Small business and ASIC
A speech by John Price, Commissioner, Australian Securities and Investments Commission to the Law Council of Australia and the Law Society of NSW SME Business Law Conference (Sydney, Australia) on 1 September 2017
Thank you for the opportunity to speak at today’s conference. I am John Price, ASIC’s lead commissioner for small business.
Small and medium enterprises make a significant contribution to the Australian economy. They account for 99.8% of all businesses registered in Australia, and employ almost 70% of our workforce.
Small business is ASIC’s largest customer. Over 90% of the Australian companies and businesses registered with ASIC are small businesses with fewer than 20 employees. Small business alone employs half of Australia’s workforce and makes up one-fifth of our gross domestic product. On the regulatory front, most of ASIC’s financial services and credit licensees, as well as the users of the products and services provided by those licensees, are also small businesses.
Today I am excited to be able to tell you about ASIC’s new Office of Small Business, and its work so far. I will discuss some improvements to our registry services, and will also take you through some of the resources we have developed in our efforts to support small business, and to show them ‘what good looks like’. I will touch on the recent proposed changes to the external dispute resolution (EDR) framework, our work with unfair contract terms and our thoughts on the Banking Code of Practice Review. Finally, I will give you an update on our efforts to combat illegal phoenix activity.