Religion is a set of organized beliefs, practices, and systems that relate to the belief and worship of a controlling force, such as a personal god or another supernatural being.

Religion is considered not-for-profit and as such does not earn profits for its owners. Instead, the organization donates the money it receives to help fund the organization’s objectives and goals. A nonprofit is based on the simple premise that none of the corporation’s net profit from donations, membership fees, or business activities will benefit any individual.

The not-for-profit sector in Australia is large and diverse, with more than 600,000 religions including approximately 5,000 trusts and foundations nationwide. In 2021, the not-for-profit sector in Australia generated a revenue of 174 billion Australian dollars.

Steps on How to Start a Religion in Australia

  1. Conduct Market Research

The first step in the market research process for this business is to develop market-based research questions in line with your overall business goal and objective. In this regard, you should source information that will help you maximize your religion, help you operate your religion with less stress, and of course build the organization to be self-sustaining.

a. Who is the Target Market for Religion?

The target market for religion is all the people that are within your reach or people that reside in the location where you want to operate.

b. Is Religion a Profitable Business?

No, religion is not a profitable business because they are operated as a non-profit and hence requires that no profits be pocketed by the owners or board of directors. Any profits must be re-invested into the facility or programs to benefit residents.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

Yes, there are several niche ideas when it comes to religion. Here are some of them;

  • Traditional religion
  • Orthodox religion
  • Science-based religion.
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Transparent Hands
  • Transform Aid International
  • Australian Himalayan Foundation
  • Care Australia
  • Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA)
  • Anglican Board of Mission Australia (ABM)
  • Christianity
  • Islam
  • Buddhism
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Religion in Australia?

No, there are no county or state zoning laws for religions in Australia. But states, territories, and local governments have their own laws regulating the fundraising activities of NFP organizations. The information about state and territory fundraising has been provided by the regulators for that state or territory – you should check with the regulator to make sure the information is current.

f. Is There a Franchise for Religion?

No, there are no known franchise opportunities for religion.

g. What Do You Need to Start a Religion in Australia?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Employees
  • Startup Capital and Community Support
  1. Choose a Memorable Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.

Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a lawn care business are;

Creative Name ideas for a Religion
  • Pro-Lifer Religion
  • Helping Hands Religion
  • Synergy Care Religion
  • Humanity Vangaurd™
  • Universal Care Foundation®
  • Love and Care©
  • Ready Care Outreach™
  • Good Times Outreach®
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Religion in Australia?

The two most common structures for a religion or a charity in Australia are an incorporated association or an Australian public company limited by guarantee. A Public Limited Liability Company is a Pty with more than 50 non-employee shareholders whose shares are available to the public by being listed on a financial market.

It must have at least three directors and at least one secretary. An incorporated association is a legal entity separate from its individual members. Associations are incorporated under the state or territory legislation in which they operate.

b. Steps to Form a Public Company Limited by Guarantee in Australia?
  • Choose a Company or Business Name
  • Choose Your Company’s Rules
  • Choose Your Shareholders and Directors
  • Choose Your Share Structure
  • Choose the State/Territory To Register Your Religion In
  • Choose the Principal Place of Business and Registered Office
  • Complete the Relevant Paperwork or Online Form.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Religion in Australia?
  • General Business License
  • Zonal Permits
  • Director’s License
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Religion in Australia?

You don’t need any certifications to start a Religion in Australia;

e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Religion in Australia?
  • Business and Liability Insurance
  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • State Permit and Building Approval (for your office)
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use (if you have a website)
  • Online Privacy Policy Document (basically for online payment portal).
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering starting your own religion, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is so because the nature of the organization makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Religion in Australia?

You would need an estimate of $120,000 to successfully set up your religion in Australia. Please note that this amount includes renting facilities and money for outreaches.

b. What are the Cost Involved in Starting a Religion in Australia?
  • Business Registration Fees – AUS$417 – $506.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – AUS$7,300.
  • Marketing, Branding, and Promotions – AUS$5,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – AUS$2,500.
  • Insurance – AUS$5,400.
  • Rent/Lease – AUS$35,000.
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – AUS$30,000
  • Website: AUS$600
  • Miscellaneous: AUS$2,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Religion in Australia?
  • The size of religion and the problem they want to solve in the society
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The type of facility
  • The cost of branding, promotion, and marketing of the religion
  • The cost of furnishing and equipping the religious facility
  • The cost of the insurance policy covers
  • The cost of registering the business
  • Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
  • The cost of the grand opening of the Religion
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

It depends on the type of religion you want to start. For example, if you want to start an orphanage, you may need to build a facility if you have the resources but it is not compulsory because you have the option of long-leasing a property. On average, it will cost you over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) to construct a religious facility.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Religion in Australia?
  • Cost of stationery and religious supplies
  • Utility bills (internet, phone bills, signage and sewage et al)
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Executive Director (Spiritual Head or President) – Volunteer
  • Administrative Officer – $36,034 Per Annum
  • Fundraiser – Volunteer
  • Account Officer – $35,000 Per Annum
  • Evangelist – Volunteer
  • Cleaners – $18,000 Per Annum
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Religion
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from partners
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Pro-Lifer™ Religion is a registered and licensed religion that will be located in the heart of Sydney, Australia in a neatly renovated and secured worship facility.

