Useful Government & Other Links
Useful Government & Other Links
Useful Links and Information
AusIndustry is the Australian Government’s business service delivery arm and we provide services and advice to help businesses of all sizes and sectors to start, run, innovate and grow.
At www.business.gov.au you can find essential information on:
- Starting a business – registration, licensing information, business and marketing plan templates all to help you kick things off
- Running a business – looking after your finances, employing and training workers, advertising, social media and conducting research
- Exiting a business – when to sell, how to close, what your business is worth and information on next steps
Search the free Grants & Assistance tool at www.business.gov.au/Assistance to find support, funding, assistance packages and loans for your business from all levels of government including the Australian Government’s:
- Entrepreneurs’ Programme – a flagship initiative that provides business support and advice to help businesses commercialise novel products, processes and services, as well as improve their productivity and competitiveness
- R&D Tax Incentive – a broad-based, market-driven assistance for all industries that provides a targeted tax offset to encourage more businesses to engage in R&D
We also offer:
- A National Contact Centre (13 28 46) which provides SMEs with a first point of contact to information and referral services to improve their business sustainability and better manage their business
- A trusted face-to-face service via our National Outreach Network of experienced Business Advisers and Facilitators, Regional Managers and Customer Service Managers in over 20 locations across the country. See business.gov.au/advisory-services
The ACCC’s primary responsibility is to ensure that individuals and businesses comply with Australian competition, fair trading, and consumer protection laws - in particular the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
Our role is to protect, strengthen and supplement the way competition works in Australian markets and industries to improve the efficiency of the economy and to increase the welfare of Australians. This means we will take action where this improves consumer welfare, protects competition or stops conduct that is anti-competitive or harmful to consumers, and promotes the proper functioning of Australian markets. The ACCC priorities are reflected in four key goals:
- maintain and promote competition and remedy market failure
- protect the interests and safety of consumers and support fair trading in markets
- promote the economically efficient operation of, use of and investment in monopoly infrastructure
- increase our engagement with the broad range of groups affected by what we do
ACCC initiatives also include promoting consumer education in regional and rural areas and with Indigenous communities. The ACCC’s role complements that of state and territory consumer affairs agencies who administer mirror consumer protection legislation in their jurisdictions, and the policy work of The Treasury’s Competition and Consumer Policy Division.
Small Business Infocentre: 1300 302 502
AFSA is an Australian Government agency within the Attorney-General’s portfolio. AFSA administers Australia’s personal insolvency and personal property securities systems.
- Sell goods on retention of title terms?
- Hire, rent or lease out goods for more than 2 years?
- Buy or sell valuable second-hand goods or assets?
- Want to raise finance using stock or other assets as collateral?
In 2012 a new law, which established a national online register – the Personal Property Security Register, also known as the PPSR – was introduced which may benefit your business.
State registers, such as REVs and national registers, such as ASIC’s Register of Company Charges – more than 40 across Australia – are now replaced by the one online PPSR.
When buying goods – searching the register helps you make an informed decision because you can check whether the valuable goods you want to buy are debt free and so safe from possible repossession.
When selling on retention of title or consignment, or hiring or leasing out goods – properly registering can protect your interest should any of your customers not pay or go broke.
It’s just $2.00 to do a search and PPSR registrations start from $6.00. Read more about it in our Government PPSR business guide – for you and your accountant.
Tel: 1300 007 777
ASIC is an independent Commonwealth government agency that regulates businesses, financial markets and financial services industries in Australia.
ASIC contributes to Australia’s economic reputation and wellbeing by ensuring that Australia’s financial markets are fair and transparent, supported by confident and informed investors and consumers.
Small businesses are ASIC’s largest customer in respect to legislative responsibilities for registration and licensing.
A part of ASIC's role is to engage and educate businesses about their registration and compliance obligations.
Tel: 1300 300 630
The ATO’s Small Business Engagement and Support team has a ‘Community Engagement and Support’ strategy designed to improve the small business client experience and build positive engagement by offering tailored and easily accessible educational information that will assist small businesses to understand and interact with the tax and super systems more effectively, preventing problems arising.
This is achieved by working collaboratively with our business partners, and external stakeholders including other Government Agencies and members of the business community. Our education strategy extends to culturally and linguistically diverse clients to help them understand when and where they can get assistance, with some of our staff accredited in Community Language.
The ATO’s Small Business Engagement and Support team can offer your SME:
- Face to Face Delivery of tax education workshops
- Education Webinars
- Business Conversation Events
- Sharing information through Expo’s, Festivals and Community Activities
Consumer Affairs Victoria provides free advice and information for businesses and consumers to help them understand their rights and responsibilities under fair trading legislation, including the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
The agency registers owners’ corporations, incorporated associations, retirement villages, funeral providers and second-hand dealers and pawnbrokers. It licences businesses including motor car traders, conveyancers and estate agents.
