A new smartphone application developed by ASIC will help small business owners undertake important checks before they enter into business transactions with other organisations.
ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, 'What you see on the surface isn't always what you get.
'Due diligence needs to start the moment you're thinking about starting a relationship with a business, not after you find out you're chasing money from a business that doesn't exist.
'ASIC's Business Checks app provides some general guidance on the steps small businesses can take to reduce the risk of being swindled by unreliable operators and fly-by-night businesses.
'There will always be an element of risk when you enter into business transactions, but you can help protect your interests by doing your homework and checking for warning signs'.
Available for smartphones and tablets, ASIC Business Checks encourages business owners to:
- ask the right questions about the company, business and individuals they're dealing with.
- check ASIC's registers and verify that the information they've been given is accurate
- seek ASIC's help if they need more information or the support of a professional business adviser, and
- report suspected misconduct to ASIC if they believe a company, business or individual is acting unlawfully.
'We understand that time and resources are tight for small businesses, which is why we've developed a tool which is free and easy to use.
'Small businesses account for 96% of businesses registered with ASIC, so a big focus for us in 2014-15 is providing the sector with information that is not only easily understood, but relevant and accessible', Mr Tanzer said.
ASIC Business Checks is available now on iTunes and Google Play.