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10 Best Cities to Start a Business in Australia and Become Successful 

Best cities in Australia to start a new business

Australia is not just one of the most vibrant countries in the world today. The country’s resilient economy makes its cities among the best to start a business and become successful.

The country’s wholesale, trade and finance industries are amongst the most thriving in the world. 

Not only that, Australia has continued to top the chart for the ease of doing business, transparency and its friendly business environment and policies.

According to The Australian Bureau of Statistics, the economy grew by 3.4% in 2022-23, above the 10-year pre-pandemic average of 2.6%. The growth reflected a strong recovery in demand following the COVID-19 Delta-variant lockdowns in the September quarter of the previous financial year.

Oz’s financial and banking sectors are regulated, and its global reach is wide and well-connected to other powerful economies like China.

However, Australia’s dynamic cities are not equal. Some are better positioned for business success than others. 

As an aspiring business owner looking to start a business in Australia, the obvious question then is, “Where should I set up shop”?

Don’t wonder any longer. In this article, we will take you through the 10 best cities to start a business and succeed in Australia.

1. Sydney

Sydney is Australia’s largest and most populous city. The vibrant city is a well-known hub for business and innovation. It is home to the Australian Securities Exchange and the Reserve Bank of Australia. 

Many of Australia’s banks and companies also have their headquarters here. Aside from all these, about a quarter of Australia’s total GDP comes from Sydney.

The economy is strong, the workforce is skilled and access to international markets is open. Additionally, the largest economic sectors in Sydney are made up of retail, manufacturing, and health and community services. It is one of the ten best cities to start a tech, finance or real estate business.

2. Melbourne

Melbourne is a cultural and economic powerhouse. It’s known for its diverse and educated workforce, making it an excellent choice for startups. If you station your business here, your operations will be close to the Asia Pacific customers and markets. 

The cost of starting a business here is relatively low and the business environment is friendly to start-ups. The population is growing very fast and it is projected that by 2030, Melbourne will be the largest city in Australia. 

Melbourne’s support for creative industries and a strong focus on innovation through its numerous co-working spaces and incubators make it a top pick for entrepreneurs.

3. Brisbane

Brisbance’s proximity to Asia positions it as a gateway to international markets. Compared to Sydney and Melbourne, it boasts a lower cost of living, therefore it is an attractive destination for entrepreneurs.

The city houses major IT and financial institutions, including Suncorp-Metway, Credit Union Australia and TechnologyOne. Also, the cost of living is very favourable, able to start-ups as housing and office spaces are affordable.

In Brisbane, it is easy to attract talents to add value to your business. This is because the city has two great technology courses at Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland.

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4. Adelaide

Adelaide boasts thousands of trooping visitors and workers daily. It is South Australia’s cosmopolitan coastal city. Aside from residents, the city is home to tourists and students. This city offers a supportive ecosystem for small businesses, with various grants and initiatives to encourage innovation.

The cost of living is reasonable, and Adelaide’s lifestyle is often cited as a significant attraction for professionals and families. Famed as the “20-minute city” everything is just 20 minutes away from the city center. 

This city favours the retail business especially if your business demands access to fresh local food produce. Its emerging space sector is a great addition to its thriving food and wine business.

Labour costs in Adelaide are below the Australian average making the city a great place to expand your workforce.

5 Canberra

As Australia’s capital city, Canberra has a unique advantage for businesses looking to work closely with government agencies. 

It’s a hub for tech startups and companies specializing in government-related services. Canberra is popular for its strong economy and business-friendly environment. This has cemented its reputation as a star performer among the world’s most advanced economies.

What’s more? The city offers a highly educated workforce, and its proximity to Sydney ensures access to a major market. Canberra is a great place to live, work and do business.

6. Hobart

Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, is gaining recognition as a city with business potential. The city’s lifestyle and natural beauty attract professionals seeking a work-life balance. 

With initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship and a growing tourism industry, Hobart presents opportunities for various types of businesses.

The city’s economy favours the service industries that support public administration and health. Aside from this, Hobart is home to many of the state’s major exporters. Agribusiness, aquaculture, and marine manufacturing do well in Hobart.

As one of the best cities in Australia for starting a new business, Hobart has a thriving service and public administration industry.

7. Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is a major tourist destination, but it’s also becoming a hub for innovation and business growth. With a focus on the knowledge economy, it’s attracting tech startups and creative businesses. 

The city’s lifestyle and access to beautiful beaches make it an appealing choice for entrepreneurs. But that’s not all there is to Gold Coast. The Gold Coast is Australia’s largest regional city and boasts a thriving economy and vibrant population.

It is often referred to as Australia’s favourite small business capital. It is a thriving entrepreneurial hub that is home to more than 70,000 businesses, forming a workforce of more than 300,000 people. 

From start-ups to SMEs to large corporations, the Gold Coast is a great place to start a business. The bubbly city favours property, engineering, marine, construction businesses and retail services.

8. Newcastle

Newcastle is located just north of Sydney. 

While the city was known as an industrial one and famous for its coal, it has become an up-and-coming city for startups. 

It offers a lower cost of living than major cities, making it an attractive option for entrepreneurs looking to minimize expenses. Newcastle’s strong community support for businesses and access to skilled talent are notable advantages for entrepreneurship.

The city has grown beyond being just a ‘steel city’ as a substantial portion of the economy has grown to favour the sectors. Newcastle City Council partners with peer-to-peer lender, Funding Circle, to promote crowdfunding as a way to promote business growth.

It is one of the best cities to start a business and succeed in corporate and professional services.

9 Melbourne

Citing a business in Victoria’s capital of Melbourne can be a wise business decision. Melbourne is projected to be the fastest-growing capital city in Australia and its population is projected to grow every year through 2030. 

The city is attracting investment from many industries, including research, manufacturing, healthcare, and energy. Many programs are available to help start-ups and new businesses get established. Some initiatives are dedicated to helping business owners secure funding.

It is also easy to access neighbouring countries like Asia from Melbourne.

10. Wollongong

Located just one hour south of Sydney International Airport, Wollongong offers business opportunities in diverse sectors. Top sectors of Wollong’s economy include agriculture, mining and manufacturing. It is one of the best cities in Australia to start and run a business. 

The city offers favourable operational costs for businesses, tech and finance. In addition to low operational costs, Wollongong is thriving with a combination of small businesses and large ones with minimal real estate costs.

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Whether you’re drawn to the bustling urban life of Sydney, the creative vibe of Melbourne, or the economic growth of Brisbane, Australia has a city for different business opportunities.

The key is to identify the right city that aligns with your business goals and to leverage the local resources available. Remember that each city has its unique advantages and challenges, so choose the one that has the best pros for your business.

With a solid business plan and strategy, you can fulfil your entrepreneurial dreams in one of the ten best cities for starting a business in Australia.

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Esther Blankson is a finance content writer with a vast experience in SEO. She has a strong background in accounting and traditional media. Emie, as she's fondly called covers the finance, marketing and career categories of EntrepreneurBusinessBlog.com as it regards the Australian market. You can connect with Esther via email, [email protected].


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