In 2017-18, Consumer Affairs Victoria provided information and advice to over 300,000 calls and responded to over 65,000 written and online queries. These included many from businesses and consumers on issues such as refund rights and obligations, warranties against defects - and how to deal with scams. We also delivered information and advice through digital channels over 3.6 million times.
For more on your obligations and rights under fair trading legislation - including protections for your small businesses as a consumer under the ACL - contact Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Tel: 1300 55 81 81
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment works to ensure that Australians can experience the wellbeing and economic benefits that quality education, skills and employment provides.
Find the right staff to fit your business
The department funds jobactive providers to deliver professional, end-to-end recruitment services at no cost to businesses. Your local jobactive provider offers the following services:
- screened and job ready candidates
- pre-employment training and work-related equipment, if needed, for the jobs in your business
- opportunities to trial a candidate to see if they are the right fit for your business
- support while new employees settle in
- access to wage subsidies (of up to $10,000 [GST inc]) if you recruit & retain an eligible job seeker
How can the Apprenticeship Network help me recruit?
The Apprenticeship Network provides free customised services to you before the apprenticeship starts, and assists in selecting the apprenticeship most suited to you and the apprentice.
The Apprenticeship Network also assists employers who want to attract and recruit apprentices. Apprenticeship candidates can be screened to assess aptitude and suitability prior to matching with an employer. These services help ensure candidates are well-suited to an Australian Apprenticeship.
Apprenticeship Network providers will support you and your business as you sign-up to the training contract, and assess your eligibility for Australian Government incentives.
Self Employment – New Business Assistance with NEIS
Individuals not in employment, education or training who are interested in running their own business may be eligible for New Business Assistance with NEIS. New Business Assistance can help by providing:
- accredited small business training;
- personalised mentoring and support from a NEIS provider in the first year of the new business to help the individual put their business idea into practice; and
- NEIS Allowance for up to 39 weeks and NEIS Rental Assistance for up to 26 weeks (if eligible).
Employer Hotline: 13 17 15
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is an independent statutory agency responsible for ensuring compliance with Australian workplace laws and educating employers and employees about their rights and responsibilities at work.
Our jurisdiction is set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 and our services are free to all workers and employers in Australia. We:
- are a single point of contact for reliable and timely information about Australia's workplace relations system
- educate people working in Australia about fair work practices, rights and obligations through a variety of service offerings including our online learning centre, small business helpline and best practice guides
- assess requests for assistance and suspected breaches of workplace laws, awards and enterprise agreements
- enforce workplace laws, in some cases through the courts, to achieve appropriate remedies and to deter people from breaching the law
- build strong and effective relationships with industry, unions and other stakeholders
Tel: 13 13 94
ICN is a not-for-profit organisation whose primary aim is to maximise opportunities for Victorian Industry in local and international supply chains.
Established in 1984, ICN Victoria is staffed by highly professional industry advisers with a broad knowledge and understanding of industry capability.
ICN Victoria works closely with project owners/proponents to identify suppliers and service providers who are best equipped to meet the requirements for hundreds of projects across Australia and New Zealand.
At the heart of our service is ICN Gateway (www.icngateway.com.au), a comprehensive national online system that allows suppliers to browse and register interest in projects and work packages, helping project managers with the supplier registration process. Rapidly expanding, it currently lists around $400 billion worth of projects and more than 70,000 suppliers.
Tel: (03) 9864 6700
INNOVIC is a not for profit organisation that was established in 1986. It provides a range of practical, hands-on services to innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs to turn good ideas for new products, services and technologies into viable new businesses.
INNOVIC assists with every aspect of the commercialisation process from idea to market. It works with clients across all sectors – digital, sports, household, on-line services, health and medical, fashion, food, lifestyle, environmental, construction and more.
INNOVIC services include commercialisation consultations, IP assistance, patent searches, help with grants, product and business development, prototyping, design, branding, market research, product presentations, business plans, marketing, licensing, negotiations and more. SKYPE consultations are available for regional and interstate clients.
INNOVIC also conducts in-house corporate innovation training and runs regular seminars and events including the Opportunity Cafe. The Opportunity Café is a workshop to help identify and create the new businesses of the future. It includes Matrix Thinking, innovation exercises, how to find opportunities, the idea to market process, the funding eco-system, pitch basics, team challenges, collaborative pitches and networking.
