News Pulse for September 13, 2017

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

Business conditions solid but confidence takes a hit

Despite trading conditions holding near record highs, Australian business appears to have had a sudden crisis of confidence.

The respected NAB monthly business survey found confidence suddenly slumped last month, to be below its long-term average for the first time since mid-2016.

New laws to target dodgy company directors and ‘phoenixing’

Tough new laws will be introduced in a bid to crack down on dodgy company directors and their advisers.

Directors of Australian companies will be given a unique identification number to help stop the illegal activity of “phoenixing” — where companies are stripped of assets and liquidated, then restarted under a different name leaving creditors out of

Local retailers don’t trust Amazon, says eBay’s new local boss

Australian retailers considering selling goods through Amazon do not trust the American ecommerce giant, and fear it might use their own sales data to undermine them, according to eBay’s new local boss.

“What I hear from Australian retailers, and I talk to a lot of Australian sellers, is they worry about the effect that Amazon might have on their business,” Tim Mackinnon, who last week was appointed managing director of eBay Australia & New Zealand.

The Australian government wants to introduce director identification numbers to prevent phoenix companies

Members of boards of directors will now have to have unique director identification numbers as a way of combating phoenix companies where businesses are sent broke but their assets rise again in another company.

The federal government says illegal phoenixing costs the economy up to $3.2 billion a year. Among the latest measures are making directors personally liable for GST liabilities and preventing directors from backdating their resignations to avoid personal liability.

Government says yes to company director ID numbers: What small businesses need to know

After years of discussion, the federal government has decided to introduce an identification tracking system for company directors in Australia, as the Labor Party questions why it has taken so long to sign off on changes to protect Australian businesses from phoenix activity.

Under the policy announced today by Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer, every company director in Australia will be assigned a unique identifier, or Director Identification Number (DIN), that will be tracked by a range of government agencies.

MYOB CTO Simon Raik-Allen leaves company to pursue startup

Simon Raik-Allen has resigned as a top technology advisor of Australian accounting software company MYOB to pursue his own startup venture full-time , a spokesperson told CRN.

Raik-Allen left the company in June and, according to LinkedIn, is the founder of a startup currently in stealth mode.

Starting a business? The cloud-based software that will help you succeed

Australians appear to be in a love affair with the idea of business ownership. Perhaps it has to do with shows like Shark Tank or perhaps it’s because all you seem to need nowadays is a good idea and a working laptop to start a business. As Creel Price from Investible has said, we’re in the middle of an entreprenaissance.

After all, to be Australian is to be aligned with inventiveness. Everyday Australians have invented everything from the black box flight recorder to spray-on skin to the electronic pacemaker to wi-fi technology to the electric drill and Crocodile Dundee. It’s little wonder that our inventive spirit coupled with our can-do attitude means we’re starting small businesses in droves.

New director ID sparks red tape fears

While being touted as a means of reining in dodgy practices by rogue directors, the Director Identification Number (DIN) proposal has raised fears that SMEs will be tied up in yet more red tape.

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell welcomed the move to introduce the DIN , but suggested the implementation could bring unintended burden for business owners.

A comprehensive package of reforms to address illegal phoenixing | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

The Turnbull Government is taking action to crack down on illegal phoenixing activity that costs the economy up to $3.2 billion per year to ensure those involved face tougher penalties, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, announced today.

Phoenixing – the stripping and transfer of assets from one company to another by individuals or entities to avoid paying liabilities – has been a problem for successive governments over many decades. It hurts all Australians, including employees, creditors, competing businesses and taxpayers.

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