This content is under review and will be transferred to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources as a result of the Administrative Arrangements Order made on 5 December 2019 with effect from 1 February 2020.

Making it easier to do business


Small businesses are the beating heart of the Australian economy and backing small business is a key part of the Australian Government’s plan for a stronger economy. The Government wants small business people to spend more time growing their businesses and less time dealing with paperwork and red tape. The Government has taken decisions to remove a net $5.9 billion in red tape, as at 30 June 2017. While this exceeds the original commitment, which was to reduce red tape by at least $3.5 billion across the first three and a half years, the Government recognises there is more to do.

Red tape relief

Compliance costs have been reduced for businesses, individuals and community groups by nearly $6 billion between 2013 and June 2017.

To help reduce state government red tape, the Government has committed $300 million to reward states for delivering new initiatives that remove regulatory burdens for small businesses.

To drive stronger business growth and more jobs we must remove unnecessary regulatory and bureaucratic barriers to businesses investing and creating more jobs.

There is a clear need to improve the timeliness of project approvals and to reduce the cost burden from filling in too many lengthy forms.

The Government wants to remove any unnecessary and inappropriate barriers to investment in all the key sectors of the economy.

The Government is engaging with business to explore opportunities to remove those barriers to investment and future business success wherever that can appropriately be done.

The key will be to ensure that any deregulation successes at a federal level that lower the cost of doing business in Australia, are not immediately wiped out by increased red and green tape at a State and local government level.

For more information visit the Reporting on the Deregulation Agenda page of this website.

Commonwealth Deregulation Taskforce

The Government has established a Commonwealth Deregulation Taskforce that will collaborate with governments and businesses to address regulatory barriers to investment in key industries. The Taskforce will identify the key bureaucratic processes that impose the greatest burden for Australian businesses.

Business Registration Service

To make it easier to register your business online, the Government has developed a single online business registration service. You can now apply for multiple business and tax registrations in one place,

For more information visit the website. 

Simplifying Business Activity Statement (BAS) reporting requirements

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has developed a simpler BAS solution to deliver small businesses time and cost savings associated with GST bookkeeping and reporting.

The two components of Simpler BAS are:

  1. Simpler BAS reporting – reduces the number of GST questions on the BAS to only three and removes the requirement for a 20 question worksheet, and
  2. Digital bookkeeping solution – option for small business to take up changes to their accounting software to reduce the average number of complex GST classifications from 8–9 down to a simple ‘GST’ or ‘No GST’.

Eligible small businesses automatically transitioned to Simpler BAS reporting from 1 July 2017, which has helped save small business owners’ time and money. The ATO is continuing to work with Digital Service Providers to maximise the take-up of the Simpler BAS digital bookkeeping solution.

For more information visit the Australian Taxation Office website.