streaming can be especially profitable for gamers, with top Australian streamers like Pestily and Heyimbee earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

22. Subscription box business

Subscription boxes are combinations of goods that are received on a consistent basis, such as weekly, monthly, or annually. For example, the subscription box company, Hello Fresh, ships their members ingredients and recipes every week so that they can cook fresh food at home without needing to go to the grocery store or brainstorm recipes. You can create a subscription box service for any theme of your choice, such as dog toys or foreign snacks, and create a consistent revenue stream from membership subscriptions. You can check out Subscription Box Australia to see what kind of subscription boxes are already being sold in Australia and get some ideas as to what type of product you can sell.

23. Business consultant firm

A business consultant firm works with businesses to analyze where process improvements can be made and provides feedback and actionable strategies to help these businesses make those adjustments. Business consultants require a high level of expertise in business areas like finance, marketing, human resources, and management, and so demand an average pay of approximately AU$107,000 in Australia, according to Glassdoor. Business consultants can operate in a remote setting by putting processes in place to receive all the necessary information they need from clients efficiently, such as financial reports, and working with clients over video conferencing applications like Skype to discuss the business. 

24. Forex trading company

Forex trading is the buying and selling of currency pairs with the intention of making a profit by betting on which currencies will appreciate or depreciate. For example, if you buy the currency pair AUD/USD, you need the Australian dollar to go up in value relative to the US dollar in order to make a profit. There are many forex brokers that operate in Australia where you can start making money online by trading forex, like Saxo Bank, IG, and CMC Markets. You can start by trading on these platforms yourself to learn how to become successful as a forex trader, and potentially expand your business by hiring and training new traders on your profitable strategies once you establish them. Successful forex traders in Australia generally earn around AU$120,000 per year, according to PayScale.

25. Stock trading company

Stock trading is the buying and selling of securities that are tied to the performance of companies to try to earn a profit. For example, if you believe the major coal producer, Yancoal Australia Ltd (ASX: YAL), will go up in value, you can buy shares of the stock. You can buy and sell shares of stocks in Australia through online brokerages like Interactive Brokers, Tiger Brokers, and Commsec Pocket. These brokers provide access to companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) as well as provide access to the stock exchanges of other countries, such as the NASDAQ in the United States. According to Glassdoor, the average stock trader in Australia stands to make approximately AU$128,000/year.

26. Cryptocurrency trading company

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies like Bitcoin that are not commissioned through a central authority, such as the Reserve Bank of Australia. Cryptocurrency traders make money by betting on cryptocurrency fluctuations against government-backed currencies, like the Australian dollar, or other cryptocurrencies, such as betting that Bitcoin will grow faster than Ethereum in a given period, so you convert your Ethereum into Bitcoin. Although cryptocurrency trading is legal in Australia, there is greater risk than trading other financial instruments, like stocks, because the market is very much unregulated, according to Forbes.

27. Bookkeeping and accounting firm

For those with an accounting background and the proper qualifications, a bookkeeping and accounting firm is one of the most profitable small businesses you can start online, according to Thomson Reuters. A bookkeeping and accounting firm helps businesses with tasks like organizing transactions, filing taxes, and analyzing legal compliance. The average hourly rate for an accountant in Australia is approximately AU$48.72, according to Talent.

28. Travel agency

A travel agency is a company that helps customers prepare for trips and vacations. A travel agency can make all the necessary arrangements for travelers, like making reservations, coordinating schedules, and providing information on excursions. Travel agents are part of travel partnership networks so they can get access to the best travel deals that aren’t on the open market and help their customers save money on travel expenses. Travel agents in Australia typically bring in around AU$52K/year, according to Indeed.

29. Virtual assistant business

A virtual assistant helps provides administrative and digital services to businesses in a remote setting. Virtual assistants can help with general office tasks like organization and scheduling, and they can also specialize in other areas like writing, editing, graphic designing, and marketing related work. Virtual assistants in Australia typically make around AU$57K/year, according to Indeed. You can start your business as a solopreneur and then hire and train new VAs to expand your business. 

