The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says almost 5,000 small businesses reached out to the organisation in the second half of 2017, up from 3,700 in the preceding six months.
“Alleged misleading conduct, false representations and consumer guarantees remained the top issues reported to the ACCC by business last year,” ACCC Acting Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.
The commission’s ‘Small business in focus’ report said recent changes affecting small businesses included competition-law reform, the ban on excessive-payment surcharges, and new laws regarding unfair contract terms.
“Many of the businesses contacting us are at least 10 years old,” Dr Schaper said. “Despite being well established, there is an obvious need for up-to-date information and advice to deal with various competition and consumer challenges.
“As business regulation continues to evolve, small businesses are encouraged to learn more about their rights and responsibilities. The ACCC is always working to ensure that information and advice are readily available for business.”
The ACCC says its recently updated publication, Small Business and the Competition and Consumer Act, is a comprehensive guide to the law for small businesses, with information on pricing, unfair-contract terms, treating customers fairly, selling safe products and resolving disputes.
The full ‘Small business in focus’ report is available on the ACCC website.