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Our Services and Legislation

Office of the Small Business Commissioner

In October 2010 the then Minister for Small Business, the Hon Tom Koutsantonis MP announced the establishment of a Small Business Commissioner. Legislation, the Small Business Commissioner Act 2011, was subsequently developed and passed in the South Australian Parliament in October 2011.The Office of the South Australian Small Business Commissioner (SASBC) commenced operations on 29 March 2012.

Overview

Small businesses need a competitive and fair operating environment to grow. The Office of the Small Business Commissioner will provide services whereby disputes can be resolved with as little stress as possible to small business operators. The Commissioner also provides information to improve the capacity of small businesses to manage their affairs and inform their decision making, so that disputes are less likely to occur.

Services

  • Receiving and investigating complaints by or on behalf of small businesses regarding their commercial dealings with other businesses, State or Local government agencies or bodies. On this website there is an explanation of how this is done through the Office's dispute resolution services.

  • Facilitating the resolution of such complaints through measures considered appropriate by the Commissioner. These include measures such as mediation services and/or making representations on behalf of small businesses - there is detailed information about mediation processes on this website.

  • Disseminating information to small businesses to assist them in making decisions relevant to their commercial dealings with other businesses and their dealings with State and Local government bodies. This will primarily occur via various electronic means.

  • Monitor, investigate and (where it is prescribed) enforce compliance with an Industry Code that may adversely affect small businesses. Further Information about Industry Codes is found on this site.

  • Investigate market practices that may adversely affect a small business.

In addition to his roles under the Small Business Commissioner Act 2011, the Small Business Commissioner is the statutory office holder responsible for the administration of the following Acts:

  • Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995: there is a role performed to monitor, investigate and ensure compliance with the Act. Further details about retail and commercial leasing matters and bonds are found on this site.

  • Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2009: provides a mechanism for subcontractors and suppliers in the building and construction industry to claim money that is owing to them. Information on the building and construction Industry security of payment is found on this site.

The Small Business Commissioner has additional responsibilities under the following Acts:

  • Work Health and Safety Act 2012: the role of the Small Business Commissioner is to consult with small business and seek feedback on new codes of practice under the Act. Information on the WHS codes of practice is found on this site.

  • Late Payment of Government Debts (Interest) Act 2013: the role of the Small Business Commissioner is to act as an arbiter, in the event that there is a dispute between an agency and a small business vendor as to whether interest is payable on a particular overdue invoice.

The Small Business Commissioner will also:

  • Provide independent advice and recommendations regarding small business issues to the Government of the day. This may include advice, comments or recommendations on various matters related to small business;

  • Make representations to the Minister and other groups as required;

  • Make submissions to relevant inquiries at various levels;

  • Advocate for the sector. 

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner does not provide legal advice of any kind.

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