ASIC service charter

This service charter sets out:

  • what you can expect when you deal with us, and
  • how you can help us serve you better.

It explains how we respond to your requests – for example, when applying for licences or relief from the law – and how we respond when you report to us alleged misconduct by companies or individuals.

How ASIC serves you

ASIC administers and enforces Australia’s corporate, markets, financial services and consumer credit laws.

Among other activities, we:

  • register companies and managed investment schemes
  • register auditors and liquidators
  • register business names
  • license financial services and consumer credit businesses and
  • examine new market licence proposals.

We can:

  • grant relief for companies or individuals from some sections of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) and National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act) and
  • pursue companies or individuals who may have breached the laws we administer.

We maintain publicly accessible registers of companies, and registered and licensed entities, as well as disqualified directors and people who are banned from the financial services industry.

What you can expect from us

All ASIC staff must comply with the Australian Public Service (APS) values and code of conduct. The APS values and code of conduct include requirements for ASIC staff to act impartially, behave with integrity and honesty, and act with due care and diligence in the course of their employment.

Our staff must also comply with the organisation’s core values of accountability, professionalism and teamwork. Our values guide the way we work, the way we make decisions and how we interact with each other and the wider community.

We are committed to:

  • treating you with respect and courtesy in our dealings with you
  • providing you with prompt, professional and quality service at all times
  • making consistent decisions, and advising you of our decisions in a timely manner
  • being openly accountable for our actions and
  • monitoring and improving our performance in the services we provide you.

If you give us information, we will collect, store and use that information in accordance with the law. We will respect your rights to privacy and confidentiality.

We often deal with very complex laws and situations. We aim to communicate these to you in plain language, and explain anything you cannot understand. We will share our decisions about new matters, and the reasons for our decisions, to build your knowledge.

  • †You have the right to a fair and impartial decision.

We will take all reasonable steps to ensure your matter is resolved within the timeframes set out in this charter. If we are unable to deal with your application or query within our target timeframe, we will:

  • provide an interim response to inform you of our progress
  • review the progress of your matter and prioritise its resolution as quickly as possible and
  • where necessary, escalate your matter for consideration and decision by the appropriate decision-making body within ASIC.

What we ask of you

Before phoning or emailing us, please check whether the information you need is on our website.

Because we cannot give you legal or financial advice, we recommend you get any necessary professional advice before you contact us.

When lodging forms or updating company details, please use our online lodgement service.

When paying annual review fees, we suggest you take advantage of BPay, PostPay and EFTPOS services.

You can lodge a complaint online about alleged misconduct by a company or individual.

You can also obtain further information about how to make a complaint about our decisions or staff.

When you lodge a form, application or complaint with us, please include all necessary information, and any prescribed application fees, so we can process this efficiently.

  • †We ask that you provide us with timely and accurate information and that you treat our staff with courtesy and respect.

How we are accountable

ASIC is held accountable through the courts, tribunals, Parliament and the Commonwealth Ombudsman for our actions in relation to the laws we administer and enforce.

We report our performance on the ASIC website and in our annual report, which includes various key performance targets.

We also welcome your feedback at any time about how we can improve our service.

  • †We will keep reviewing our service standards and this charter.

Our service standards

When you contact us

ServiceService charter target

General phone or email / web queries

Our call centre staff aim to answer your queries on the spot (target: 80%). If our service staff cannot answer your query directly, they will arrange for an appropriate staff member to contact you.

If your query is not straightforward, please email us. We aim to reply within five business days to queries sent to www.asic.gov.au/question (target: 90%).

In some cases, it may not be appropriate for us to fully respond to queries, nor would it be reasonable to expect us to do so. For example, queries about surveillance, investigations and enforcement may involve sensitive and highly confidential matters that will restrict what we can say, or prevent us from replying at all.

  • For more information about when ASIC may comment publicly on investigations and enforcement actions, refer to Information Sheet 152 Public comment (INFO 152).

