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The services provided by BEC
(Darwin Region) Inc are partially
funded by the Australian
Government and NT Government.


Message from the Manager

As you know BEC Darwin spends a lot of time assisting small business operators especially at the start-up stage.

I was reading an article by Robert Gottliebsen that appeared recently in the national press where he commented that it appears the Commonwealth Government has made it a lot harder over the last few years to get an Australian Business Number or ABN as it is commonly known.

The usual way anyone applies for an ABN is online via the Australian Business Register (ABR) website. However, it is interesting to note that the ABR website states that “To get an ABN you need to be carrying on an enterprise.”

From my experience most new starters believe that they have to have an ABN before they start their business.

Moreover, one of the common tests to determine if you are carrying on an enterprise is - do you have a business name? A good majority of the 2.1 million businesses that exist in Australia logically operate under a registered business name.

Here’s the catch. You can’t apply for a registered business name until you have an ABN!!

They have the cart before the horse. Why is there this emphasis in the ABN application process that you must already be carrying on a business to get an ABN?? Confusing?

We have assisted many new starters apply for their ABN. But I do know many get frustrated when they apply online and get told that they will have to wait for an official to get back to them, simply because they indicated they had not yet started their business even though they clearly had an intention to do so very shortly.

Anyone had a problem recently applying for an ABN or a registered business name?

Jack Hughes


Looking to start a new business or expand your existing business in 2015?

The BEC is all about supporting individuals with sound practical advice from start up to business growth in the early years. 

Our Small Business Workshops provide an introduction to five specific and important areas of business including business structures and tax, marketing and bookkeeping. Best of all the workshops are FREE! 


Venue: Katherine Training Centre, 19 Second Street Katherine
Dates: 23-24 April 2015


Venue: BEC Darwin, 20 Catterthun Street, Winnellie (Lower Level)
Dates: 27-29 April 2015, 25-27 May 2015

Alice Springs

Venue: QUEST, 9-10 South Terrace The Gap Alice Springs
Dates: 11-12 May 2015

Bookings are essential phone 1800 229 500 or register online.


FREE Workshop: Attract and Retain Staff
Location: Alice Springs
Date: 16 April 2015

FREE Workshop: Marketing Strategies
Location: Darwin
Date: 16 April 2015

FREE Workshop: Tendering Essentials
Location: Alice Springs
Date: 21 April 2015

FREE Workshop: Business Reporting and Cashflow Management
Location: Alice Springs
Date: 22 April 2015

Register onlinetoday!


Darwin is the first regional location being studied by the ACCC under the new petrol monitoring arrangements announced by the Minister for Small Business, the Hon Bruce Billson MP, in December 2014.


The aims of this market study are to explain why prices are higher in Darwin relative to the larger capital cities and to explain each component of the prices paid at the bowser.

The ACCC is interested in receiving any comments or information that consumers, industry participants, stakeholders or any other interested parties may wish to provide about petrol prices in Darwin.

The deadline for receipt of comments or information is 31 May 2015.

ACCC Infocentre
1300 302 502

For more information visit the ACCC website


A recent Federal Court decision, based on proceedings brought by the ACCC, will be of interest to all small businesses or franchisees who are approached by new suppliers claiming that they are obliged by law to purchase certain products – in this case, occupational health and safety (OHS) equipment.

The case also serves as an important reminder to small businesses: always check that any business claiming to be affiliated with a government agency actually is genuinely associated with that body.

Likewise, if a business approaches a franchisee claiming that their franchisor authorised purchases, franchisees should confirm this with their franchisor.

Find out more on the ACCC website


SCAMwatch is warning consumers and businesses to be aware of NBN-related scams seeking to get your personal details or asking you to buy equipment you don’t need.

As the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) progresses, you may receive legitimate materials from NBN Co and telecommunications service providers about what you need to do when the NBN comes to your area. Unfortunately, scammers may take advantage of the NBN rollout, using it as an excuse to contact consumers and small businesses. Scammers may call or email with false claims that they need personal details, such as credit card details, to allow access to the NBN. Some scammers may also tell consumers that they need to buy new equipment to use services over the NBN.

Be on guard, you may receive a phone call or email from someone asking for your personal or banking details in order get services over the NBN at your home or business. If you are approached by someone purporting to offer the NBN in this way, hang up and stop contact– the person on the other end may be a scammer. The best approach is to call your preferred telecommunications service provider using the number they list in the telephone directory or on their official website.

You can report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report a scam page or by calling 1300 795 995.


The Australian Government is transforming the Australian Small Business Commissioner into a Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, who will be a Commonwealth-wide advocate for small businesses.

The Government has released for public consultation exposure draft legislation establishing the Ombudsman and outlining the role’s functions and powers.

The draft legislation and accompanying explanatory materials are available on the Treasury website.

You are invited to provide your comments on this draft legislation by Tuesday 7 April 2015.

For more information, including how to submit your comments, visit the Treasury website, call (02) 6263 1536 or email

© Business Enterprise Centre (Darwin Region) Inc. All rights reserved

Phone: 1800 229 500 | PO Box 37192 Winnellie NT 0821 |

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