Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Small business

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The Treasury provides advice on small business policy issues and assists the Australian Government in developing an internationally competitive and productive environment for small businesses.

The Treasury is responsible for:

  • providing expert policy advice and programs to facilitate the growth of small and family businesses
  • ensuring small business interests are reflected in Australia’s broader economic reoform
  • engaging across government to highlight issues affecting small and family businesses, and to ensure their needs are considered

Our work includes:

  • listening to small and family businesses to understand challenges and opportunities they face
  • gathering data and insights to inform evidence-based, integrated policy design across government
  • identifying opportunities to improve the operating environment for small businesses
  • enabling small and family businesses to thrive by providing the information, connections and support they need
  • being accountable for making real and measurable impacts for small and family businesses
  • enhancing Australia’s reputation for small and family business-friendly policies and programs

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

Our department hosts the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO).

The Ombudsman:

  • is an independent advocate for small business owners offering advice and assistance to small business owners
  • has legislative powers to ensure Australian legislation and regulations help small businesses grow

Employee Share Schemes

Employee Share Schemes (ESS) allow employees to acquire shares or other equity interests in the business for which they work, usually at a discount. They are offered as an incentive to employees, allowing them to share in the growth and success of the business.

The Government is making ESS more attractive for companies and their employees by making regulatory and tax improvements to the regime.

Franchising

Our department’s responsible for ensuring franchising policy is fit for purpose, and the sector operates fairly and efficiently.

Read more about our role in improving Australia’s franchising sector.

Payment times

We’re committed to ensuring fairer and faster payment times for small businesses. Australian small businesses employ almost half of the Australian workforce. Reducing long (after 30 days) and late payment times to small business will help improve their cash flow and boost employment and wages.

The Australian Government is leading by example and has committed to paying invoices within 5 business days from 1 January 2021. This applies to instances where both entities have e-invoicing capability.

Payment times reporting

The Payment Times Reporting Scheme affects large businesses and large government enterprises with a total annual income of over $100 million.

Once the scheme commences, they must report their small business payment terms and times. The Australian Government will publish the reports twice a year on a public register.

See how we consulted with small and large business, and industry, to design and develop the scheme.

Email PaymentTimesReporting@industry.gov.au

Annual pay on-time survey

Each year we conduct a Pay on-time survey to collect information about agency performance against the Department of Finance’s Supplier pay on-time or pay interest policy.

Read pay on-time survey performance reports.

Australian Government procurement contracts

The Payment Times Procurement Connected Policy (PT PCP) will leverage approximately 100 Commonwealth government agencies’ purchasing to improve payment times to suppliers in government contracts supply chains.

From 1 October 2021, large businesses (annual income of over $100 million) awarded government contracts of over $4 million will be required to pay their new subcontracts (up to $1 million) within 20 calendar days. Late payments of invoices in scope will incur interest penalties. The policy complements the Government Supplier Pay on Time or Pay Interest Policy.

Wellbeing

The Australian Government is investing in tools and resources to support small business owners’ wellbeing.

Read outcomes of our:

International councils and committees

Australia is a member of the:

Resources

The business.gov.au website provides small business advice and services from across all levels of government.