Almost 5000 small businesses contacted the ACCC in the second half of 2017, up from 3700 in the preceding six months, according to the recently released Small business in focus report.

From July-December 2017, 4946 small businesses, 279 franchise businesses and 255 agricultural traders contacted the ACCC.

Over 1000 reports related to misleading conduct or false representations and nearly 500 reports related to consumer guarantees.

The ACCC’s online small business resources webpage received almost 750,000 views in the past six months.

Two-thirds of all business contacts to the ACCC were from micro businesses (businesses with zero to four staff).

The report highlights a number of recent changes affecting small businesses including competition law reform, the ban on excessive payment surcharges and new laws for unfair contract terms.

ACCC Acting Chair Dr Michael Schaper says alleged misleading conduct, false representations and consumer guarantees remained the top issues reported to the ACCC by business last year.

“Many of the businesses contacting us are at least 10 years old. Despite being well established, there is an obvious need for up-to-date information and advice to deal with various competition and consumer challenges,” he says.

“As business regulation continues to evolve, small businesses are encouraged to learn more about their rights and responsibilities. The ACCC is always working to ensure that information and advice is readily available for business.”

The report is available at : Small business in focus – 1 July to 31 December 2017