How we support small business
On this page
Some of the ways the Victorian Small Business Commission supports small business
Supporting mental wellness
A small business owner’s guide to creating a mental health plan: a resource to help small business owners to identify stressors, recognise changes in themselves that signal when they might need extra support, and plan actions to take in response
Paying small businesses promptly
Australian Supplier Payment Code: a voluntary industry-led initiative that aims to ensure prompt and fair payment for suppliers through a set of best practice standards
Supporting small businesses through infrastructure disruption
Victorian small business engagement guidelines: a resource for project managers undertaking infrastructure work to assist them in minimising the impacts on small businesses
Guide to managing disruption: a resource for small business owners to help problem solve issues with disruption
Small Business Friendly Council (SBFC) initiative
SBFC initiative: an initiative developed by the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) in partnership with local councils to create a fair and competitive trading environment for Victorians in small business
We engage with Victorian small businesses through our various communications channels. We encourage you to:
- visit our news and events hub
- subscribe to VSBC News via our homepage
- follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram
- read our website
- take part in our webinars to build your knowledge in areas including retail leasing, commercial dispute resolution, franchising and unfair contract terms.
Victorian Government agencies and departments
Small Business Victoria
Small Business Victoria (SBV) offers a range of support services to help you to start, run and transform your business. Their Business Victoria website provides access to:
- information and advice on starting, growing and exiting your business, finance, marketing, disaster resilience and workplace wellbeing
- practical tools and templates on a range of topics such as cashflow forecasting and overdue payments
- grants and programs to help your business deal with change, develop new products or services, and improve sustainability and competitiveness
- workshops, webinars, courses and mentoring delivered in partnership with education providers and industry experts.
Phone: 13 22 15 (8am – 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm Saturday, 10am – 3pm Sunday and public holidays) – find out about other ways to contact SBV
The Victorian Ombudsman deals with complaints about an action or decision made by a Victorian public sector organisation (e.g. local councils, Victorian Government departments and agencies, publicly funded community services, certain professional boards etc.).
Phone: 1800 806 314 (9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday) – find out about other ways to contact the Victorian Ombudsman
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) helps people to reach an agreement and settle their civil or administrative legal case and makes a decision at a hearing that everyone involved (the parties) must follow.
If mediation is undertaken at the VSBC and the parties don’t reach an agreement, the dispute can be taken to VCAT.
For retail leasing or owner driver matters referred to the VSBC, either party must obtain a certificate signed by the Victorian Small Business Commissioner before they can start proceedings at VCAT. If the mediation was held under the Small Business Commission Act 2017, a certificate isn’t required to take the dispute to VCAT.
Phone: 1300 01 8228 (9am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday) – find out about other ways to contact VCAT
WorkSafe Victoria is the state’s workplace health and safety regulator and workplace injury insurer. Their purpose is to reduce workplace harm and improve outcomes for injured workers. They offer businesses guidance on:
- employer obligations across industries and ways to reduce workplace health and safety risks
- laws and regulations
- making mental health and wellbeing a priority in the workplace
- applying for and renewing licences
- paying for and renewing insurance.
Phone: 1800 136 089 (WorkSafe’s health and safety and injury compensation advisory service, 7:30am – 6:30pm, Monday to Friday) – find out about other ways to contact WorkSafe
Consumer Affairs Victoria
Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) is Victoria’s consumer affairs regulator.
They provide free advice and information for businesses and consumers to help them understand their rights and responsibilities under fair trading legislation, including the Australian Consumer Law.
They offer guidance on:
- refunds, repairs and returns
- problems with a product or service
- online shopping
- product safety.
Phone: 1300 55 81 81 (9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday) – find out about other ways to contact the CAV
Global Victoria is the Victorian Government’s trade facilitation agency and gateway to global economies and communities.
They support Victorian businesses to connect with international markets through trade missions, export capability initiatives and their extensive international network of trade and investment offices.
They offer businesses:
- guidance in assessing export capability, gaining financial support and preparing to export
- training in building export skills.
