Gain an understanding of the legal, operational and business issues relevant to the information media and telecommunications industry.

The information media and telecommunications industry includes:

  • newspaper, magazine, book and directory publishing
  • software publishing
  • motion picture and sound recording publishing and distribution
  • radio and television broadcasting
  • internet publishing and broadcasting
  • telecommunication services, internet service providers and web search portals
  • data processing, web hosting and electronic information storage services
  • library and other information services

You should also check our general business information for additional regulations and obligations relevant to your business. For further advice and assistance, contact your accountant, solicitor or business adviser. You may also wish to consult with an industry association or group for more information and advice on your industry.

Legislation, standards and initiatives


You must be aware of the laws that apply to the information media and telecommunications industry. The Department of Communications and the Arts also provides a comprehensive list of policy and legislation that affect the information media and telecommunications industry.

Licences and permits


State or territory governments manage the licences and permits for the information media and telecommunications industry.

The licences and permits you may need include:

  • television licence
  • radio licence
  • commercial filming licencing
  • broadcast of copyright material
  • filming and photography permits

Search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS)

Find the licences and permits you need for your information media and telecommunications business.

Taxation


The information media and telecommunications industry have specific Goods and Services Tax (GST) measures. Know your GST obligations and register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure you can claim your GST credits.

Information media and telecommunications industry businesses may be entitled to claim the Producer Offset which is a tax offset for the producers of Australian feature films, television and other projects.

Levies and charges


Levies and charges fund activities that benefit the industry, such as:

  • accessibility for the public to telecommunication and broadcast services
  • delivery of the emergency call services
  • research and development of telecommunication and broadcast technologies

The main levies that apply to the information media and telecommunications industry include levies on:

  • telecommunications carrier levies and charges
  • broadcast licensing fees
  • equipment licensing

Employ people


If you employ staff, you need to comply with Australia’s national workplace laws specific to the information media and telecommunications industry.

Workplace Health & Safety (WHS)


All business must comply with general occupational health and safety regulations. The information media and telecommunications industry also has state specific WHS requirements. These include:

  • radiofrequency radiation exposure
  • working with electricity
  • working at height
  • manual handling
  • noise and vibration
  • plant and machinery

Environment


While businesses in the information media and telecommunications industry do not rely heavily on the environment, they can still have a significant impact. The main environmental issues that businesses in the information media and telecommunications industry should understand include:

  • resources used in products
  • environmental impact of telecommunication sites and facilities
  • post-consumer waste
  • waste management and reduction

Intellectual Property


As well as trade marks, information media and telecommunications businesses may have other relevant IP rights:

  • Copyright protection is free and automatic in Australia and protects works such as films, music, books, magazines, newspapers, sound recordings and artwork.
  • APRA AMCOS administer licences to play, use or reproduce film, sound or video recordings.
  • Patents protect inventions such as new machinery, new systems, new technology or processes.
  • Registered designs protect unique product designs such as packaging or the look and feel of a product.

IP Australia is the federal government agency responsible for granting rights in patents, trade marks and designs. Visit the IP Australia website to find out more about your IP options.

Insurance


Alongside compulsory insurances, the information media and telecommunications industry has specific insurances. These insurances include:

  • telecommunications
  • filming and media equipment
  • printing machinery
  • information technology equipment and software
  • radio equipment
  • property and buildings
  • liability
  • professional indemnity
  • business interruption

Government organisations


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