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GST on Business Sale

Selling a business involves several tax considerations, one of the most significant being the Goods and Services Tax (GST).


Understanding whether GST applies to your business sale and how to correctly handle it is crucial to ensure compliance and avoid potential penalties.


HelloLedger is here to guide you through the complexities of GST in the business sale process.

GST can apply to the sale of a business if the sale is considered a going concern, or if the seller and buyer agree that the sale is of a going concern.


This means the business is sold with everything necessary for it to continue operating and that the business is carried on until the day of sale.

With HelloLedger’s expertise, navigate the GST implications of selling your business confidently. Our tax professionals provide detailed assessments and advice to ensure that every aspect of your business sale meets GST compliance requirements.


If you’re considering selling your business or have questions about GST on business sales, contact HelloLedger to schedule a consultation.


Let us help you manage the GST aspects effectively, ensuring a compliant and successful business transition.

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Key Aspects of Managing GST on Business Sales

Determining if the sale of your business qualifies as a supply of a going concern and is therefore GST-free. This requires careful assessment of the terms of the sale and the business operations:

GST-Free Sale Requirements

For a business sale to be GST-free as a going concern, certain conditions must be met, including that the buyer is registered for GST and both parties agree in writing that the sale is of a going concern.

Handling GST on Asset Sales

If selling individual assets of the business (not as a going concern), GST may need to be applied to each asset depending on its nature and the GST registration status of the buyer.

Adjustments and Reporting

Reporting the sale on your Business Activity Statement (BAS) and making necessary adjustments for GST purposes after the sale.

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Why Consider GST Implications When Selling Your Business?

Addressing GST correctly in the sale of your business not only ensures compliance with tax laws but also helps you understand the financial impact of GST on the sale proceeds.


Proper handling of GST can prevent unexpected tax liabilities and contribute to a smoother transaction.

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GST on the Sale of Your Business FAQs

  • Does GST apply to the sale of my business?

  • GST may apply to the sale of your business if it is not sold as a going concern, or if both the seller and buyer have not agreed in writing that the sale is of a going concern. If the business is sold as a going concern and certain conditions are met, the sale can be GST-free.

  • How do I ensure my business sale is GST-free?

  • To ensure the sale of your business is GST-free as a going concern, you must meet specific criteria: the business must be operational up until the day of sale, both parties must agree in writing that the sale is of a going concern, and the buyer must be GST-registered.

  • What documents do I need to provide to prove a GST-free sale of a going concern?

  • To substantiate a GST-free sale of a going concern, you should have a written agreement with the buyer stating that the sale is of a going concern, along with evidence that the business is operational. Additionally, ensure that you have records proving the buyer’s GST registration status.

  • What happens if the sale does not meet the requirements of a going concern?

  • If the sale does not meet the going concern requirements, GST will likely apply to the sale. You will need to include GST in the sale price and remit this amount to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) through your BAS.

  • What does 'going concern' mean for GST purposes?

  • For GST purposes, a 'going concern' refers to an enterprise that’s operating and is sold with everything needed for continued operation. To qualify as GST-free, both parties must agree in writing that the sale is of a going concern, and the buyer must be registered or required to be registered for GST.


  • What are the GST implications if I am only selling part of my business?

  • If you are selling part of your business, such as individual assets and not the entire business as a going concern, GST generally applies to the sale of these assets. The specific GST treatment will depend on the type of assets.

  • How do I report a GST-free sale on my Business Activity Statement (BAS)?

  • A GST-free sale of a business as a going concern should be reported on your Business Activity Statement (BAS). You must report the sale in the reporting period in which the sale occurred, noting it as GST-free.

  • Can the sale of shares or interest in a company be considered a going concern for GST purposes?

  • No, the sale of shares or an interest in a company is generally not considered a supply of a going concern for GST purposes. GST typically does not apply to the sale of shares unless the transaction involves a transfer of a business or its assets directly.

  • What are the consequences if I incorrectly classify a taxable sale as GST-free?

  • Incorrectly classifying a taxable sale as GST-free can lead to significant tax liabilities, including the payment of any unpaid GST, penalties, and interest. It’s important to accurately assess the nature of the sale and consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance with GST regulations.

  • Are there any specific GST considerations for international buyers?

  • Yes, if the buyer is not based in Australia or not registered for GST, the sale might not qualify as GST-free even if all other conditions are met. It's crucial to verify the buyer's GST registration status and consider their location when assessing GST obligations.

Get in Touch

Ready to say Hello to hassle-free accounting and tax services and Goodbye to worries? 

Contact us at HelloLedger and let’s embark on the journey to financial clarity and success together.

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