INNOVIC’s free monthly newsletter contains information on current grants, programs, services, events, and tips and tools for the innovative community.
Tel: (03) 8060 3504
IP Australia is the Australian Government agency that administers intellectual property (IP) rights and legislation relating to patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder's rights. We contribute to the innovation system more broadly by using our skills and experience to advise government and Australian businesses.
Our vision is to have a world leading IP system that builds prosperity for Australia.
IP Australia has information about IP rights and registrations as well as guides, videos, webinars, tools and resources to help people with new ideas.
Tel: 1300 65 10 10
Small Business Centres Victoria is a network of not for profit, locally based organisations providing a range of small business services in both metropolitan and regional areas of Victoria. The purpose of SBCV is to facilitate the establishment and economic sustainability of Micro-Small Businesses (MSB) and foster local economic development.
For the intending and new start-up business, services include business consultations and business management skills programs to assist in the development of business and marketing plans.
Existing businesses can utilise mentor and coaching programs to focus on specific growth and business performance strategies. Workshops, seminars and network events are also available. The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) is available from some members which is a federal program with no fees that can assist you to establish your new business. Business Incubator services to help nurture growing businesses into the wider business community are also available from selected members.
The SBCV focus is in the micro-small, family and home-based business sector and maintains successful partnerships with all levels of government, private enterprise and local communities.
Tel: (03) 9094 3008
Small Business Victoria offers low cost and local assistance to Victorian businesses to help them start their business, increase their productivity or reach new local and international markets.
As a small business owner, you may not be an expert in all business areas. Getting expert advice and information can help you identify goals, anticipate change and plan for growth. Whether you’re seeking advice on starting a business, understanding marketing, business planning or how to build resilience so that your business can successfully recover after a crisis, Small Business Victoria can help.
SBV’s Workshops program provides proven, practical and affordable advice and skills development tailored to the needs of small business owners and operators, organisations and their staff. With 11 topics covering the latest information and insights, delivered by expert facilitators with real-life small business experience, participants will be able to gain relevant and useful advice that they can apply in their business immediately.
SBV programs operate throughout the year and across the state and include a free fortnightly e-newsletter, a helpline to call, business workshops and training, access to small business mentoring and a website. Further assistance is available on the Small Business Bus - a mobile office that tours the state and offers information on SBV programs and also free 45 minute mentoring sessions.
For more information on any of the programs and assistance offered by Small Business Victoria and to book into a workshop or free mentoring on the Small Business Bus visit the website:
Tel: 13 22 15
Small businesses need a competitive and fair business environment to grow, and ways to resolve disputes quickly and cheaply when they arise. That's why in 2003 the Victorian Government established the Office of the Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC).
The VSBC provides a quick, effective and low cost dispute resolution service for businesses in dispute with other businesses or government (including retail tenancy matters). Many disputes referred to the VSBC are resolved at no cost to either party through early engagement by experienced Dispute Management Officers.
If the dispute remains, parties are invited to attend mediation with an independent, neutral mediator. Since 2003, around 80% of mediations have been settled, avoiding the cost, delay and distraction of litigation.
Tel: 13 VSBC (13 8722)
WorkSafe (Victorian WorkCover Authority) manages the statutory obligations of several Acts of Parliament including the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2004 and the Accident Compensation Act 1985. The occupational health and safety arm, takes the lead role in the promotion and enforcement of health and safety in Victorian workplaces. WorkSafe has a team of field officers, investigators, work-site technical experts and support staff spread throughout a network of city, suburban and regional offices.
The WorkSafe team is responsible for improving workplace safety through implementing the organisation's comprehensive constructive compliance strategy which focuses on information, education, incentives, enforcement, investigations, prosecutions and penalties.
The Injury & Claims arm provides a range of benefits to injured workers, for life if required, regardless of who was at fault and the benefits are managed through WorkSafe's authorised Agents. Benefits can include
- weekly compensation
- ambulance transport
- hospital treatment
- medical and paramedical treatment
- attendant care and home help
- lump sum payments.
WorkSafe offers Small and Medium Victorian Businesses a free safety consultation service delivered by an independent occupational health and safety (OHS) consultant. The consultant will come to your workplace, help identify hazards and provide a practical safety action plan. They'll also provide a follow up service to see how you're tracking with the plan.
It's a great opportunity to learn more about your safety obligations and to receive tailored advice on managing safety in your workplace.
The program is available to small and medium sized businesses with a WorkCover insurance policy. Sole traders with contractors may be also eligible to apply, but must hold a WorkCover insurance policy.
Tel: 1800 136 089
Tel: 03 9641 1620