Pro-Lifer™ Religion is an organization that believes that religion is an important element of society in order to create balance.

b. Products and Service
  • Providing a facility where people can worship and have spiritual encounters
  • Residential facilities with counseling
c. Mission Statement

To create a religion (an organization) that will give worshippers the opportunity to worship and connect with the creator of the Universe.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to start a religion that will be accepted globally.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of religion are to help fill the gap for spiritual yearnings and connections for worshippers.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Executive Director (Spiritual Leader or President)
  • Administrative Officer
  • Fundraiser (Grant Officer)
  • Account Officer
  • Evangelist
  • Cleaners

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
  • A well-secured and spacious facility
  • Well-experienced and certified spiritual leaders
  • A robust partnership with key stakeholders in our city
  • Capacity to attract reliable volunteers.
  • Starting as a new religion (stakeholders may still be reluctant to donate their monies to us).
  • Lack of capacity for now to attract government support and funding
  • Lack of budgeting for robust publicity
  • The growing number of people without religion in Australia (Nearly a third of Australians reported in the Census that they had no religion in 2016 (30%))
  • Robust support and encouragement from the government and key stakeholders.
  • The monopoly of Christianity in Australia
  • Lack of support from stakeholders and the government
  • Unfavorable government policy and legalization.
b. How Does Religion Make Money?

Religion makes money from;

  • Contributions from members, and donors
  • Grants from government agencies and charity organizations
  • Community support.
c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Introduce your religion by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to residents, youth organizations, schools, and other key stakeholders in and around your city.
  • Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to get your message across
  • Create a basic website for your religion so as to give your religion an online presence
  • Directly market your religion for the purpose of attracting donations
  • Advertise the religion in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List your religion on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (evangelism)

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?

Religion doesn’t charge members but receives free-will donations from members.

b. How Much Profit Do Religion Owners Make a Year?

Operating the religion as a non-profit organization requires that no profits be pocketed by the owners or board of directors.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount Generated By a Religion?
  • The capacity of the religion as it relates to attracting funds
  • The location the religious organization is covering
  • The management style of the religious organization
  • The evangelism approach of the religion
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the Religion
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Religion?

Religions are not designed to make profits.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?
  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $140,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $280,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $320,000
  1. Set Up your Shop/Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Religion?
  • The demography of the location especially as it relates to people who don’t have a religion
  • The demand for religious services in the location
  • The capacity of the residents to donate to the success of a religion
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of religious facilities
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Religion in Australia?
  • Armadale, Victoria
  • Adelaide, SA
  • Burswood, WA
  • Hawthorn East, Victoria
  • Osborne Park WA
  • Perth, WA
  • Sydney, New South Wales
  • Melbourne, Victoria
  • Bondi Beach, NSW
  • Brisbane, QLD
  • Surfers Paradise Gold Coast, QLD
  • Southport Gold Coast, QLD.
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Religion?

The equipment you would need to open a religion will depend on what you are into. But in setting up a small office and a worship center, you will need a public address system, keyboard, computer, printer, software apps, telephones, pager, photocopier, scanner, and fax machine.

These machines, equipment, tools, and instrument can be purchased as fairly used especially if you have limited funds to meet your budget.

  1. Hire Employees

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard religious organization, you should make plans to hire a competent Executive Director (Spiritual Head or President), Administrator, Fundraiser, Account Officer, and Evangelist.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

In recent times, no religious facility opens its door for worshipers without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the religion. You can choose to do a soft opening party if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.

With a proper launching of the religion, you will officially inform people in your city that your religion is open for services in the community or city.

a. What Makes a Religion Successful?
  • Ability to attract grants and funding from the government of your city or state or even the federal government
  • Disciplined and dedicated workforce
  • The heart to serve
  • Good facility and ambiance
  • A good relationship with stakeholders
  • Good spiritual activities and programs.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Religion?
  • The facility is open for the day
  • The facility is cleaned and prepared for the day’s activities
  • Worshipers come in to worship
  • The facility is closed for the day
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Religion?
  • Good managerial and human development skills
  • Ability to raise funds and attract grants
  • Excellent administrative skills
  • Visionary Leadership skills
  • Team-building and Interpersonal skills
  • Excellent communication and social skills
  • Organizational skills.
  • Good counseling and problem-solving ability
  • Experience in solving spiritual problems
  • Experience in the not-for-profit industry
  • Experience in working with people who are new to the concept of religion.