What to do when you don’t know what you don’t know in Business

Business Licenses Laws Regulations PermitsHave you heard the one about the Personal Trainer who turned up at the regular time at the regular park for the regular boot camp only to find another PT had “permitted” the area with the local council preventing the regular PT from being able to use the space.

Or the one about the Office of Fair Trading Officer walking into a computer service business and asking to see the required terms and conditions for every booking they do which needed to be in triplicate with one copy always being provided to the client.

Or the one about the business who played the radio all day in the premises rather than music believing that they only had to pay a fee if they piped music and not the radio.

Or the one about … or the one about … and so on. How frequently do we hear about businesses trying to do the right thing complying with rules, regulations, laws, licences, permits, requirements etc to find that they have erred on something that they just didn’t know about or where they should have gone to find out about it. How frequently do you hear about business owners when they have erred and explained it was in error has it fallen on deaf ears and replied to with “you are in business, it is your responsibility to know what you need to do and have in place to run your business”.

The Albany Creek Business Contacts members all agreed how easy it is for business owners (particularly small business) to struggle with knowing all compliance requirements particularly when new ones are being created on an ongoing basis. So what is the best starting point to know if you have all of the bases covered. Here’s some suggestions (if you are a business in Queensland):

  • The easiest starting point to obtain all Queensland, local and Australian government licensing information is to visit the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS). ABLIS assists you to find the government licences, permits, approvals, registrations, codes of practice, standards and guidelines you need to know about to meet your compliance responsibilities. Information can be found here if you are starting, operating, growing, or closing a business. The process enables you to create and download a personalised report containing:
    • A summary of state or territory, local and Australian government requirements relevant to your business.
    • Information about licence fees, how to apply, periods of cover and renewals.
    • How to access application and renewal forms.
    • Where to go for more help and information.
  • Check out the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) http://www.asic.gov.au/
  • Australian Taxation Office (ATO) https://www.ato.gov.au/
  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) https://www.accc.gov.au/
  • Directly with your Local Council and the State Government (Office of Fair Trading)
  • Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland
  • Industry Bodies (eg, REIQ, CPA Australia)
  • Your accountant and/or solicitor

Another best practice is to undertake a risk assessment of your business every year or two and research if any rules or regulations have changed. Follow the SMART rule to minimise your risk:

Seek                 (seek out the risks that are or may impact your business)

Manage            (put in place strategies to manage those risks)

Avoid              (put in place strategies to avoid those risks occurring)

Retain              (put in place strategies to retain systems & processes to manage and mitigate risks)

Transfer           (put in place strategies to transfer the risk elsewhere)


(Blog contributors – Leonard Whittaker (Action Cycle Learning) Rob Carmody (Australian Integrated Communications) Mike McFillin (Australian Training School) Damian Jenkins (Australian Unity, North Lakes) Sally Balwin (Balanix Solutions) Kathy Patterson (Brendale Stationery Supplies) Matthew Fox (Brisbane hosting & Web Design) Kirsty Newbery (Caring Cottage) Brad Davies (Conquest Pest & Termite Control) Nathan Dobbins (Core Computers) Scott Deaves (David Deane Real Estate) De Wet van der Nest (Express Air Con Cleaning) Dan Milgate (Fit4Life Personal Training) Oriano Giammichele (GT Racing, Mobile Mechanic) Jason Matthey (Insurance Web) Andrew Gallagher (Lollyworld) Lynne Somerville (About you Promotions) Michael Manttan (Jims Car Cleaning Aspley) Anne-Louise Underwood (SMS Toolkits) Tracey Carter (Scrub Mutts)

Albany Creek Business Contacts consists of local quality and reliable businesses who provide a wide range of services from home and residential services to B2B and commercial services. Our service areas cover primarily Albany Creek, Eatons Hill, Brendale, Aspley, Warner, Chermside, Strathpine, North Lakes. However many members will cover greater areas.

Albany Creek Business Contacts meet fortnightly on a Wednesday morning for a 7am breakfast and networking meeting.

Balanix Solutions – Accountant, Business Advisor, Bookkeeping.

Situated in Strathpine on Brisbane North, we partner with our clients to assist them in their accounting, business management and bookkeeping needs. Our clients vary in industries from professional services (such as law, vet and dentist) to the trades (mechanic, bricklaying, plasterer etc), hospitality and retail. Are clients are located in the Pine Rivers area (including Brendale, Lawnton, Albany Creek and Eatons Hill) through to Kallangur, Petrie, North Lakes and Caboolture, as well as Brisbane South, the Gold Coast and various other parts of Queensland.

Call us today … we can help (07 3264 4783)