Where to Get Help

BUSINESS ENTERPISE CENTRES (BECs)

bec logoBy far the largest and most useful help organisation for small business generally, is the national network of Business Enterprise Centres. BECs are located in rural, suburban and regional areas throughout Australia. With sponsorship from private organisations plus resources provided by federal, state and local governments, BECs are there to assist with a wide range of support for small and micro businesses throughout their various stages of development.

BECs are widely recognised as being the most cost effective, relevant and unbiased conduit for offering practical and appropriate assistance to the micro and small business sectors.

click here to locate your nearest BEC office

Government Departments and Agencies

If you are just starting out in business. chances are you will need to have dealings with one or more of the federal, state, territory or even local government agencies. You will need to register your business or company name, register your business for taxation purposes and in some instances, obtain business licences and permits. Here are some helpful links

Federal Government

Advice and support
A broad range of advice and support is offered by the federal, state and territory and local governments. Follow this link to a full listing of assistance available across the three levels of government. Or go to your state below and find contact details for agencies offering assistance when you are establishing, operating or developing your business.

What's on calendar
The federal, state and territory and local governments present many seminars, workshops and conferences to assist small businesses when starting up. The Business Entry Point's What's On is a monthly calendar that lists events in city and country areas of Australia.

State and Territory Governments

Australian Capital Territory

Starting up a new business Business
ACT provides advice on taking advantage of the numerous ACT and federal government assistance services, programs and incentive schemes designed specifically for the needs of small business intenders and operators.

Licensing for your business
ACT Business Licence Information Service (BLIS) provides a quick start for the first step in business, getting the right licences to operate a business. If you are starting a new business or expanding your existing business, you may need a licence, permit, or registration and you may also need to abide by an industry code of practice.

Registering your business name
You can find information on registering your business name in the ACT through BusinessACT. A registration fee is applicable. For further information, phone 02 6207 0472.

New South Wales

Starting a business
The NSW Small Business website provides information that you can read online or download that will assist you to start your business.

Licensing for your business
Many businesses need to comply with one or more licences, permits or registrations. The types of licence vary from the registration of Business Names to permits for keeping beehives. NSW BLIS gives you online access to the Office of Fair Trading's database of NSW and federal government business licence information.

Registering your business name
You can register your business name over the counter at the Department's statewide network of Fair Trading Centres. A registration fee is applicable. You will need to renew your business name every 3 years. For more information phone 13 32 20.

Northern Territory

Starting and running a business
The NT Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development has designed a step-by-step guide to help you if you are considering setting up a business in the Northern Territory.

Licensing for your business
The Business Licence Information Service for the Northern Territory provides you with a comprehensive list of the licences you need in your business.

Registering your business name
You can find information for registering your business name in the NT through the Department of Justice. To register your business in the NT you can download an application form. There is no fee to register a business name in the Northern Territory. You will need to renew your business name every three years. Phone 08 8946 9530 for more information.

Queensland

Starting a business in Queensland
The Department of State Development and Innovation's website provides information on everything you need to know about starting a business in Queensland. Other resources include:

  • Smart Small Business website - helps you take your first step towards starting a new business
  • Business Resource Centre - information and assistance with business planning
  • SmartSkills online - interactive learning tool to help you manage your business.

Licensing for your business
SmartLicence will provide you with tailored business licensing information including:

  • Summary information on the state, local and federal government requirements for your business
  • The name, address and telephone number of the agency responsible for each listing
  • Licence application forms including on line lodgement and secure payment where available
  • Details of licence fees, periods of cover, and renewals.

SmartLicence
You can find information about registering your business name in Queensland with SmartLicence. SmartLicence is a unique business licensing and information service that puts a stop to the red tape run-around and gives you the freedom to get on with business. Contact:

1300 363 711 (Queensland callers)
07 3001 6359 (Interstate callers)
+617 3001 6359 (Overseas callers)

South Australia

Starting your own business
The Department of Trade and Economic Development (DTED) provides an introduction to specific elements of operating a business which includes business fact sheets and associated material.

Licensing for your business
The Business Licence Information Service for South Australia provides you with a comprehensive list of the licences you need in your business.

Registering your business name
An application form for registering a new business name can be downloaded and lodged either by mail, fax or in person. A registration fee is applicable. Phone 1300 138 918 for further details.

Tasmania

Getting started in business
The Department of Economic Development offers information, advice and referral to Tasmanian businesses, large and small.

Licensing for your business
The Business Licence Information Service for Tasmania provides you with a comprehensive list of the licences you need in your business.

Registering your business name
You can find information for registering your business name in Tasmania from Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading. An application form for registering a new business name can be downloaded and lodged at any Service Tasmania shop. An application fee is applicable. You will need to renew your business name every 3 years. Phone 03 6233 2225 for more information.

Victoria

Starting your business
Advice and information on how to go about getting your business up and running. The Business Channel also provides advice when you are starting a business or managing your business.

Licensing for your business
Victoria's Business Licence Information Service (BLIS) provides easy-to-understand reports covering all Victorian, local and federal government licences, permits, registrations, and Victorian legislated references to codes of practice that are relevant to the starting and running of your business.

Registering your business name
You can find information about registering your business name in Victoria at Consumer Affairs Online Victoria. You need to renew your business name every 3 years - you can do this online. You can also check the Victorian Names Register to see whether another business has already registered a name similar to the name you want.

Western Australia

Establishing your business in Western Australia
Western Australia's Department of Industry and Resources website can help you find information on industry, investment and business development. For help with starting a small business visit the Small Business Development Corporation website.

Licensing for your business
The Business Information and Licence Service is a one stop source of information on business licence requirements in Western Australia.

Registering your business name
Find out what you should know about business names in Western Australia from the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection website. A registration fee is applicable. You will need to renew your business name every 3 years. Phone 1300 304 014 if you need more information.

Local Government

Your business may need to have planning approvals in the form of development consent and/or building approvals. Your local council will determine whether you need to make any applications for approval, or to obtain special licences for such things as pollution, hazardous materials storage or waste disposal. Find a listing of local councils by clicking on your state below. This will take you to your state's local government directory, or in Queensland directly to SmartLicence.

New South Wales

Northern Territory

Queensland

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

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