InFocus August 2018 - Volume 27 Issue 7

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Business registration service now live

The Australian Government has recently launched the Business Registration Service (BRS) providing a simpler and clearer way to register a business. The BRS combines several different business and tax registrations in one place. The BRS introduces for the first time, a direct online registration service for companies, reducing red tape and making it even easier to start a business.

The Business Registration Service has reduced the average time taken to obtain a business and associated licences to under 15 minutes.

By selecting ‘New business’, you can apply for:

  • an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • an Australian company
  • a business name, and
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)

If you want to register a company online or save time when registering your ABN, business name and company, the BRS is the simplest way to do it.

If you’re not sure how you want to structure your business, you can use the ‘Help me decide’ tool. This tool will ask you a few questions and suggest the business structure that will best suit your needs, as well as any other business or tax registrations you should consider applying for.

For more information about the Business Registration Service, visit

Consultation paper - Modernising Business Registers

In the 2018-19 Budget, the Australian Government considered stakeholder feedback and directed development of a detailed business case for modernising the Australian Government’s business registers.

A discussion paper has been released for consultation focusing on four areas:

Legislation – What legislative changes are required to allow for the modernising of business registers?

Registry Service Enhancements – How we can enhance the services offered and improve the user experience?

Funding registry infrastructure – How should we fund the business registers in the future?

Director Identification Numbers (DIN) – What is the best way to implement a DIN?

Closing date for submissions: 17 August 2018

To submit a response, visit Treasury’s website.

Start preparing your financial reports now!

Financial reports are due in September and October (depending on your entity type) so now is the best time to get your documents ready.

Public companies, registered schemes, 'large' proprietary companies, , AFS licensees, and some foreign companies all need to lodge financial reports with us.

Financial reports must be lodged online.

Companies and schemes

Companies and schemes can lodge their financial reports online using the Form 388 Copy of financial statements and reports.

You will also need to include supporting documentation, including:

  • an income statement
  • a statement of financial position at the end of the year, and
  • a statement of cash flow

AFS licensees

AFS licensees need to provide their financial reports by lodging copies of:

When the report needs to be lodged depends on who holds the licence.

For more information about financial reporting and your requirements, visit our website.

Industry funding - submit your business activity metrics now!

A reminder that many organisations regulated by ASIC can now submit their business activity metrics online using the new ASIC Regulatory Portal. Metrics must be lodged before Thursday 27 September 2018.

ASIC’s regulatory costs for small proprietary companies will be collected through a $4 increase to the annual review fee, which applies from 1 July 2018. However, they may also need to pay a levy if they fall into one of the industry subsectors. More information can be found on our website.

A letter was sent from ASIC to each impacted regulated organisation’s registered office address with instructions on how to submit your metrics. This includes your unique ‘security key’, which you’ll need to create an account. If you did not receive your letter during July, see our FAQ’s in  the Regulatory Portal for other ways to register and log on.

For more information on industry funding, visit our website. 

Video - Closing your company? Here's how to do it

Even if your company has stopped trading, it's still registered with ASIC. This means that you must still meet your legal obligations, including paying the annual review fee. Deregistering your company removes you from your officeholder obligations.

We've put together a short video to help you understand when you can close your company, how to do it, and what you need to consider.

For more information about closing your company, visit our website.

Fair Work Ombudsman - Annual Wage Review (AWR)

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) reviews minimum wages in Australia each year and assesses the minimum rates of pay for modern awards. The FWO has announced a 3.5% increase to minimum wages, which applies from the first full pay period from 1 July 2018.

The FWO has a key role in educating workplace participants and ensuring compliance with the new rates. Their website has more information to help employers and employees understand their obligations, as well as a number of online tools to help calculate pay rates.

To subscribe to updates from FWO, visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Video - Small business webinar with ASIC and other government regulators

On 7 June, a number of regulators held a webinar to discuss how government can help small business over the coming year. Regulators included ASIC, ATO, ACCC, FWO, and the ASBFEO. 

Elysse Morgan hosted the webinar, covering a wide range of topics like: 

  • news and upcoming changes that may affect small business owners.
  • what we are doing to inform and protect small business 
  • initiatives and resources that are available for small businesses   

Read the transcript

Last updated: 03/08/2018 04:02