Federal Budget 2017: government cutting red tape with digitisation

The Federal Government has announced new funding in the 2017 Federal Budget for new ways to digitise licensing and business registration services.

The government used a café as an example. By simplifying licensing services, like building approvals, a café would be able to get off the ground faster.

After the changes are put in place, businesses will be able to access registration and licensing services online through State and Territory Government websites, or on business.gov.au. Plus, they’ll be guided through the registration and licensing processes, and between different government sites and services as well.

The new changes are pretty straightforward. The government will provide $9.1 million to help simplify business registration and licensing services across Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments.

Right now, those requirements change from state to state – which means they can be confusing.

These changes will turn a complex process into one that actually helps set small businesses up for success – by removing obstacles in their entrepreneurial journey.

But that isn’t the only digital-friendly announcement in this year’s Federal Budget.

The government has also announced new changes to crowd-sourced equity funding, which allows people to make small financial contributions via online fundraising in exchange for some equity in a startup. The Budget proposes extending those to proprietary companies.

Meanwhile, the government also made a small change to the way GST is handled on bitcoin investments, something the tech sector has been calling for. Rather than being treated as a commodity, they will be instead be treated more like currency and thus won’t be subject to additional tax.

In rural areas, the government has said it will reallocate part of the current “Entrepreneurs’ Programme” funding to provide additional support for regional businesses. This measure will provide additional regional incubator facilitators and provide grants to support the establishment of regional business incubators.

Many businesses within these types of incubators are wholly digital, and regional Australia is hungry for businesses that can help contribute to a digital economy. By streamlining licensing requirements and creating new incubators to help foster talent, the Federal Budget has given a boost to Australia’s digital future.

Many of these initiatives show the government is keen to make sure businesses in the digital economy have access to streamlined and efficient processes. The faster these businesses can start operating, the better it is for the economy overall.

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