News Pulse for October 28, 2016

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

 

Key legal concerns for SMEs and online businesses identified

LegalVision has identified business structuring, loans and financing, intellectual property and business disputes as the key issues that concern small-to-medium enterprises (SME) and online businesses.

The issues were identified in the NewLaw firm’s inaugural SME and Online Business Insights report which was an analysis of the firm’s data as well as a range of external surveys answered by 200 Australian small businesses.

Cyber insurance in Australia set to rise in the wake of increasing attacks

The number of Australian small businesses with cyber insurance is set to increase, with new research showing one in five Australian SMBs experiencing a cyberattack.

New figures from Norton by Symantec revealed 19% of Australian small businesses are looking to purchase cyber insurance in 2017. Currently, only 14% hold a cyber insurance policy.

Business groups accuse NT government of “stealing Christmas” as SMEs in the territory face prospect of two new public holidays

A proposed change to the Public Holidays Act in the Northern Territory could see SMEs paying penalty rates on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

The proposal, introduced to parliament yesterday by Minister for Public Employment Gerald McCarthy, would see two “half day” public holiday periods imposed between 7:00pm and midnight on the two days.

Report finds increase of online businesses but funds still an issue

An insights report by LegalVision found a 120% increase in enquiries from online businesses, but one-fifth still saw loans as a key legal challenge. Business owners establishing themselves online are finding legal challenges along the way, according to the inaugural  SME and Online Business Insights  report by law firm LegalVision. The report, which saw 200 businesses surveyed in Q2 2016, found a 120% increase in enquiries regarding legal documents, such as privacy policies and terms of use, for businesses operating a website.

‘Hired’ opens in Melbourne

A recruitment platform, with an Australian connection, used by Silicon Valley heavyweights like Facebook and Uber has officially opened its doors down under.

Hired, the brainchild of 99Designs founder Matt Mickiewicz, is dedicated to disrupting the traditional IT recruitment model on its head by letting companies approach candidates, rather than the other way around..

Malcolm Turnbull flags PPL compromise as BCA pressures NXT on tax

The business community has joined the government in pressuring the Nick Xenophon Team to pass company tax cuts and budget savings in a concerted strategy to keep the focus on the minor party, which now holds the key to both sets of measures.

SME heavyweight Prospa hits $200 million in loan origination

It’s been a big week for Prospa. Today, the small business lender announced it has reached $200 million in loan originations while also securing $50 million in additional capital from its latest funding round. To add to that, it was also the highest placed Australian fintech company on the Fintech100.

Beau Bertoli, joint CEO of Prospa, said this “significant milestone” will allow the business to continue to scale quickly.

Here’s the message from Australia’s small business sector – please pay your bills

Cashflow is the life blood of small business.

Of course they have to find the customer, do the business, invoice the business, and then get paid to generate their cashflow. But two separate surveys released this week show that having completed the first 3 steps of this process Australia’s small business sector is reporting that late payments are causing them headaches.

 

MYOB survey finds 77% of businesses are impacted by late payments

The SME Snapshot survey examined the real impact of late customer payments for Australian small businesses.

A new survey from MYOB has found more than three-quarters (77%) of Australian SMEs are impacted when a customer doesn’t pay on time, and nearly as many (72%) believe the government should introduce regulation to ensure prompt payments.

Late payment of invoices has garnered a lot of attention recently after it was revealed that Australian businesses have the longest delays in the world before invoices are paid , which is keeping $19 billion out of small businesses annually.

Health tech accelerator HCF Catalyst back for a second year

HCF Catalyst, Australia’s first corporate-supported health-tech accelerator is back to drive the next wave of health innovation, following the program’s highly successful first year.

The program was developed by HCF, Australia’s leading not-for-profit health fund and corporate start-up accelerator Slingshot, to identify the next big ideas in health and turn them into viable companies.

Thorney invests in Timelio fund for invoice financing

Thorney Investment Group has seeded the Timelio Capital Fund, a new unit trust to be offered to institutional investors seeking a diversified exposure to the emerging asset class of invoice financing.

Thorney and Timelio, a Melbourne-based fintech that has built a peer-to-peer platform allowing small businesses to access funding based on the amount of money owed to them on unpaid invoices, expect the new fund to grow to $100 million over the short-to-medium term.

“We’re fit, we’re smart and we’re good”: Dr Catriona Wallace on fintech’s missing link

Dr Catriona Wallace, the founder of $24 million fintech startup Flamingo, is calling on more female entrepreneurs and tech developers to consider opportunities in fintech.

Wallace says it’s becoming evidently clear that more female-founded companies will add great value to not only the startup sector but Australia’s broader economy.

Finding capital no longer a problem: Fintech Australia CEO

Danielle Szetho, CEO of Fintech Australia, said Australia’s gold-class regulation and branding means finding capital investment is no longer an issue for fintech startups. The strength of Australia’s reputation in areas outside of fintech and our “gold class” regulation has led to strong capital investments in the fintech sector. CEO of Fintech Australia Danielle Szetho discussed the capital needs of fintech startups among other things at a panel, hosted by the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, for Sydney’s Spark Festival.

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