A business or a hobby?
What is a hobby?
A hobby is a pastime or leisure activity conducted in your spare time for recreation or pleasure.
Benefits of being a hobby
- Personal enjoyment and satisfaction.
- You can gift or sell your work for the cost of materials.
- You can do it in your own time or when people contact you.
- You don’t have the reporting obligations of a business.
What is a business?
You’re in business, if your activity, as a whole, is commercial with an aim to make a profit.
Benefits of being in business
- You can apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) to use in your business transactions.
- You can register a .com.au website once you have an ABN.
- You’ll have access to government information, services and concessions for business.
- You can establish a business identity when selling to customers and other businesses.
- You can claim tax deductions for business expenses against your taxable income.
- It may give you the flexibility to manage your time and work your own hours.
How do I know if it’s a business or a hobby?
It’s important to understand the differences between a hobby and a business for tax, insurance and legal purposes.
Key questions to consider:
- Is the activity being undertaken for commercial reasons?
- Is your main intention, purpose or prospect to make a profit?
- Do you regularly and repeatedly undertake your activity?
- Is your activity planned, organised and carried out in a businesslike manner?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, you’re likely to be running a business, although it depends on your individual circumstances.
To get an answer specific to your circumstances contact our team who can help you decide whether you’re running a business or a hobby.
Did you know?
- You don’t need to declare the amounts you make from your hobby to the ATO. You can’t claim any losses from your activity if it’s a hobby.
- It’s a myth that there is a dollar threshold to be in a business. Some people can have very expensive hobbies! What matters is whether, as a whole, your activity is commercial with an aim to make a profit. If you’re in business, there are dollar thresholds that can affect what you can claim for tax purposes.