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The Benefits of Owning Your Business Property in a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF)

By 12/04/2023September 6th, 2023No Comments
benefits of owning business property in a self-managed super fund (smsf)

Owning a business property in an SMSF is a popular option for business owners. ATO data shows that in the December 2022 quarter, more than $87 billion in non-residential property assets were held by SMSFs, representing over 10% of all SMSF assets.1

Although you need to follow the rules to make it work, there are many good reasons to hold your business property in your SMSF.

Benefits Of Owning Your Business Premises In Your SMSF

SMSF Growth

Making lease payments to your SMSF will help you grow your balance. You can lease the property to a third party after you retire and supplement your retirement income. You also get increased cash flow and potential for capital growth as the property price increases over time.

By owning your business premises, you get greater control over your investments and the ability to manage your property more easily, as it belongs to you.

Tax Effectiveness

When your business property is in your SMSF, tax on income capital gains will be less in general than they would have been when owned by the business. This is because the earnings (including rental income) of an SMSF are taxed at 15%. When your business pays rent to your SMSF, the expenses are deductible. For corporations, the tax rate is 25%. As a result of holding your business premises in an SMSF, you save 10% on every dollar of tax. 

When you retire and decide to sell your property, you won’t need to pay capital gains tax if you are over 60 and in the pension phase (retired). For example, if you purchased your premises 12 years ago for $700,000 and it’s worth $1.4 million now, none of the gain is considered taxable income if the property was held in your SMSF. 

Another benefit of owning your business property in your SMSF is protection, as it will be more difficult for creditors to access assets in a super fund in case of business bankruptcy.

Considerations Of Owning Your Business Property In Your SMSF

While the potential benefits are substantial, you need to consider the potential downside.

Compliance Requirements

There is a range of compliance requirements if you purchase a property for your business or transfer a business you own into your SMSF. The property to be held by the SMSF must be a “business real property”, meaning that it is used wholly and exclusively for the business, so it can be a commercial or industrial property, warehouse, office, shop or farm. While the regulations allow purchasing from a related party, it must be done at fair market value, requiring that an independent valuation be carried out and recorded. 

The commercial property in your SMSF must meet your fund’s investment strategy, especially regarding asset diversification, liquidity and return maximisation. If a commercial property doesn’t fit within the strategy, it may need to be updated. 

Another important factor is how to borrow to acquire a property for an SMSF. Under SMSF rules, there needs to be a limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LBRA). Under this, the property acts as security for the loan, but the lender won’t get recourse to other assets in the fund if the loan is not repaid. If you use an LRBA to buy a commercial property, it must be a single acquirable asset (or a group of identical assets having the same market value). When you have properties on multiple titles (for example, commercial premises with a separate title for a car park), a bare trust is required for each title if they can be sold separately. 

Also, the property needs to be held by a separate entity called a bare trust (also called a holding trust). Under this arrangement, the SMSF is the beneficiary of the bare trust, but the bare trustee – who cannot be the same as the SMSF trustee – acts as the registered holder of the property. When the loan for the property is repaid, the SMSF trustee becomes the legal owner of the property. 

Besides the compliance factors, other points to consider include:

  • Limited liquidity if you need to sell the property – unlike shares and other liquid assets, it can take time to sell a commercial property.
  • Having a large portion of your SMSF assets in property means your fund is less diversified. If there is a downturn in the commercial property market, you could end up with less when it is time to retire. 
  • If the property is purchased under an LRBA, you cannot improve the property. 
  • Consider the fees when purchasing a commercial property, including legal fees, stamp duty, and property management fees.
  • Usually, the lending criteria for a commercial property under an LRBA is stricter, including higher loan-to-valuation ratios than for residential property. You might only get a loan for 70% to 80% of the purchase price, so you’ll need to come up with a deposit.

Getting Advice On Owning Your Premises Through Your SMSF

You can reap the benefits of owning your business premises in your self-managed super fund, but you need to understand the details to make it work. At Equil Advisory, we specialise in making superannuation work for our clients. 

Get in touch to discuss your SMSF goals and how we can help you reach them.

1 https://data.gov.au/data/dataset/self-managed-superannuation-funds 

Clare Connell

Practice Manager

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
After I travelled to Europe and ran out of all the Money - I knew it was time to get back to work.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
Around the time I ran out of money during my Europe trip.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
I’m the Entertainment Warden.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Run, walk, chill, drink at THE BAAAAY live love laugh the BAAAAYY.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
Besides the Bay? Accounting is my second passion.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Byron Baes.

