Rule changes boost privacy for home-based business owners

Home-based business owners will no longer need to share their home addresses through the National Business Names Register under changes to the register’s rules.

The changes mean the Australian Securities and Investments Commission will give home businesses the option to protect their privacy by allowing them to register a postal address rather than a physical address.

Small Business Minister Bruce Billson told the changes, which had been sought by the Coalition, had been motivated by privacy concerns.

“A year on we have finally been able to have the issue corrected and privacy assurance for home-based businesses realised,” Billson said.

Home-based business owners have been expressing concerns about providing physical addresses for their businesses since last year.

Peter Strong, chief executive of the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA), told StartupSmart the move was great news and was something that COSBOA had been seeking for some time.

“It’s a very important step for people,” he says.

“A lot of people don’t want their home address so easily found.

“If you’re a woman who wants to keep her address safe because of a domestic situation, you’ll be able to now, so congratulations to the Coalition for bringing this change in,” Strong says, adding that enabling women in this situation to own businesses was the key reason they had campaigned for the change.

Strong says there are between 800,000 to 1.2 million home-based business owners in Australia.

“They do face different challenges, especially with isolation. Some people are working from home because every other option doesn’t work for them, such as if they have a disability or are looking after kids,” Strong says.

This article first appeared on StartupSmart.



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