Administrative and support services industry fact sheet

This fact sheet provides an overview of the legal, operational and business issues relevant to the administrative and support services industry, which includes:

  • employment services
  • travel agency services
  • tour arrangement services
  • administrative services
  • building cleaning
  • pest control
  • gardening services
  • packaging services
  • support activities for day-to-day operations of other businesses or organisations.

As well as the information in this factsheet, you should 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 advisor.

See our topics on this page for detailed information on the administrative and support services industry:

Research

Industry research is an important part of planning for your business. It may uncover economic and industry trends, establish or improve your business and help you keep pace with your industry.

Key government sources for industry specific statistics on the administrative and support services industry include:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
    The Industry section of the ABS website provides statistics on employment, wages and salaries for several sub- industries including travel agency and cleaning services. For specific tourism data see the Tourism topic on the ABS website.
  • Tourism Research Australia (TRA)
    TRA is an agency that provides tourism statistics including data on domestic travel, international visitors, forecasts and region specific data.

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Key legislation & initiatives

Legislation often plays a large part in how you run your business, so it’s important to be aware of the laws that apply to your industry. Key legislation that may affect businesses in the administrative and support services industry includes:

Travel agency & tour arrangement services

 Cleaning, gardening & pest control

Packaging labelling codes and standards

See Fair trading for more information on legislation specific to your industry as well as details about product safety, labelling, warranty and refund regulations. You can have your say on government policy and regulation affecting the future of your industry by registering on the Business consultation website.

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Licences & permits

Licences and permits specific to the administrative and support services industry are often managed by state or territory governments. 

Travel agency & tour arrangement services

See our Tourism industry fact sheet for more tourism-specific licences and permits.

Cleaning, gardening & pest control

  • approval to dispose of trade waste (contact your local council)
  • registration for industrial chemicals
  • high risk work licence
  • installing permanent watering systems
  • permit for tree removal
  • collecting materials on crown land
  • certificate of competency for pest management technicians
  • pest management or control licence
  • permit to move problem wildlife.

Packaging services

 

Search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) website to find the licences and permits listed above.

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Employment

If you employ staff, you need to comply with Australia’s national workplace laws and the specific requirements in your industry:

Contractors

The administrative and support services industry often use contractors to perform specialist skills such as cleaners, pest controllers, gardening specialists. For tax, workers compensation and superannuation purposes it’s important to be clear about whether these specialists are hired as an employee or a contractor. Use our contractor decision tool to help you determine the employment status of your workers.

Apprentices and trainees

With flexible hours and on the job training, the administrative and support services industry lends itself easily to taking on apprentices and trainees. If you take on an apprentice or trainee, you can access a range of government support and financial help. See the Australian Apprenticeships Centre website to find out more.

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Finance & tax

There are a number of finance and tax measures specific to administrative and support services businesses, including:

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
    It’s important to know your GST obligations to ensure you are selling your services at the correct price and that you’re registered with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure you can claim your GST credits.
  • Tax concessions
    Smaller businesses may also be eligible for a number of tax concessions. See the Small business entity concessions page on the ATO website for further details.
  • Personal services income (PSI)
    As a professional, the income you receive for your skills, knowledge, expertise or efforts may be classified as PSI. The PSI rules may affect what amounts you include in your assessable income, and what deductions you can claim.

To find more finance and tax guidance, take a look at:

  • business records you need to keep, for advice from the ATO about what records you must keep for tax purposes
  • the Australian Tax Office website to find out more about tax measures such as offsets, rebates, deductions, depreciation and disaster assistance
  • our general taxation information
  • our detailed information on how to manage your finances.

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Levies & charges

Levies and charges are generally used to fund activities that benefit the industry or region as a whole. Tourism levies usually help promote tourism in a particular area and form part of your local rates payment. More general levies differ from state to state but can also be included in your rates such as the fire levy, heritage levy or environment levy.
Visit your local council or state government agency for details on any levies or charges applicable in your area.

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Grants

There are a number of programs available for businesses in the administrative and support services industry, mainly available to support businesses:

  • conducting tourism activities
  • working in drought affected areas
  • improving the environment.

Search Grants & Assistance to find specific grants that may be applicable to your business.

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Workplace Health & Safety (WHS)

As well as the general occupational health and safety regulations, there are also some state-specific WHS requirements relevant to the administrative and support services industry including:

  • mandatory asbestos training for commercial cleaners and pest controllers (ACT)
  • licensing for high risk work
  • standards for protective clothing and equipment
  • prevention of burns from hot liquids, surfaces or steam
  • prevention of slips and falls
  • prevention of injury from animal handling
  • use of heavy machinery
  • standards for occupational safety signage
  • national standard for manual handling
  • occupational noise management
  • electrical safety
  • handling, labelling, storage and use of chemicals or dangerous substances.

Need help understanding your WHS obligations? Try these government resources:

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Insurance

As well as compulsory insurance such as workers compensation, there are also a number of specific insurance options available for businesses in the administrative and support services industry. Insurance options vary depending on your business type but can include insurance for public liability insurance, equipment & machinery, vehicles and business interruption.

Find out more about general insurance options for business.

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Intellectual Property (IP)

As well as trade marks, there are other IP rights that may be relevant to administrative and support services businesses such as:

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.

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Industry training

Industry training can be an important part of your business survival. Keeping your industry knowledge current and being aware of new environmental concerns or new pests, as well as learning new marketing strategies can often help improve your competitiveness and grow your business.

From the 1 July 2014, ACT commercial cleaners and pest controllers who will be working with asbestos are required to complete asbestos awareness training. For a full list of occupations and your employer obligations, access Worksafe ACT’s Guidance Note on Asbestos Training.

Need some help getting started on your training?

  • See Training for tips on training yourself and your staff.
  • Search Events to find government events, seminars, training courses and workshops.

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Environment

Whether you’re a travel agent showcasing the natural wonders of Australia or a gardener adopting water wise strategies, the administrative and support services industry can have a positive impact on the environment. The main environmental concerns that businesses in the administrative and support services industry should be aware of include:

  • protection of parks, flora and fauna
  • protection of heritage sites
  • water conservation
  • sustainability
  • strategies to reduce pesticide spray drift
  • proper disposal of pesticides and other harmful chemicals
  • proper disposal of trade waste
  • biodegradable packaging options
  • waste management and reduction.

Visit Environmental management for advice on how you can manage your impact on the environment.

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Key government organisations & websites

The key federal government agencies and websites relevant to the administrative and support services industry include:

Cleaning, gardening & pest control

Travel agents & tour arrangement services

Packaging services

The key state and territory government agencies relevant to the administrative and support services industry include:

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Key advisors

Business advisors can be a valuable tool when establishing and developing your business in your industry. Search Advisory Services tool to find one near you.

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Industry groups

You may also wish to consult with an industry association or group for more information and advice on your industry.

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Useful information

Information that may be particularly relevant to the administrative and support services industry include:

See something not quite right? Let us know on our contact us page.

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