Phone: 1800 325 224 – find out about other ways to contact Global Victoria
Australian Government agencies and departments
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) assists and advocates on behalf of small businesses and family enterprises. They:
- provide alternative dispute resolution services, including for disputes with Australian Government departments and agencies and disputes between businesses from different states
- offer information on dispute resolution processes under the Franchising, Horticulture, Dairy and Oil Codes of Conduct
- conduct research and deliver inquiries
- offer online tools including:
- Dispute Support, which makes it easy to find the most appropriate low cost dispute resolution service
- My Business Health, which is designed to help you face challenges, manage stress and identify opportunities to grow your business
- Small Business Data Portal, which offers the latest data on small businesses and family enterprises and their contribution to the Australian economy.
Phone: 1300 650 460 (8am – 8pm Monday to Friday) – find out about other ways to contact ASBFEO
Fair Work Ombudsman
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) promotes and monitors compliance with Australian workplace laws and educates employers and employees about their rights and responsibilities at work, including in relation to workplace entitlements.
Their website offers guidance for small businesses on hiring and paying employees, keeping records, leave requests, managing employees and ending employment.
The FWO also offers:
- an interactive small business checklist that can give you an indication of whether you are meeting all your obligations as an employer and help you identify areas for improvement
- a small business Employer Advisory Service that provides free tailored written advice about pay and conditions
- small business resources to help you to calculate pay rates and entitlements, make record management easier, and assist with managing employee performance and achieving best practice.
Phone: 13 13 94 (8am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday) – find out about other ways to contact the FWO
Australian Taxation Office
The Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) role is to effectively manage and shape the tax and superannuation systems that support and fund services for Australians.
The ATO offers guidance for businesses on a range of topics including:
- lodging your BAS
- help with paying the ATO
- small business concessions
- super for employers
- business income and deductions for tax purposes
- Single Touch Payroll.
Phone: 13 28 66 (business enquiries, 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday) – find out about other ways to contact the ATO
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) role is to enforce the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and a range of additional legislation, promoting competition, fair trading and regulating national infrastructure.
They provide guidance for people in small business to help them understand their circumstances and the relevant legislation in relation to business rights and protections, unfair contract terms and franchising.
Phone: 1300 302 021 (Small Business Helpline, 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday) – find out about other ways to contact the ACCC
Australian Government – business.gov.au
The whole-of-government website for the Australian business community is business.gov.au. The initiative is coordinated by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR).
The website offers free tools and resources to help your business succeed, including:
- information about planning and marketing a business, registrations, employing people, finance, risk management and exiting a business
- search tools to help you find a business advisor or mentor, business grants and programs, and local events including courses, webinars and workshops.
Phone: 13 28 46 (8am – 8pm, Monday to Friday) – find out about other ways to contact DISR
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets, financial services and consumer credit regulator. They offer guidance for businesses on a range of topics including:
- registering, renewing, transferring and cancelling your business name
- registering, running and closing your company
- starting, running, protecting and closing your small business.
Phone: 1300 300 630 (8:30am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday) – find out about other ways to contact ASIC
Australian Financial Complaints Authority
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a not-for-profit company that helps to resolve complaints between small businesses and financial firms about matters such as credit, finance and loans, insurance, bank deposits and payments, investments and super.
Their services are free, independent and impartial, and are offered as an alternative to tribunals and courts. If a complaint isn’t resolved, AFCA will determine an appropriate outcome.
Any determinations they make are binding on the financial firm involved. AFCA can also award compensation for losses suffered because of a financial firm’s error or inappropriate conduct.
Phone: 1800 931 678 (9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday) – find out about other ways to contact AFCA
Australian Financial Security Authority
The Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) is an Australian Government agency in the Attorney-General’s portfolio.
They manage the application of bankruptcy and personal property securities laws by delivering personal insolvency and trustee, regulation and enforcement, and personal property securities services.
AFSA provides small businesses with:
- financial and insolvency assistance, including for business owners who are currently bankrupt, unable to pay debts or owing money
- guidance on the Personal Property Securities Register – a register of security interests in personal property that can protect you and give you extra rights in the property it’s registered over, which is especially important if the person who gave you the interest goes insolvent.
Phone: 1300 364 785 (8:30am – 8:00pm, Monday to Friday) – find out about other ways to contact AFSA
For more information, see our FAQs, and if you have any queries about how we support small business, contact us.