ASIC & YOUR BUSINESS
Who are they? And what are your obligations to them?
For many small to medium business owners and managers, ASIC is a frightening acronym. Perhaps not as daunting as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), ASIC is still something many dread having to deal with. Let’s look at who they are and what they mean to you.
Who is ASIC?
ASIC stands for the Australian Securities and Investment Commission which is an independent Government body and is Australia’s integrated corporate, markets, financial services, and consumer credit regulator. As such, the role of ASIC is multi-functional and primarily about, but not limited to, monitoring and managing Australia’s financial law and financial system including making certain commercial entities are working within legal parameters. This includes companies and small business operators. ASIC strives to protect the consumer/customer from unlawful operations and practices from these entities.
What power does ASIC have?
ASIC has several powers necessary to perform its functions. These include registering financial services providers, granting financial services and credit licences, banning defective products, making legislative rules for financial integrity, granting relief from legislation, investigating suspected breaches, issuing infringement notices & penalties, banning individual activity and even prosecuting offenders.
ASIC regulates a wide range of Australian corporate and commercial entities. These include everything from banks and other lending institutions, mortgage and finance brokers to the financial markets such as the stock market, commodities and bond markets, and on to all Australian registered companies and businesses.
ASIC administers the following legislation:
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act)
- Business Names Registration Act 2011
- Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act)
- Insurance Contracts Act 1984
- National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act).
ASIC also administers parts of the following legislation:
- Banking Act 1959
- Life Insurance Act 1995
- Medical Indemnity (Prudential Supervision and Product Standards) Act 2003
- Retirement Savings Accounts Act 1997
- Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993
- Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act).
ASIC & your business
ASIC handle a wide variety of tasks related to all Australian businesses whether they be a small business or company. Many of these concern setting up a business, running the business and even closing a business.
Some of the functions ASIC provides are the following.
- Registering a business name
- Registering a company
- Renewing or changing a business or company name
- Changing a company type
- Transferring a business to a new owner
- Changing a company’s officeholder(s)
- Cancelling a business name
- Closing a business or deregistering a company
- Annual statements
Your business obligations to ASIC
There are many more functions ASIC provides in relation to a business or company, however, the last one on the list above is to be noted as this is a business obligation you MUST satisfy each financial year.
ASIC requires you to fill out and send back an annual statement that is essentially a legal statement declaring that your business or company is solvent. This means you are telling them that your business is financially strong enough to meet all its financial commitments for the upcoming 12 months. Examples of those financial commitments are being able to pay the ATO, ASIC, creditors, or other fees etc. Furthermore, the statement includes verifying your current business details such as address, contact details, officeholders etc.
How can we help?
Although dealing with ASIC is not a requirement of being a bookkeeper, or within many bookkeepers services offered, it is definitely something we offer at Positive Traction Bookkeeping so you don’t have to pay accountant fees. Having us take care of your various ASIC needs saves you a great deal of time as we know all the right processes and how to present them with the best chance of success.
So then, ASIC requirements are definitely an element of running a business or company that must be taken seriously. Each year, you must fill in the ASIC annual statement. ASIC is where you go to take care of a variety of business requirements. We can help you fulfill your obligations to ASIC and save you the stress.