What would your last meal be?
100% a juice cleanse.

Cats or dogs?
Zara.

Clare Connell

Practice Manager

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
I originally started working here in 2020 as an Accountant but left to travel and take a break from Accounting. Now, a year later I’ve come back as the Practice Administrator.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
January 2023.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Anything and everything to do with the office and making sure the team is happy and processes are working efficiently.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Catch up with friends, go on trips away, play tennis, go to the beach, shop!

What is something not everybody knows about you?
My childhood revolved around dancing and being in theatre plays and musicals.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
I have always wanted to be on The Block.

What would your last meal be?
Sushi.

Cats or dogs?
100% Dogs.

Eunice Smith

Business Services Accounts

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
I wanted a change from larger firms and wanted more client interaction.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
June 2023.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
At Equil, we are exposed to both tax compliance and CFO work. My days are usually split preparing tax returns and BASs for our clients, and the other half, helping manage our clients’ day to day finance operations and making it easier to understand. Between all that, I also make life funnier and more interesting for the team.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
I’d classify myself a hobby junkie, so I'm always trying to do everything I like at the same time or trying something new on the internet. I would say my top favourite activities would be shopping and trying new restaurants.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
Nothing – I'm as transparent as a glass of water. 😊

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
I would have to say Below Deck– drama, money, superyachts and travelling? Say no more.

What would your last meal be?
A Smith Steak – its just a steak, but my husband nails it everytime.

Cats or dogs?
Why would anyone pick a cat?

William Yates

Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
Equil Advisory came highly recommended, and when I was referred via a mutual friend, I jumped at the opportunity.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
Started in July 2023.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
The majority of my role here at Equil Advisory is dedicated to tax compliance and supporting clients through strategies and processes to help improve the business.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
When I’m not at uni, you can usually find me out training or playing golf.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I love a good bit of Lego in my downtime.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Jonah from Tonga.

What would your last meal be?
Sushi.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs.

Susan Ung

Senior Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
Growing up within my family's business, I was actively engaged in its day-to-day activities and developed a keen interest in the financial and taxation aspects the business. It became evident early on that I wanted to pursue this career path and assist others in grasping financial concepts and fostering growth.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
August 2023.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
My day consists of tax compliance and assisting our clients with our outsourced CFO function.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
I enjoy going for a run, taking my dog to the beach, spending time with my family and doing jigsaw puzzles.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I love watching test cricket!

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
The Block with my dad!

What would your last meal be?
Lasagna!

Cats or dogs?
Dogs!

Alex Talia

Senior Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
Being a personal accountant for my girlfriend wasn’t a legit career!

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
Around the time I started bulking up for the gym!

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Just here for the vibes!

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Give finger-hearts to my bros!

What is something not everybody knows about you?
Part-time modelling, you can see me on the front cover of various issues of Sydney Morning Herald!

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Love Island, bro!

What would your last meal be?
Cookie!

Cats or dogs?
Nah, can’t stand either!

Alex Talia

Senior Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
Having worked in the family business and doing the bookkeeping as a teenager, an accounting degree was the clear next step. My career initially took me to chartered accounting firms and then moving into commercial accounting for more exposure, I knew my move back into an accounting firm had to be the right fit. The supportive team and management at Equil was a clear choice for me.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
June 2022.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
A large part of my role is CFO focused, I aim to support our clients through the different stages of the business by implementing strategies and processes to guide them in making the right business decisions.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Watch sport and binge tv shows.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I love fishing and hope to one day in the future be retired and do nothing but fish.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Big Brother.

What would your last meal be?
A medium rare a5 wagyu tomahawk steak.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs.

Albert Tan

Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
I was looking for a new place to clear my throat and break the office silence.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
When I was assured that there would be another Malaysian member of the team.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Play hide-and-seek in the bathroom.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Go to the gym.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I don’t know how to pronounce geography properly.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Survivor.

What would your last meal be?
Macaroni and cheese with milk.

Cats or dogs?
Neither.

Gaurav Shrestha

Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
Everyone I knew had caught on to my long stories, decided to go find new people who had never heard them before.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
When I heard they were having a massive Christmas party.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Go off on tangents and ask people if they’re good.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
I would be out hunting ghosts or singing while playing the guitar.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
No drop of rain has ever landed on my head.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Masterchef Australia.

What would your last meal be?
Double beef burger and a steak on the side.

