How does ASIC work to support the small business community?

| Tuesday June 18

Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work ON your business rather than IN it.
with Alexi Boyd from Boyd Office Management Services
Date: 18 June 2019

Sometimes large government organisations can seem untouchable or completely out of touch with the everyday workings of small business. Whilst we toil to be the engine room of the economy it can sometimes seem that they are tying us up with the silly string … red tape.

But that is rapidly changing as government bodies like ASIC and ATO  reach out to us to educate on us on their workings and strategies to support the vast majorities of small businesses who are doing the right thing. What used to be secretive bureaucracies are slowly realising the importance of explaining to small businesses, in clear, simple terms why they do what they do, and how ultimately creating a level playing field is best for all of us.

Today we welcome Warren Day, Executive Director of Assessment & Intelligence at ASIC who’s here to explain how ASIC works with small business through controlling registrations, transitioning sole traders into company status and importantly, helping us understand the responsibilities when becoming a director of our company.

Welcome to the show Warren.

Topics we’ll be covering:

  • Who is ASIC and how are we working to make business and company registration easier for small business?
  • Business name and company registration – now register online & national, legal name vs trading name (bit technical), costs, find
  • Why does ASIC get involved with the small business community as opposed to the big boys?
  • What are the most common questions small businesses have about registering a company?
    • How to choose which structure is best for a business
    • What about the transition from sole trader to Pty Ltd
  • Which sectors typically have difficulty with business registrations, transitions & issues they faceWhat are the basic legal requirements for company directors? What are the common challenges we see?
    • What are the company director’s responsibilities?
    • What mistakes does ASIC see directors make?
    • What are the company director’s responsibilities?
    • What are the liability when things go wrong? What does it mean when you’re liable as a Director? > Google search results around small business and company directors
    • Lots of stories to tell
  • If you want to close your business what’s the best way to do this?
    • Deregistration – the right way to do this
  • What is illegal phoenix, the warning signs and where to report it if you suspect it is happening?
    • Working with ATO, what does ASIC look for - rebirthing
    • How to report it
    • Assetless Administration Fund – supporting liquidators in their role to investigate
    • Level playing field – what does ASIC’s court action do for the business community, ponzi schemes

ASIC small business tips

96% of all companies and businesses registered with ASIC are considered small businesses, with fewer than 20 employees.  If you run, or are looking to start, a small business, check you follows these tips:

  • register a business name via the Business Registration Service. Need help? See the support for business names page for step-by-step user guides.
  • find out best business structure for your business. ASIC explains the benefits and disadvantages of each business structure here. also has a great 'Help me decide' tool that can help you work out the business structure that will best suit your needs.
  • know your legal requirements by reading ASIC’s simple guidance to check your business or company complies with requirements under Australian law.
  • understand your key responsibilities as a director or find out how to become a company director on ASIC’s website. As a director, you must be fully up-to-date on what your company is doing, including its financial position and question managers and staff about how the business is going.
  • be aware of Illegal phoenix activityread about the warning signs and find out where to report it.
  • keep up to date with InFocus, ASIC’s monthly newsletter for the small business community. It provides ASIC-related news, and important information and reminders about company and business name matters.

Visit for an overview of resources, tools and services ASIC offer.

Warren Day - Victorian Regional Commissioner and Executive Director, Assessment & Intelligence

As well as being Regional Commissioner for Victoria Warren is Executive Director for ASIC's Assessment & Intelligence group, which includes ASIC's Misconduct & Breach Reporting, Licensing and Small Business Compliance & Deterrence teams. Warren formed and leads ASIC's Office of the Whistleblower (since February 2014) and ASIC's Office of Small Business (since February 2017).

Warren joined ASIC in 2003 as a Senior Lawyer in Enforcement and from 2007, was the Specialist Director, Investor and Consumer Protection. Warren has led investigations about consumer protection, credit and unlicensed conduct and illegal schemes.

He was appointed Regional Commissioner for Victoria in October 2008 and in addition became the SEL of Assessment & Intelligence (and its predecessor group) in 2009.  Before joining ASIC, Mr Day worked as a solicitor at Clayton Utz and as an auditor and analyst at the Australian Taxation Office.

He holds undergraduate and Masters qualifications in the disciplines of Accounting and Law and a Masters degree in Business Information Technology.