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Insolvency Practices Inquiry

Insolvency Practices Inquiry discussion paper released

The Insolvency Practices Inquiry has heard a vast number of harrowing small business stories, highlighting the failures of the insolvency system as well as the challenges faced by industry professionals.

Through this discussion paper, we are seeking feedback on the development of a best practice framework for small businesses facing insolvency and for practitioners managing external administrations.

Submissions will close on Monday 27 January 2020.

Download the Discussion Paper.


Share your story

We invite small and family businesses that have faced financial difficulties and restructured or wound up their business to share their stories by completing this survey.

The survey will close COB on Friday 31 January 2020.

Alternatively, you can email us at



On 10 October 2019, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman launched an inquiry into the insolvency system, to investigate if current insolvency practices achieve the best possible outcome for small and family businesses in financial trouble.

Our Small Business Loans Inquiry identified a lack of transparency for the small business owner when a creditor commenced debt recovery action. The small business owners felt they had lost control of their business as they were unable to contribute to, or obtain copies of, reports by insolvency practitioners. As the cases reviewed frequently ended in the business being wound up, the process appeared poorly managed to the small business owners and resulted in less than ideal outcomes for the owner, the lender and creditors of the business.

This inquiry will identify areas where practices can be improved and recommend changes to the system to achieve fairer outcomes for all parties involved.

A final report to be handed down in March 2020.


If you choose to participate:

  • you must not provide information that would be in breach of a confidentiality agreement
  • the information provided to the inquiry is ­not covered by parliamentary privilege.

Importantly, the Ombudsman cannot change the outcome of your issue, fund or intervene in legal actions or get you compensation.


Terms of Reference (PDF 214KB)

Reference Group (PDF 96KB)

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