Small business and the Competition and Consumer Act: Your rights and responsibilities

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This guide will help small business operators to understand their key rights and responsibilities under Australia’s competition and consumer laws.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a sole trader working from home or a business with 2, 20 or 200 employees; if you’re engaging in some type of regular business-like conduct (e.g. buying or selling goods or services) you must comply with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).

The CCA is a national law that governs how all businesses in Australia must deal with their customers, competitors and suppliers. The law is designed to enable all businesses to compete on their merits in a fair and open market, while also ensuring consumers are treated fairly.

Some of these rights and obligations are set out in the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which you can find in Schedule 2 of the CCA. The ACL is the primary consumer protection law in Australia and applies the same way in each state and territory. These laws not only regulate your behaviour but also offer you certain protections in your dealings with other businesses.

If you fail to comply with your obligations under the CCA or ACL, you are breaking the law.