InFocus December 2019 - Volume 28 Issue 11

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Natural disaster relief for bushfire affected customers

We are offering assistance to customers, including small businesses, affected by recent bushfires by providing relief from various company-related fees that may be payable.

Where you or your customers are facing hardship or severe disruption as a result of the bushfires, ASIC may be able to review or waive late fees that a company has incurred, provide alternative payment options or help obtain copies of documents and information from our registers.

See our media release from 27 November 2019.

Details on how to apply for fee relief, or how to contact us for other assistance, is available on our website.

ASIC Digital Service Provider Terms & Conditions

We have updated terms and conditions that govern access to ASIC’s digital services. The ASIC Digital Services Access Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) define requirements and obligations to be fulfilled by ASIC Digital Service Providers (DSPs). The T&Cs are in effect as of 30 November 2019.

A DSP is a person or organisation who allows data to be sent to and from ASIC to submit transactions and request information searches of the ASIC Registers.

We have introduced these T&Cs for DSPs to set expectations on how they use our online services and interact with their customers.

The T&Cs include:
• requirements to be an approved DSP,
• obligations of DSPs in relation to conduct (including marketing), use and security measures,
• grounds on whch ASIC may suspend or cancel access to ASIC digital services, and
• expectations of DSPs in managing customer interactions.

All DSPs are expected to read the T&Cs to ensure they comply.

More information about the T&Cs can be found on our website.

Our service availability web page is here to help! 

Our Service availability web page has details of our planned or unscheduled outages to our online services.

This page includes a ‘Service interruptions’ section, where you can find out if we are currently experiencing any unscheduled service interruptions or issues. This includes details on the affected systems and any other helpful information.

We often plan interruptions to our online services so we can perform routine maintenance and install system upgrades. Our calendar of scheduled service interruptions can help you find out when our services will be unavailable and when they’re expected to be back online. For example, our services will not be available this weekend, Saturday 7 December 6:00 AM to Sunday 8 December 10:00 PM.

We aim to ensure that the calendar includes dates and details one month in advance to help you plan ahead for any scheduled service interruptions.

ASIC Annual Report out now 

ASIC’s Annual Report for the 2018-19 financial year is now available on our website.

The report is a record of ASIC’s activities and performance for the previous financial year.

NZAUConnect App

Did you know, we have a mobile application with the New Zealand Companies Office (NZCO) that allows you to do a combined search of the NZCO Companies Register and our Register of Australian companies?

NZAUConnect is part of our ongoing commitment to make it easier for customers to find information.

The app is free to download from the App Store and free to search.

Find out more on our website.

Changes to professional standards for financial advisers now in effect

Between 15 November and 31 December 2019, Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensees must give ASIC additional information about existing financial advisers they have authorised, including provisional financial advisers and time-share advisers.

All financial advisers will need to meet new legislative requirements.

How to update the Register
You can update the Financial Advisers Register using ASIC Connect.

For more information, see:
Appoint (add) a financial adviser
Maintain (update) or correct a financial adviser's details
Cease (remove) a financial adviser

Additional information about the Financial Advisers Register and the new reforms can be found on our website.

We’re online this Christmas

Our offices will be closed from 5:00 PM Tuesday 24 December (in each state or territory), until 8:30 AM Thursday 2 January (AEST).

During the break, you’ll still be able to use the Business Registration Service (BRS) to register a business name or company. You can also lodge documents with us online, use our online services and use ASIC Connect to search our registers and purchase any documents you need.

Find out more information about our Christmas closedown and the BRS.

Small business workshops for CALD communities in Victoria

ASIC is committed to strong engagement with small businesses operated by members of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities to provide better accessibility of information on small business resources and compliance obligations.

ASIC is building relationships with stakeholders based on trust and respect to increase our impact in the community and achieve quality outcomes.

Between February and May 2020, we are partnering with the ATO to deliver stakeholder workshops for the Chinese, Vietnamese and Arabic speaking communities in Victoria.

To register for these workshops, please visit:
• 5 February - Starting a small business (Arabic) - Craigieburn
• 12 February - Starting a small business (Arabic) - Shepparton
• 19 February - Planning your regular financial commitments (Mandarin) - Sunshine
• 25 February - Planning your regular financial commitments (Mandarin) - Richmond
• 26 February - Starting a small business (Vietnamese) - Sunshine
• 3 March - Starting a small business (Mandarin) - Richmond
• 4 March - Planning your regular financial commitments (Arabic) - Craigieburn
• 11 March - Planning your regular financial commitments (Arabic) - Shepparton
• 16 March - Starting a small business (Cantonese) - Footscray
• 16 March - Planning your regular financial commitments (Cantonese) - Footscray
• 15 April - Starting a small business (Vietnamese) - Preston
• 13 May - Planning your regular financial commitments (Vietnamese) - Preston

Business dispute resolution information now available in languages other than English

Victorian business people can now access information in languages other than English, about how to get help to resolve a business dispute or what they need to know before they sign a retail lease.

The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) has released translated resources in Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Dari, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese.

The new online materials include:
• an easy-to-read fact sheet about how the VSBC can help resolve small business disputes,
• a retail lease information brochure with important information tenants need to know before signing, and
• an animation on the VSBC’s services with translated voiceover and subtitles (in Arabic, Vietnamese and Simplified Chinese).

The VSBC is a first step for small business disputes, which saves small businesses time and money rather than going through the courts.

Small business people can either talk over the phone to find a solution to an issue or come together with an experienced mediator for a low cost. Interpreters can be arranged at no cost.

The VSBC is partnering with councils across Victoria, chambers of commerce and multicultural community groups to raise awareness of its resources and services.

According to Small Business Commissioner Judy O’Connell the resources are an important way for VSBC to engage with small business owners about their rights and responsibilities and how VSBC can help.

“It’s also important for us to make our retail leases information brochure more accessible, as this resource helps make sure small business owners know their rights and responsibilities before entering into a retail lease,” Commissioner O’Connell said.

To find our more go to the VSBC website.

Last updated: 03/03/2020 02:14