Our functions

The VSBC resolves disputes under the
Small Business Commissioner Act 2003.

Under the legislation, the VSBC also has a number of other responsibilities.

The VSBC aims to promote informed decision-making by small businesses to minimise disputes with other businesses or government agencies.

However, if businesses do get into dispute, the VSBC offers a quick, low-cost dispute resolution service.

The VSBC is not constrained by any legislated definition of ‘small business’.

The VSBC also has dispute resolution functions involving:

What we do

The VSBC’s functions under the Small Business Commissioner Act 2003 can be divided into the following:

Fair treatment

  • Facilitating and encouraging the fair treatment of small businesses in their commercial dealings with other businesses in the marketplace and with public entities, public service bodies, Councils and non-profit organisations.

Informed decision making

  • Promoting informed decision-making by small businesses in order to minimise disputes with other businesses and with public entities, public service bodies, Councils and non-profit organisations.

Dispute resolution

  • Receiving and investigating complaints by small businesses regarding unfair market practices and or commercial dealings, and provide alternative dispute resolution between the parties involved in the complaint.
  • Provide alternative dispute resolution to small businesses in disputes with other businesses and with public entities, public service bodies, Councils and non-profit organisations.

Representations

  • Make representations to an appropriate person or body on behalf of a small business that has made a complaint regarding unfair market practices or commercial dealings.

Emerging trends

  • Monitor and report to the Minister on any emerging trends in market practices that have an adverse effect on small businesses.

Service charters

  • Encourage the development and implementation of small business service charters within government to ensure small businesses receive high quality service.
  • Monitor the operation and effectiveness of those small business service charters.

Impact and development of legislation

  • As required by the Minister, monitor and report to the Minister on the impact that legislation in Victoria, government procedures and administration have on small businesses.
  • As required by the Minister, assist other branches and agencies of government to develop legislation, government procedures and administration that provide alternative ways in which small businesses can comply with the requirements of the legislation, procedures and administration.

Industry codes

  • Investigate compliance with industry codes of practice and to assist with the development and provision of industry codes of practice that promote alternative dispute resolution.

Ministerial advice

  • Advise the Minister on matters for which the Commissioner is responsible.
  • Advise the Minister on the operations of the Act.

 

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