30. Event planning business

Event planners organize events like weddings, seminars, aware ceremonies, product launces, and more. They are responsible for tasks like choosing a suitable location, managing vendors, negotiating contracts, and adhering to client budgets and requests. Event planners can operate primarily in a remote setting, outside of potentially attending the event if necessary. Event planners in Australia command around AU$83K per year on average.

31. Remote tech support business

Those with a background in IT can start their own tech support business to help businesses and individuals with computer and network issues. A remote tech support business can help clients with issues like setting up cybersecurity, backing up computer files, and identifying network issues. Technical support specialists in Australia bring in around AU$73,000/year, according to Indeed. If you're interested in more remote job ideas, check my ultimate list of top remote business ideas

How to start an online business in Australia?

  1. 1
    Choose a business name - Come up with a business name that fits the product or service you will be offering. Verify that the business name is available by checking the ASIC’s business name database, and then verify the matching website name is available by checking a domain name registrar like Namecheap.
  2. 2
    Decide on a business structure - Work with a qualified legal representative to determine if you should incorporate your business or operate as a sole trader.
  3. 3
    Create a business website - Create a website to show off your online business’s products or services. If hiring a developer, make sure you create a contract that transfers you the Intellectual Property rights to your website upon completion of project and payment to the developer to ensure you completely own the rights to your website. 
  4. 4
    Set up legal notices on business website - Set up legal notices on your website, including disclaimers, privacy policy, and terms and conditions. This is to meet regulatory requirements of the Australian government and mitigate business risk. 
  5. 5
    Register for GST (optional) - If your business turns over more than AU$75K, make sure you register for the goods and services tax (GST) to remain in compliance with Australian tax law. 

Can foreigners do business in Australia?

Foreigners can do business in Australia after having obtained a proper work visa. The visa options for non-Australians who want to start a business in Australia include the Business Innovation and Investment visa and Business Talent visa.

Related Articles on Online Business Australia

  • Is Affiliate Marketing Legal in Australia? - For those interested in starting affiliate marketing in Australia, this article points out 4 legal considerations before you get started, like compliance with Section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law.
  • DropShip Downunder 2.0 Review - Considering dropshipping in Australia but don't know where to start? This course by Grant and Klint Parker can teach you how to dropship in the "Land Down Under."
  • Google Ads Master Review - Google Ads are a powerful tool that can help an online business grow. This course by Australian entrepreneur Oliver Pestalozzi provides a comprehensive teaching of Google Ads from a former Senior Digital Strategist at Google. 

Conclusion: Which online business should you start in Australia?

As one of the world’s wealthiest economies, Australia offers excellent earnings potential for an online small business owner. From selling products through the Amazon FBA program, offering digital marketing services to clients, or trading financial instruments, there’s an opportunity for any Australian aspiring to start an online business. But which opportunity should you choose? You should choose an Australian online business opportunity with high demand and high profit margins, of which local lead generation has both.

If you look at Australia’s skilled occupation list, which is a list of roles with high demand in the country, you’ll notice Marketing Specialist, Advertising Specialist, and Advertising Manager listed. Digital marketing is a business with high demand in Australia. Local lead generation falls under the umbrella of digital marketing and is highly profitable small business idea. According to Money.com, property operators and real estate services have the highest profit margin of any Australian business, with upwards of 74.4% profit margin. However, local lead generation profit margins can reach even higher. 

Considering that a local lead generation website can cost under AU$100/month to operate successfully but can demand upwards of AU$4,500 per month in revenue from the client, it’s not uncommon for a local lead generation business to accomplish a profit margin of over 90%! Local lead generation is the business that is most profitable in Australia. Furthermore, this type of business enables you to make passive income. After you set up a site and partner with a local business to take the leads, the website requires very little maintenance on your end and you can collect your check from your client every month. If you want to learn more about starting a local lead generation business in Australia, check out this local lead generation training course. 

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Ippei Kanehara
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$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

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  1. Would like to expedite revenue generation if possible – I understand that may not be within the structure of any offers you have prepared but this would be what is required on my end. I dont have major online experience but do have experience operating a labour based business out of suburban and country South Australia for over ten years and know what it takes to generate leads and how valuable this service is when it provides a quality product.

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