If you’re a small business owner, it sometimes seems like you’re playing on an uneven field. Being presented with many of the same fees and charges as large businesses can hit hard – particularly when you’re just starting out.
It can cost a lot of money to launch a new business. By the time you factor in your premises and signage, website and vehicles, your software and any salaries; you may end up tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket before you even open your doors.
Unfortunately, the fees and charges don’t go away after you’re established. Many small business owners complain that the cost of compliance is a major burden that makes it too hard for their business to grow.
Luckily, there’s some good news if you’re based in Brisbane.
Brisbane City Council (BCC) recently announced it had allocated $2million in funds to small business owners to help reduce the financial burden of obtaining regulatory approvals. The council will use these funds to discount the cost of a large range of fees, permits and licenses across dozens of industries.
It’s a logical plan when you consider that small business employs close to 44 percent of the population in some Australian industries and is a vital contributor to the national economy.
According to their website, the BCC is hoping its decision will:
- remove barriers to starting a business in Brisbane
- reduce fees while the business is becoming established
- help Brisbane small businesses save money that they can invest in growing the business
- give small businesses the best chance for success.
Which fees are impacted? Where could you save?
The Council will be applying discounts of 100 percent, 50 percent and 10 percent to its charges for small business owners. The higher discounts will go to start-ups to help them get established.
The fees and permits eligible for discount include:
- Advertising sign fees
- Amplified music venues
- Brisbane food trucks
- Cafes, restaurants and takeaways
- Commercial activities
- Display or storage of goods on roadway/footway
- Home-based food business
- Entertainment venues
- Entertainment permit
- Footpath dining
- Food manufacturing
- Market food stall
- Mobile food vehicle
- Personal appearance services license
- Standing street stall, booth, stand, vehicle or tables and chairs
Is your business eligible?
Your business may be eligible for discounts if you meet the Australian Bureau of Statistics definition of a small business and have fewer than 19 employees (including part-time and casual).
How can you apply?
If you’re just starting up a business, your eligibility for discounts will be assessed on the application forms for your relevant permit and license. When you go to make a payment, the discount will be applied if you meet the relevant criteria.
For established businesses, renewal notices for fees and charges will include instructions on how to apply for the discount.
For further information about small business fee reductions, visit the BCC website or contact Council’s Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263).
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