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ASIC announces small business strategy progress report

The corporate regulator has released results of its small business enforcement for the second half of 2017, including prosecutions of 232 individuals or entities and 27 director disqualifications.

ASIC announces small business strategy progress report
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As part of its progress report on its Small Business Strategy 2017-2020, ASIC has published results of its activity in the three areas of how it assists, engages, and protects small businesses for the period 1 July to 31 December 2017.

Key results for ASIC’s surveillance and enforcement action showed 232 individual or entities prosecuted for 476 criminal offences, and nine entities prosecuted for 44 offences over registry outcomes, relating to ‘fair and efficient registration and licensing’.

The corporate regulator’s focus on illegal phoenix activity also revealed actions against 17 registered liquidators, two companies, and at least 15 directors between August 2013 and January 2018 for behaviour that involved, assisted or facilitated illegal phoenix activity.

ASIC also revealed a 20 per cent increase in the proportion of financial accounts lodged online, compared to the same period in 2016, with over 179,000 new business name registrations and more than 119,000 new company registrations.

In a bid to better engage with small businesses, ASIC launched its First Business resource last year, revealing 7,406 downloads of the app in 2017.

“The Commission continues to have a strong focus on promoting and acting in the interests of small business, which is ASIC's largest customer and stakeholder,” said ASIC commissioner John Price.

“ASIC's Small Business Strategy details our vision to focus our efforts and initiatives to help small business succeed as a key driver of the Australian economy. In doing so, contributing to the financial wellbeing of all Australians.

“ASIC's Business Advisory Committee ensures we consult directly with the business community and provide a voice for small business through the representatives on that committee.”

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