Small business

On this page:

Survey - small business, big say

By filling out our short survey, you can help us improve our services to Victorian small businesses. 

The survey closes on 21 July. To have your say, please complete the Small Business Big Say survey on the Department of Justice MyViews website.

Business names

Business name registration, updates and renewals are administered by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

For more information, visit the Business names section of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission website.

Business InfoLine - 1300 098 631

Call this line for information and advice on consumer protections that apply to your business, or to report a small business scam.

Email

smallbusiness@justice.vic.gov.au

Business hours

9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday (except public holidays)

Small business email newsletter

Our small business email newsletter provides information to help you run your business and comply with the law, including:

  • changes to the law that may affect you
  • tips to help protect your business from scams.

Subscribe to our small business newsletter

View the latest edition of the small business newsletter.

Australian Consumer Law

The Australian Consumer Law commenced on 1 January 2011. This law made business easier, because your rights and responsibilities as a small business are the same, no matter where you operate in Australia.

Under this law, you automatically give certain ‘consumer guarantees’ when you sell goods or services to consumers – regardless of any other warranty. View our Guarantees, warranties and refunds – fair trading section.

Your business is also a consumer and protected by these same consumer guarantees, if it buys: 

  • goods or services that cost up to $40,000 
  • goods or services that cost more than $40,000 and are of a kind ordinarily acquired for domestic, household or personal use or consumption
  • a vehicle or trailer primarily used to transport goods on public roads.

However, the consumer guarantees will not apply if your business buys goods to resell or transform into a product to sell.

For example:

If your business buys a printer that costs up to $40,000 for use in the business, it can rely on the consumer guarantees if there is a problem. But if your business bought the printer to resell to consumers, it cannot rely on the consumer guarantees.

Guides to the Australian Consumer Law

For more information about rights and responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law, view our Fair trading section.

There is a series of guides to the new law for business and legal practitioners. For more information, view our Australian Consumer Law resources page.

Retailer toolkit

This free kit includes refund and lay-by policy posters for display in your business. For more information, view our Australian Consumer Law resources page.

MyShopRights app

MyShopRights provides an instant overview of your refund, warranty and lay-by rights and responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law. It is available as a free download for Android or iPhone.

For more information, view our MyShopRights app page.

Resolve a dispute

Resolve a dispute with another business

We may be able to help you resolve a dispute with another business, if your business is entitled to consumer protections under the Australian Consumer Law.

Call our Business InfoLine on 1300 098 631 or email smallbusiness@justice.vic.gov.au

Resolve a dispute with a customer

For information to help you handle customer complaints or resolve a dispute with a customer, view our Handling complaints page.

Scams targeting businesses

Many small businesses are targeted by scammers. For advice on how to avoid being scammed, view our Small business scams section.

To report a small business scam, call our Business InfoLine on 1300 098 631 or email smallbusiness@justice.vic.gov.au.

Product safety

Businesses that import or sell products must ensure those items meet mandatory safety standards and are not subject to ban orders.

There are tough penalties for anyone who fails to comply with product safety requirements, with fines of up to $220,000 for individuals and $1.1 million for corporations.

For more information, view our Product safety section or the Product Safety Australia website.

Group buying and daily deals

Businesses thinking about offering such deals need to be aware of the potential demands and risks. For more information, view our Group buying and daily deals page.

Licensing and registration

We can help you register, license and comply with laws if your small business is one that we regulate. These include:

Advice in a disaster: business recovery

We can help with business recovery in a disaster, such as a storm, flood, bushfire or earthquake. For more information, view our Advice in a disaster: business recovery page.

Free information sessions for small business

We provide education on scams and the Australian Consumer Law to business, trader groups and industry associations throughout Victoria.

For more information or to arrange a presentation, view our Small business - free information sessions page.

Last updated: 26/07/2014

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