Valuable Small Business Tools

Written by: Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

There are a number of government services geared towards making life easier for those considering going into a business and business owners wishing to improve or develop their business.

Australian Small Business & Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO)

The key functions of the ASBFEO is to assist and advocate for small businesses and family enterprises. The role of the ASBFEO is to:

  1. Advocate for small business and family enterprises.
  2. Provide assistance through access to dispute resolution services.
  3. Ensure government policies are ‘small business friendly.’

The service has a great guide to starting a business, using a guide to take a budding entrepreneur through each step of starting a business and providing help to understand what to expect in business. There is also an opportunity to ‘chat now’ to someone to get direction.

ASBFEO’s ‘Assistance Team’ responds to requests for assistance from small business and family enterprises that are in dispute with other businesses or Commonwealth Government agencies, providing:

  1. Information about dispute resolution options.
  2. Access to mediation.
  3. Alternative dispute resolution processes under the Franchising, Horticulture, Dairy and Oil Codes of Conduct.
  4. Assistance with disputes with the ATO.

ASBFEO’s ‘Advocacy Team’ undertakes many different activities to advocate for small business and family enterprise, such as:

  • Providing advice and insights to policy and decision makers.
  • Conducting research.
  • Delivering inquiries.
  • Commenting on legislation.
  • Providing advice to Ministers.
  • Outreach and engagement activities.

There are many useful resources, tools, and sources of information available to assist and support small businesses and family enterprises to run their business.

Australian Business Licence & Information Service (ABLIS)

ABLIS is a national service delivered by a partnership of Australian, State and Territory governments, and helps you identify and find relevant state, territory and Australian government licences, permits, approvals, regulations, and codes of practice, allowing you to obtain detailed information and manage the many compliance obligations.

All your legal obligations are listed in one place and it is easy to use. For example, in a matter of seconds you can search a business type in your state or territory then proceed through the steps to ‘Business Structure’ and ‘Business operations’.

Based on the answers given, a list is provided of all the licences, permits and other information relevant to your business and the location of your business. The page may be bookmarked to deal with when you’re ready, or you may choose to have search results emailed to yourself. Items marked  have particular importance to the business and show a link to the relevant website.

Support for Businesses in Australia

Support for businesses in Australia’ at has information, grants, services, and support from across government to help your business succeed. The guides are available to help plan, start and run your business. There are helpful guides as well to grow your business, such as a guide to exporting’ if that would suit your business model.

The ‘guide to continuing your business’ provides positive steps you can take to help keep your business operating in times of unexpected circumstances and disasters.


Is a simple and secure way to access government services online and in one place. The following government services can be linked to your myGov account:

  • Australian JobSearch.
  • Australian Taxation Office.
  • Centrelink.
  • Child Support.
  • Department of Health Applications Portal.
  • Department of Veterans’ affairs.
  • HousingVic Online Services.
  • Individual Healthcare Identifiers Service.
  • Medicare.
  • My Aged Care.
  • My Health Record.
  • National Cancer Screening Register.
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  • National Redress Scheme.
  • State Revenue Office Victoria.

One inbox for important messages if you have them linked:

  1. Australian Taxation Office.
  2. Centrelink.
  3. Child Support.
  4. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
  5. HousingVic Online Services.
  6. Medicare.
  7. National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  8. State Revenue Office Victoria.

One place to update your details with linked services:

  1. Australian JobSearch.
  2. Australian Taxation Office.
  3. Centrelink.
  4. Medicare.
  5. My Health Record.
  6. National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  7. State Revenue Office Victoria

Other Useful Government Links

  1. Australian Small Business Ombudsman
  2. Business and Industry

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