To run a business in Australia you need to operate fairly and ethically and that means working within the confines of the Competition and Consumer Act as well as the Fair Trading laws in your respective State or Territory. The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) This Act is a federal law that deals with almost all parts of the marketplace including unfair market practices, product safety, price monitoring and industry codes of practice. Its aim is to inhibit unethical practices by competitors and to give customers confidence that they are dealing with businesses that adhere to high standards. The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) The ACCC are responsible for administering the CCA and encourages small businesses to view the Act as an important management tool and that compliance with it should be part of good business practice. You can check if your business is compliant by using the ACCC’s small business assessment tool. CCA Compliance Program It is suggested that every business have a CCA compliance program. This might include a strategic vision that states your goals and how you plan to implement them, identifying compliance risks and assessing these at regular intervals. In addition to the CCA, each state and territory has fair trading laws to which you must adhere to. If you break the Act in your state then you can be prosecuted, face financial penalties and have your bank accounts frozen. Small Business Education Program The ACCC has a Small Business Education Program online that provides all the information in one spot. This covers topics such as restrictive trade practices including pricing & unfair selling, scams, selling safe products, and unconscionable conduct, misuse of market power and consumer rights & guarantees. Your Code Of Practice Many industries have specific codes of practice providing a minimum standard of protection to consumers. As an individual business you might consider creating a service charter outlining your standards and in turn giving your customers certain guarantees. But it’s important that you don’t just create the charter and then set and forget – it should be an ongoing document that you adhere to. Making sure your business behaves in an acceptable manner, whether with your customers or your competitors, is vital to a business’ success. Check out our latest guides & news to make sure you are always up to date.