Small business education program

There are 10 modules in this small business program providing a broad overview of the key provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 which includes the Australian Consumer Law.

You can work through all the modules or you can select the ones most relevant to your business. At the end of each module, there is a short self-assessment quiz which you can take to test your understanding.

Please note that the 'Scams' module does not include a quiz but we encourage you to read through the information and familiarise yourself with some of the most common scams targeting small business.

Video transcript

Hi, I'm Dr Michael Schaper, Deputy Chairman of the Australian Competition and Commission or ACCC. I'm very pleased to introduce this free online program for small businesses.

It's been designed to help you, as a small business owner, understand both your rights and your responsibilities under the Competition and Consumer Act. And it covers things like your rights and your obligations when dealing with customers; how to avoid misleading advertising; how to compete fairly; and how to sell safe products.

You may already know a little bit about these laws. This program will give you a practical understanding of how to meet your obligations when you're dealing with customers, suppliers and other businesses. Now, the law also offers protection to small businesses, and the program explains some of these as well.

Overall it's made up of 10 online modules, each with practical information and examples. Most of the modules also include a short self-assessment quiz, which you can use to test your understanding at the end.

We know that you're busy running your own business, so we've kept the modules short. You don't have to complete all of them - you can just do the modules that you think are most relevant to you and your own business. You can do them at any time, and as many times as you want.

We're confident that this program will give you a better understanding of how to do the right thing by your customers. And it'll also help you know whether your competitors, your suppliers and other businesses are also doing the right thing by you.

I hope you find it useful and good luck with the quizzes!

Education modules

  • 1

    Misleading conduct & advertising

    Do you (or your staff) make claims to customers even though you're not 100 per cent sure they're true? Have you ever left out key information because you thought disclosing it would kill a deal? Is your competitor lying in their ads?

  • 2

    Pricing & unfair selling practices

    Are you thinking about offering a gift or prize to entice more customers? Do you advertise the price of your services without including the additional fees and charges? Have you received an invoice for something you didn't order?

  • 3

    Consumer rights and guarantees

    Has a customer asked you for a refund because they changed their mind? Has your business purchased faulty equipment? Find out your obligations when selling to consumers and your rights when buying from other businesses.

  • 4

    Selling safe products

    Are you sure that the products you're selling are safe? Has a product you manufactured caused a person's injury or death? Do you know how to find out if a product has been banned or recalled?

  • 5

    Scams

    Have you ever received an email asking you for your credit card details? Do you check invoices carefully before paying them? Find out about some of the most common scams targeting small business.

  • 6

    Unfair contract terms

    Have you been given a standard form contract to sign by another business? Do you give your customers standard form contracts to sign? Find out your rights and obligations if your business offers, or enters into, this type of contract.

  • 7

    Unconscionable conduct

    Has a large business ever done something to you that was harsh or unfair? Have you ever dealt with a customer who was clearly vulnerable and didn't understand any of the documentation you were using?

  • 8

    Exclusive dealing & resale price maintenance

    Do you supply goods to customers on the condition that they don't source goods from your competitors? Do your suppliers impose restrictions on who you can sell their products to or the price at which you can sell those products?

  • 9

    Cartels

    Have you been approached by a competitor who wants to fix prices? Have you ever let your competitor win a tender on the condition that you win the next one? Do you think your suppliers have some sort of arrangement?

  • 10

    Misuse of market power

    Is a major supplier refusing to supply you with stock? Is the large retailer down the street selling their products at such low prices that you can't possibly compete with them? Find out when this conduct is illegal - and when it isn't.