Cats or dogs?
Cats and dogs are the most popular pets in the world. Cats are more independent and are generally cheaper and less demanding pets. Dogs are loyal and obedient but require more attention and exercise, including regular walks. But what I actually really prefer, I guess it actually depends… -character limit reached-

Albert Tan

Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
I have always wanted to be an accountant due to the influence of my family as most of them are accountants. I joined Equil Advisory as it offered me a different opportunity to work on compared to other accounting firms as well as allowing me to develop different skills.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
28th February 2022.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
My role at Equil Advisory includes tax compliance work and assisting client in their day-to-day business with EA’s outsourced CFO function.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Spending time with my wife, talking to my family or reading light novels.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
Love spicy food even though I can’t handle it at all.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Voice actor in any cartoon shows.

What would your last meal be?
Roti Telur Bwang.

Cats or dogs?
Love cats and dogs equally.

Sabrina Truong

Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
I wanted to see how people who eat unhealthy actually live.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
Just as the second lockdown was about to begin, so I didn’t have to talk to people in person.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Eat raw veggies and perfect my American accent.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Driving around Sydney for the best fast food places.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I eat banana bread with chopsticks.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Man vs Food.

What would your last meal be?
Deep fried chicken and chips with extra chicken salt.

Cats or dogs?
Cats!

Sabrina Truong

Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
My dad is a bookkeeper, so it was natural for me to choose accounting as a degree. Accounting allows me to help others grow their businesses and achieve their goals, which is something I am passionate about. I joined Equil Advisory because it is not like your typical accounting firm. I also wanted to be part of a team that is supportive and provides the opportunity for me to develop and grow my skills.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
July 2021.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
A large part of my role is focused on tax compliance and the other part is dedicated to building client relationships so that I can better help our clients with EA’s outsourced CFO function.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
You would find me watching Netflix, working out, or hanging out with friends/family.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I am learning Korean.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Super Trio Game Master.

What would your last meal be?
Pepperoni Pizza.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs!

Gaurav Shrestha

Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
Growing up I was exposed to the business environment, so I always wondered about the ins and outs of the business, how it runs and how to be financially sound. This piqued my interest on business studies and further after that into accounting. I wanted to broaden my horizons, knowledge and have a sound work life balance which led me to Equil Advisory.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
17th December 2021.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
At Equil Advisory, we are exposed a range of work that include tax compliance, bookkeeping, tax advice, liaising with the clients and outsourced CFO functions. My work is predominately occupied by tax compliance and outsourced CFO function.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
I’m mostly out with my cousins or friends. Binge watching series or may be hop online to play some games.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I can speak four different languages and I love gaming.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
The Voice.

What would your last meal be?
Mo Mo.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs.

June Wong

Business Services Senior

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
My sister got tired of me working from home and hence decided to join EA.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
Just as the first lockdown was lifted.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Eat Coco Pops and telling people what I am honestly thinking.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Planning my next EA Team workout session.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I am scared to sleep alone.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Survivor – because I wouldn’t last a day.

What would your last meal be?
I can’t decide between all the YUM-MEE animals of the world.

Cats or dogs?
Porcupine.

June Wong

Business Services Senior

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
I realised that a lot of people that work in chartered firms are not the happiest. Thus, I was looking for a place where I am happy to go to work every day. I think I found it at Equil.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
May 2021.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Connecting with clients and providing them with all the support they need so they can be at ease and have confidence that they are well looked after.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Watching dramas at home while lying on bed.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I actually thought of becoming an IT person and did a couple of months of IT degree before realising that I am not tech-savvy at all.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Amazing Race.

What would your last meal be?
Hotpot with lots of veges, mushrooms and tofu!

Cats or dogs?
Neither.

MAKS KHAN

Director

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
Kapil and I were best buddies, so it was a no brainer to start here at EA.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
Back in the day.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Loves to palm off work to Jennifer Harb.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Naps on the couch and my nightly sleep walks to bed.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I love to boogie.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
The Amazing Race.

What would your last meal be?
Pork ribs with a side of bacon.

Cats or dogs?
Can’t choose, won’t choose, Nickelodeon’s CatDog.

MAKS KHAN

Director

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
I loved maths and business subjects while in school and thought accounting would help me build on that passion. I joined Equil Advisory to be part of a team that allowed for a hands-on approach with regards to learning and looking after clients. Giving me the right building blocks to a successful career in accounting and business.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
I have been with Equil Advisory since July 2017.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
One of my core strengths is, I take my clients’ business personally. Trying to connect with clients and their needs is what helps us service them better whilst putting their minds at ease – whether it be through our Outsourced CFO function, Tax Compliance, Advice & Etc.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
I love binging on Netflix, but other than that I love my football (soccer), even if it maybe just playing FIFA.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I really used to be into painting, I could do it for hours. I have now replaced that with photography – I guess this is where all my creativity comes from.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
The Amazing Race.

