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Public testing commenced for new service to simplify and speed up business registration in Australia

The Australian Government has commenced public testing of a new service to make registering your business easier and faster.

The new business registration service allows businesses to apply for multiple business and tax registrations at the same time online at business.gov.au. Key business and tax registrations are combined on one form. It also features an automatic business or company name check that lets applicants know if their proposed name is available before they register.

This has reduced the average time taken to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) from over an hour to less than 15 minutes.

In addition to the ABN, new and existing businesses can apply for Business name, Goods and Services Tax (GST), Australian company, Pay as You Go (PAYG) withholding, Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT), Luxury Car Tax (LCT), Fuel Tax Credits (FTC), Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) and Administrator AUSkey.

The service also supports businesses to meet their obligations and avoid applying for registrations that they don’t need.

A phased approach is being taken to implementing the new business service. In the testing (BETA) phase, the government wants businesses to apply for their registrations and provide feedback on their experience so that the service can be improved. Over 35,000 registrations have been submitted since BETA testing began in April 2017.

The service is being developed collaboratively with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science; the Australian Taxation Office; the Australian Securities and Investments Commission; and the Department of the Treasury.

The government is making the code for the service publicly available so the private sector can seamlessly connect their customers to business registration services and find innovative ways to meet their customers’ specific needs.

The federal government is also working with the states to join up registration and licensing services across jurisdictions to save business even more time and money. For instance, the government is working with Service NSW to link the business registration service with state systems to help make it faster and easier to start a café or restaurant. 

More than AU$9 million has been allocated in the 2017–18 Budget to replicate the project for other business sectors, and in other parts of Australia. The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said, “By providing a simpler, clearer way to register a business, we hope to save people starting a business an estimated $40 million each year.” 

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro said the NSW Government is dedicated to reducing red tape and making NSW the easiest state to do business.

Mr. Barilaro said, “Small Businesses are the backbone of the NSW economy with 710,000 businesses in NSW and employing almost half of the workforce. We are dedicated to ensuring small businesses can start up easily, be successful and continue to create jobs in our great State.”

NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello said the partnership provides small businesses with a 21st century one-stop shop service, dramatically reducing the piles of duplicative paperwork.

“Service NSW’s Easy to Do Business program has made life significantly easier for people wishing to start a café, restaurant or small bar by reducing the time it takes to start a business from 18 months to just three months. It is great to join forces with the Australian Government to slash red tape and duplication for small business,” Mr. Dominello said.

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