Corporate structure

The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) has been the primary provider of information and guidance to the small business sector in Western Australia since 1984.

Since that time, we have expanded our core role of primary provider of advice and guidance for small business in Western Australia to also include Business Migration and other specialist services.

We promote the small business sector through research, advocacy, liaison and communication activities and provide local business information and advice through a network of preferred service providers.

On 21 December 2011, David Eaton was appointed as the first Small Business Commissioner for Western Australia. The Commissioner is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Development Corporation and David Eaton started this role on 17 January 2012.

One of the main functions of the Commissioner, under the amended Small Business Development Corporation Act 1983 is to receive and investigate complaints about unfair market practices affecting small business, and to provide assistance to attempt to resolve those complaints.

Organisational structure

Board of Management

Small Business Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer

Small Business Services

  • Advisory services
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Business information centre
  • Business migration
  • Small Business Centre program
  • Aboriginal business

Policy and Advocacy

  • Policy evaluation and development
  • Advocacy
  • Red tape reduction
  • Research and statistics
  • Business and government liaison

Communications and Marketing

  • Marketing and promotion
  • Media
  • Stakeholder liaison
  • Events

Corporate Resources

  • Financial resources
  • Human resources
  • Information resources
  • Online resources
  • Administrative support

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Operational structure

SBDC Board

The Small Business Development Corporation is governed by an independent Board, drawn from the private sector under the auspices of the Small Business Development Corporation Act 1983.

Small Business Commissioner

David Eaton is the Small Business Commissioner for Western Australia and Chief Executive Officer of the SBDC. This dual role is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the SBDC and the provision of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service, and reports to the Board.

The key services of the SBDC are:

  • small business advisory;
  • commercial tenancy advisory;
  • dispute resolution;
  • business migration;
  • policy, advocacy and advice to government; and
  • local business information and advice delivered through a network of preferred service providers.

Small business advisory services

The SBDC’s core service is the delivery of advice and guidance to small business operators to aid the development and growth of the sector in WA.

These services are provided online, by phone and email and face-to-face meetings. They are also delivered through third parties, business associations and the media.

Tailored business skills workshops are delivered across a range of subjects. Plus the business information centre provides a walk-in service for clients seeking information on business licensing and regulatory requirements.

Commercial tenancy advisory service

The SBDC provides free information and guidance on the Commercial Tenancy (Retail Shops) Agreements Act 1985, and other aspects of commercial lease negotiations and operation, with specialist commercial tenancy advisers assisting in person or by phone.

The advice is supported by free publications providing detailed information which are available from the business information centre or to download from the SBDC website.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service

The ADR service, established in March 2012, is a low-cost, non-litigious means of resolving business-to-business and business-to-government disputes involving small businesses. The service is particularly useful in resolving retail tenancy disputes. The SBDC has become the first port of call for businesses experiencing disputes of this kind.

Business migration services

The SBDC delivers the Western Australian Business Migration program as a key investment attraction initiative for the State. Business migrants are a significant source of new capital, business establishment, export income and employment generation.

Policy, advocacy and advice to government

The SBDC ensures the small business voice is heard and considered by governments at all levels through submissions and liaison, and is a key influence in policy development when it relates to small business. The SBDC conducts regular surveys to gauge the sentiment of the sector and to inform government of trends and concerns.

Small Business Centres

The SBDC also provides business information and advice through a network of preferred service providers.

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