When you access our registers

ServiceService charter target
Searching company, business name or other data online We aim to ensure our online search service is available to you between 8.30am and 7.00pm AEST Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) (target: 99.5%).
Lodging company, business name or other registration and information online We aim to ensure you can lodge registration forms and other information online between 8.30am and 7.00pm AEST Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) (target: 99.5%).

When you do business with us

ServiceService charter target

Registering a company or business name

You can register an Australian company by using a business that specialises in company services, such as registers, consents and share certificates. These businesses have software that links directly to ASIC. You can find providers by searching business directories or the internet for ‘shelf company services’ or ‘Australian company registration’. These providers can also offer full company secretarial services covering registers, consents and share certificates. Alternatively, you can complete the Application for registration as an Australian company (Form 201).

You can register a business name by either signing up for an ASIC Connect account or logging in to an existing account.

If you lodge an online application to register a company or business name with ASIC, we aim to register the company or business name within one business day of receiving a complete application (target 90%).

If you lodge a paper application to register a company with ASIC, we aim to register the company within two business days of receiving a complete application (target: 90%).

If you lodge a paper application to register a business name with ASIC, we aim to register the business name within seven business days of receiving a complete application (target: 90%).

Updating company, business name, or other ASIC register information and status

You can lodge changes to company information online, or you can enter most changes directly into the corporate register.

You can lodge changes to business name details either online (using your ASIC Connect account) or by sending us a paper form, depending on the type of change.

You can lodge changes to other ASIC registers either online or by sending us a paper form, depending on the type of change. Our other registers include those relating to SMSF auditors, registered auditors and liquidators, and financial services or credit industry participants.

If you lodge changes to company, business name or other ASIC register information online, we aim to enter critical changes into the respective registers within one business day of receiving a completed online form (target: 90%).

Registering as an auditor

We aim to decide whether to register an auditor or authorised audit company within 28 days of receiving a complete application (target: 80%).

You can lodge applications online at www.asic.gov.au/auditregistration and www.asic.gov.au/liquidator-registration.

These applications will take longer if they raise complex or new policy issues, or if you don’t give us all the information we need.

Registering a managed investment scheme

By law, we must register a managed investment scheme within 14 days of receiving a complete application, except in certain circumstances (target: 100%).

  • For more information, see Regulatory Guide 134 Managed investments: Constitutions (RG 134).

Applying for or varying an AFS licence

We aim to decide whether to grant or vary an Australian financial services (AFS) licence within 150 days of receiving a complete application (target: 70%). Further, we aim to decide 90% of complete applications within 240 days.

These applications will take longer if they raise complex or new policy issues, or if you don’t give us all the information we need.

Applying for or varying an Australian credit licence

We aim to decide whether to grant or vary an Australian credit licence within 150 days of receiving a complete application (target: 70%). Further, we aim to decide 90% of complete applications within 240 days.

These applications will take longer if they raise complex or new policy issues, or if you don’t give us all the information we need.

Applying for relief

If you lodge an application for relief from the Corporations Act or National Credit Act, we aim to give you an in-principle decision within 28 days of receiving a complete application, including all the necessary information to support the application and fees (target: 70%). Further, we aim to give you an in-principle decision for 90% of complete applications within 90 days.

Applications that raise complex or new policy issues are likely to take longer for ASIC to consider. If your application is complex or raises a new policy issue, we will aim to give you an interim response to inform you of our progress.

If we require further information to proceed with your application, we will give you a reasonable time to provide this, whenever possible. We also expect you to provide us with timely and accurate information.

In exceptional circumstances, we may consider applications on an urgent basis.

  • For more information, see Regulatory Guide 51 Applications for relief (RG 51).

When you report misconduct to us

ServiceService charter target

About a company or an individual

If you report to us alleged misconduct about the activities of a company or individual, we will record the information and carefully consider what you have told us.

We weigh every report of misconduct against four basic questions:

  • What action can we take?
  • Is the evidence likely to be sufficient?
  • How urgent and serious is the report of misconduct?
  • If we succeed, will people behave better in the future?

We then decide whether to pursue the report of misconduct, or even investigate it further. If we decide to investigate or pursue the report of misconduct, we aim to respond to you within 28 days of receiving all relevant information (target: 70%).

The process will take longer if the report of misconduct is complex, requires considerable additional work, or if you don’t give us all the information we need.

However, we are not required to, nor can we, investigate all matters that have been reported to us. Accordingly, we prioritise and select matters for further action based on our consideration of the four basic questions set out above.

We generally won’t be able to recover money for you, and you will often need to get your own professional advice.

If we cannot help you, we will suggest someone who can or some action you may be able to take yourself.

When you have complaints about us

ServiceService charter target

About an ASIC decision

If we have made a decision that affects you directly, you may have rights connected with the decision.

If you need to clarify anything about a decision we have made, you may find it helpful to discuss it with the ASIC staff member who made the decision.

You may also be entitled to ask for a written statement of reasons for the decision, or ask for access to documents about the decision under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

About ASIC officers, services or actions

If you want to complain about how an ASIC staff member has carried out their responsibilities, or about our services or actions, you may wish to lodge a complaint with ASIC.

We aim to acknowledge receipt of complaints within three working days of receipt. We aim to resolve a complaint within 28 days (target 70%).

Resolution of complaints will be as prompt as possible, and in accordance with our published guidelines in our Complaints handling policy and Information Sheet 107 Guidelines for managing allegations of misconduct against ASIC officers (INFO 107). However, this may take time because different procedures will apply, depending on the seriousness of the allegation.

You may also have the right to complain to the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Ombudsman usually prefers you to discuss your complaint with ASIC first.

How to contact ASIC

If you …then you should …

have a query about:

  • starting up or closing down a company
  • lodging company documents or changing company details
  • your corporate key
  • checking availability of, registering, renewing or updating a business name
  • fees, invoices and fee waivers, online access and lodgements
  • free and paid searches of ASIC's registers, including registers of companies, business names, persons, SMSF auditors, registered auditors and liquidators, financial services or credit industry participants, banned and disqualified persons, documents lodged with ASIC, Credit and ASIC Act infringements, and enforceable undertakings
  • searching the qualifications, training and professional memberships of your financial adviser, or appointing and changing details of financial advisers and authorised representatives using the Financial Advisers Register
  • whether your financial adviser is licensed
  • unclaimed money
  • lodging external administration forms online (through the registered liquidator portal)
  • policy and procedures on fundraising, licensing, disclosure or takeovers
  • how to report misconduct by companies or services
  • completing your online application for an AFS or credit licence
  • financial services or products
  • information on investors’ and consumers’ rights or
  • getting copies of ASIC publications

Ask us a question online

Phone us:

  • 1300 300 630 (within Australia)
  • +61 3 5177 3988 (from overseas)

For document lodgements:

use our self-service kiosks located in each state and territory

Write to us:

PO BOX 4000
Gippsland Mail Centre
Victoria 3841

if you want to send us general comments and suggestions about our website and online services, or report a fault or broken link. Email: feedback@asic.gov.au

Service charter results 2017-18

Service charter results 2016-17

Service charter results 2015-16

Service charter results 2014-15

Service charter results 2013-14

Service charter results 2012-13

Service charter results 2011-12

Service charter results 2010-11

Service charter results 2009-10

Service charter results 2008-09

Service charter results 2007-08

Service charter results 2006-07

ASIC industry funding

Cost Recovery Implementation Statement 2019-20

12 June 2020

A consultation version of the Cost Recovery Implementation Statement 2019-20 (CRIS)  has been released.

Read the draft CRIS

Industry funding: what you need to know

Video Thumb Industry Funding What You Need To Know

Watch the video

More about industry funding

Last updated: 17/10/2019 04:11