Small business

If you are operating or are planning to operate a small business as a registered company or under a registered business name, this content is for you.

ASIC assists small business as we regulate all companies, financial markets and providers of financial services and consumer credit in Australia and manage the registration of business names.

What is a small business?

A small business is defined differently by different regulators and laws.

A small business can be structured under a company, joint venture, partnership, trust or as a sole trader. Depending on the structure, a small business can be registered under a company and/or a business name. Find out more about setting up a business structure.

ASIC’s definition of small proprietary company

ASIC administers the Corporations Act 2001 and this defines a 'small proprietary company'.

From financial years commencing on or after 1 July 2019, a proprietary company is a small proprietary company for a financial year if it satisfies at least 2 of the following:

  • the consolidated revenue for the financial year of the company and the entities it controls (if any) is less than $50 million;
  • the value of the consolidated gross assets at the end of the financial year of the company and the entities it controls (if any) is less than $25 million; and/or
  • the company and the entities it controls (if any) have fewer than 100 employees at the end of the financial year.

To decide on the structure that best suits your business needs we recommend that you get professional advice about your circumstances.

How ASIC assists small business

Small businesses deal with ASIC when they:

If ASIC finds people or organisations have broken the law we have the power to ban or disqualify company directors, ban individuals from the financial services and credit industries and take civil or criminal action against companies or company officers. Find out more about ASIC’s role.

Read our Small Business Strategy 2017-2020 (PDF 177KB) to find out how ASIC assists small business.

Supporting the small business community

ASIC's Warren Day talks about ASIC's role in small business, choosing the right business structure and the common mistakes directors make.

Listen to the podcast on the Smallbizmatters website.

Starting a small business

To start a small business, you will need to decide on the structure that best suits you; this could be a business name or a company. If you decide to register a company, you will also need to appoint company directors and officeholders and find out how to meet your legal requirements.

Find out more about how to start a small business.

Running a small business

There are several requirements and factors to consider when operating or planning to operate a small business in Australia. If you own or are looking to start a small business as a registered company or under a registered business name, ASIC’s Running a Small Business in Australia – What you need to know booklet is available for you.

Find out about running a small business.

A small business journey

ASIC Commissioner John Price, alongside other key government regulators, discusses what help is available at the different stages of running a small business.

Protecting your small business

Find out how you can manage business risks once your business is up and running, your rights and protections, and how to sort out any disputes with other businesses and recover bad debts.

Find out how to protect your small business.

Closing a small business

If your business has stopped trading you should deregister your company and cancel your business name. This will mean you won’t have to pay annual fees or keep your details updated with ASIC.

Read our guidance on closing a small business.

Indigenous corporations

If you are setting up a not-for-profit or a charitable Indigenous organisation that is a company limited by guarantee we have some useful guidance. We explain your company obligations, the rights of company directors and members and how to resolve disputes.

Find out more about Indigenous corporations.

Small business resources in other languages

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ASIC has information and resources for people from a non-English speaking background. If you are a small business owner in Australia and English is not your first language, this page may be of interest to you.

Find out about our resources in other languages.

Last updated: 05/03/2021 04:27