Small business-why complying with the law is important
Whether you run a small business under a business name or as a registered company, you must comply with laws that are administered and enforced by ASIC.
If you use a business name, you must meet certain legal obligations under the Business Names Act. As the business owner, you are responsible for complying with the law.
If you operate as a registered company, you have general legal obligations under the Corporations Act. Company officers (such as directors and company secretaries) are responsible for complying with their personal obligations and ensuring that the company meets its obligations.
In both cases, you may have additional legal obligations if you operate in certain industries, such as the financial services or credit industry.
Meeting your obligations is about more than just obeying laws. It ensures that there is integrity in the Australian financial system. This gives businesses and consumers some certainty and confidence knowing that they can conduct business in a fair and transparent environment. It provides a level playing field for all businesses.
If you fail to comply with the laws that apply to your business, we may take action against you, the company and/or the company officers. This may include issuing a warning letter, obtaining a court order and/or taking civil or criminal action.
If you are uncertain about your legal obligations, we recommend that you seek advice from a professional business adviser – for example, a lawyer or an accountant.