What would your last meal be?
A decadent chicken parmigiana, with a side of chips and coke.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs.

JENNIFER HARB

Senior Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
Google Maps brought me here from St James Station.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
21 Jan 2019.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Annoying Maks, Mail, ATO phone calls.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Write up my jokes and who to annoy for the next day.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I can make coffee without water!

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Bachelorette.

What would your last meal be?
Chinese Food or Sushi….i love sushi!!!

Cats or dogs?
Dogs.

JENNIFER HARB

Senior Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
I have always been interested in business in general. During the first year of university, I didn’t have a path but as I took more of the core business classes, I came to realise that accounting is the common denominator in all business functions. You can’t tell how well a company is running without understanding the accounting side. Helping people solve their problems and achieve their business goals is a pretty rewarding feeling.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
I started Equil Advisory in January 2019.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Clients want to feel like one that is valued, and timely communication is important to them. I am proactive in replying to emails and returning phone calls. I try to do my work in the most efficient manner, that is helpful to both my colleagues and our clients.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Hanging out with my friends, going to the gym and watching my shows.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I once put electricity on my braces in year 8 thinking nothing would happen.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
I’m a celebrity, get me out of here.

What would your last meal be?
Lemon garlic chicken with a side of spicy chicken wings.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs, even though I have a cat.

CHIMENE GEAITANI

Senior Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
Wanted to get away from Rob.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
July 2018.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Efficiency.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Smoking shisha and thinking how to make my workflow more efficient.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
My feet actually touch the floor when i am seated.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
The Real Housewives of Western Sydney.

What would your last meal be?
Dumplings from the dodgy dumpling place, Maks and Rob love.

Cats or dogs?
Neither, they are not efficient.

CHIMENE GEAITANI

Senior Business Services Accountant

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
The intricacy of business and numbers have always been of interest to me. Numbers are what we use to measure success with; they create clarity and commitment and, more importantly, create accountability. Accountability is the key to producing results - which is what I strive for here at Equil Advisory.Here at Equil Advisory, I am part of a energetic and committed team who strive for the best possible results for each and every one of our clients. I enjoy assisting numerous businesses in financial matters, as well monitored and controlled many of their day-to-day operations.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
July 2018.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Working at Equil Advisory exposes us to a range of compliance work; from bookkeeping to financial reports, tax returns and advice. We are lucky to be trained in all scopes of work so that we’re able to satisfy our clients’ needs from start to end.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
I enjoy my time at home with my little bub.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I have an OCD on time.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Big Brother.

What would your last meal be?
Pad Keo Mao from Home Thai.

Cats or dogs?
Neither.

KAPIL MAHASHETTYWAR

Managing Director

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
Going to the pub wasn’t a legit career.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
I got kicked out of too many pubs so I had to find my own space to drink so I started Equil Advisory in May 2017.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Get in the way.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Hide from my kids in my home office eating all the chocolate.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I actually have a crown.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
Keeping up with the Kardashians.

What would your last meal be?
Salty Steak that I can send back to the kitchen.

Cats or dogs?
Cats (I am a massive Cat person).

KAPIL MAHASHETTYWAR

Managing Director

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How did you end up at Equil Advisory?
I come from a family of businessmen, so it was only natural for myself to gravitate my career towards business. Accounting allowed me to build upon the necessary skills needed to be a successful a partner but also to assist me in starting my own business, Equil Advisory. Through my experiences in business I have learnt many things and now wish to assist my clients and team to reach their full potential.

When did you start at Equil Advisory?
May 2017, was one of the best decisions on my life to start Equil Advisory as it set the tone of implementing strategies from my past learnings. I wanted to ensure every staff member has enough empowerment and freedom to make their own decisions to run the practice in the right direction.

What do you do at Equil Advisory?
Everything! But love the personal relationships aspect of the job, I love to talk so it is easier for me to pick up the phone and have a chat with anyone.

What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Play with my sons, Memphis and Kiaan and entertain them. Lay on the couch and watch TV.

What is something not everybody knows about you?
I went to a hospitality college in manly and have a bachelors in Tourism and hotel management and I was born in India.

If you had to apply for a reality TV show what would it be?
So you think you can dance.

What would your last meal be?
Keerthi’s chicken curry.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs.