State Small Business Commissioners
The states of New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia have a Small Business Commissioner to assist small businesses deal with business-to-business disputes and business-to-government disputes.
Victorian Small Business Commissioner
Phone: 13 87 22
This website provides you with government information, assistance, forms and services, including a Grants and Assistance Finder, free tools and resources, how to comply with government tax, free apps, insurance information and how to employ workers.
Australian Business Register
An Australian Business Number (ABN) is a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business to the government and the community.
You can register online as a sole trader, partnership or a trust for an ABN at the Australian Business Register website.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
The ACCC promotes competition and fair trade in markets to benefit consumers, businesses, and the community. Their information covers a business’ rights and protections, how to treat customers fairly, setting prices and surcharges, industry codes, rules that businesses must follow when advertising and selling products and services, franchising and more.
The ACCC produces a twice-yearly report, Small Business in Focus, on their work and activities in the small business sector.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
You can apply for a company or business name through ASIC. Start by checking the availability of the name you want to use, then you can register a company/business, learn about your obligations as a company director and why record keeping is a legal requirement for tax purposes.
You can download the ASIC guide for small business directors for further assistance.
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
The ATO offers a range of services and resources to help small businesses and family enterprises understand and comply with their tax requirements. The ATO website has information on preparing and lodging your BAS, Tax File Number essentials, superannuation, electronic record keeping, electronic payment systems, and an app you can download for free.
You can visit the ATO website or call via these phone services:
Business helpline: 13 10 20 (8am-6pm Mon-Fri)
AUSkey enquiries: 1300 287 539 (8am-6pm Mon-Fri)
You can also contact the Inspector-General of Taxation if you have a complaint or dispute with the ATO (see tab below).
Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman
If you have a complaint or dispute with the ATO and have not been able to resolve the issue directly with them, the Inspector-General of Taxation and Taxation Ombudsman may be able to help you.
The Inspector-General and Taxation Ombudsman can help to address concerns or complaints about the administrative actions of the ATO or Tax Practitioners Board. Examples of administrative action include the time it takes to get a response, the conduct of officers, the availability of services, or whether an auditor has considered all the relevant information.
Family Business Australia
Register a business
The Business Registration Service, or BRS, is a free service provided by the Commonwealth government that offers a simpler, clearer and faster way to register a business.
BRS joins-up a range of existing Commonwealth government services to provide a streamlined and improved user experience that reduces the time to register as a new business, or apply for additional registrations. It supports existing businesses, and business intenders, to meet their obligations and avoid applying for registrations that they don’t need.
The BRS is available at register.business.gov.au.
Australian Business Licence and Information Service – ABLIS helps you find information on government licences, permits, approvals, registrations, codes of practice, standards and guidelines to meet your compliance responsibilities.
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) – The Australian Chamber is Australia's largest and most representative business association, comprising state and territory chambers of commerce and national industry associations. ACCI represents more than 300,000 businesses and speaks on their behalf to government and the community.
Australian Financial Security Authority – If your business is struggling with debt, it’s important to seek help straight away from an accountant or free financial counsellor. They will assess your situation and provide advice on how to manage your debt.
Australian Institute of Business Brokers – This industry body represents and provides support services to professional business brokers involved in the facilitation of business ownership from one party to another.
AusTrade – Austrade provides general information, free of charge to Australian companies, about exporting and doing business in international markets. Find out about export markets, grants, free trade agreements and how to expand your business outside Australia.
Be MoneySmart – Training is the best way to take control of your finances; there are a number of free or low-cost training options available through Be MoneySmart to give you the right start.
Fair Work Ombudsman – The Fair Work Ombudsman provides information and advice about workplace rights and obligations, including how to hire staff and calculate employee pay and leave.
IP Australia – Through IP Australia’s website, you can learn about trademarks, copyright, and business, patent and design registrations.
Online BAS Agent Register – The TPB Register contains registration details of registered and deregistered tax and BAS agents and tax (financial) advisers.
SME Assist – The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)’s SME Assist service is designed to help small to medium enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, researchers and anyone unfamiliar with therapeutic goods regulation to better understand regulatory requirements. The service includes guidance articles, interactive decision tools, educational workshops and a subscription service to keep you up-to-date with the latest SME Assist information.
Stay Smart Online – This is a great online resource to find tips and guidance to protect your business' safety online.