Pulse Alert – News Pulse for September 4, 2019

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

Hold an ABN? You could be contacted soon

A number of small businesses could be contacted by the Australian Business Register this month as it looks to confirm their entitlement to an Australian Business Number ahead of some key proposed changes.

The ABR is set to contact a random sample of the close to 8 million active ABN holders across all entity types this month.

If contacted, small businesses and their accountants can expect the ABR to confirm their business information, discuss their usage of the ABN, survey their registration experience and confirm their entitlement to the ABN.

Penalties for unfair contract terms – what is the Government waiting for?

Despite mounting pressure following the recent ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. investigation of UberEats, the Federal Government is yet to make good on its pre-election promise to strengthen the unfair contract term (UCT) regime.

In March earlier this year, the Federal Government announced that the Morrison Government would introduce amendments strengthening the current protections to all small businesses from UCTs, subject to the outcomes of a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) consultation process.

The announcement followed the 2018 review of the existing UCT laws which found the UCT regime wanting of a strong deterrence for businesses not to use UCTs, therefore failing to provide appropriate protections to many small businesses.

“Hardest it’s ever been”: Disrupted but not dejected, Australia’s restaurant owners discuss what’s next

If you’re thinking about opening a restaurant, cafe or bar, you may want to reconsider.

That was the takeaway from a gathering of business owners at the coalface of Australia’s hospitality sector in Melbourne last night, as heads come together to try and chart a path through a period of unprecedented disruption.

‘A powerful right’: Calls to help businesses protect inventions

Business groups and universities warn entrepreneurs don’t know enough about protecting their intellectual property and say the patent system can be confusing and expensive without dedicated small business support.

Close to 50 startups, universities and business groups have weighed in on the final consultation for a bill that would abolish the innovation patent , a simplified and lower-cost patent option designed for small businesses.

SMEs reveal top recruitment challenges

New research has shed light on the biggest obstacles small business owners have when it comes to hiring additional staff.

According to Westpac’s latest   Small Business Report,   SME owners are increasingly looking to increase revenue growth over the next 12 months;   however, they are reluctant to hire new staff to help with the efforts. This comes despite tough market conditions continuing to make headlines.

The most common hurdles to hiring are financial, with 38 per cent of respondents saying they can’t afford to pay another wage.

No end in sight to Xero’s growth as Steve Vamos gets job done

As thousands of users of the Xero accounting platform were descending on Brisbane for their annual love fest CEO Steve Vamos told Chanticleer why the extraordinary growth would continue.

Xero’s Steve Vamos  knows better than most tech executives that the best software companies in the world need to have a razzle dazzle event every year where the true believers can celebrate the product and have a huge party.

Accounting software is a long way from being a religion, but the early indications are the XeroCon conference in Brisbane this week being attended by more than 3000 true believers will have some cult-like overtones.

Andrews mulls R&D tax changes

Industry Minister Karen Andrews will seek improvements to the administration of the R&D tax incentive (RDTI) within AusIndustry to give companies greater certainty about the claims they make under the scheme.

Speaking to InnovationAus . com to mark 100 days since her reappointment to the industry portfolio, Mrs Andrews acknowledged the difficulties created by uncertainty about whether work would be approved under the RDTI, particularly among software companies.

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