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Start Your Business

Before you start a tourism business, you need to understand how the industry works, what things to consider in your planning, and the legal requirements you must meet.

How to get started

Taking the first steps to start a tourism business can be daunting, and access to information and training is key to a successful outcome.

Tourism NT has created a checklist to help you make sure you’ve covered all the critical steps in getting off the ground. From pre-planning to starting-up, developing your product and marketing it, use the Getting Started in Tourism Checklist to guide your planning process.

Download our Glossary of Tourism Terms to familiarise yourself with industry acronyms and terms specific to the Northern Territory.

Access the Starting a Business Guide through the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, the lead agency for handling business support.

Our local Regional Tourism Organisations Tourism Top End and Tourism Central Australia can also assist with planning and help you network with others in the sector at industry-organised events. Subscribe to Industry Newsletters to be informed of news and opportunities.

To establish a business chat to the Business Enterprise Centre NT (BECNT) 

The BECNT is able to provide independent, detailed business advice based on assessments of the clients business. This low-cost, confidential service to the client aims to resolve and improve financial, management and operational functions of a client’s business. Where the need is identified, the BECNT can refer a business to a specialist professional advisor (solicitor, accountant, digital engagement, human resource manager) to provide specific advice to the client. The BECNT aims to provide business owners both personal and sustainable business success through networks, targeted business workshops and ongoing mentorship opportunities. You can visit the website or email [email protected]

Lower Level, 20 Catterthun Street
Winnellie NT 0820
1800 229 500

Alice Springs
Central Australian Development Office
55 Todd Mall, Alice Springs NT 0870
08 8951 5788

Once established chat to your Regional Tourism Organisation

Your Regional Tourism Organisation will help you to work through the Nine-Pillar Roadmap.

Tourism Top End (TTE) and Tourism Central Australia (TCA) are the RTO's of the Northern Territory. TTE and TCA are not-for-profit, innovative membership-based associations that assist a wide variety of stakeholders including individuals, businesses and organisations with the growth of the NT tourism industry. The RTOs are partly funded by the Territory Government (Tourism NT & DTBI) to service tourism operators through business development, capacity building and support programs, industry networking events and advocacy on behalf of the tourism sector.

Support is also offered through:

Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade Small Business Champions

If you are a NT business, Aboriginal enterprise or not-for-profit, you can get help from a small business champion who can assist you to identify the types of support your business can access. DTBI also offer support with networking, contacts, information, tools and resources. They can also supports Northern Territory businesses to start, run and grow. 

The Australian Government's - Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (AusIndustry)

AusIndustry provides services from government agencies to support businesses across all industries throughout Australia, connecting them with information, grants, registrations and support to help businesses succeed.

The Regional Manager is based in Darwin and provides businesses across the Northern Territory with information about the assistance programs they and other organisations, provide. The Northern Australia Tourism Initiative programs delivered by AusIndustry are targeted towards businesses in the tourism industry.

Indigenous Business Australia (IBA)

IBA is an Australian Government statutory authority set up to assist Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander owned businesses with economic and development opportunities. IBA offers a range of services including grant opportunities, tailored workshops and business advice.

Page last updated on 23 September 2020