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Deloitte Private applauds Government inquiry into Family Business in Australia


21 February 2013: Family businesses have recently had the opportunity to voice their concerns through the Senate Committee’s inquiry into Family Business in Australia. According to Deloitte Private, who advise private and family businesses across Australia and who addressed the Parliamentary Committee in November 2012, the Australian economy is underpinned by family businesses, which are an under-represented but vital segment of the Australian business landscape.

Elise Elliott, Deloitte Private partner said that the inquiry is both welcomed and important as about 70 per cent of Australian businesses identify themselves as family businesses. The success of the sector is therefore vitally important to Australia’s future success.

“The Government needs to provide enhanced support for family succession processes, training for next generation business owners and continue to take steps to reduce compliance costs.

“Government policies and initiatives which continue to incentivise innovation and commercialisation in Australia and encourage sustainable family business practices would be very well received,” said Ms Elliott.

“Not For Profits (NFPs), family businesses and private investors could also partner with Government via the introduction of social bonds as a means of funding social projects in a sustainable way that delivers real results,” added Ms Elliott.

Deloitte Private recommended the following in their submission:

  • The ABS consider developing criteria to categorise family businesses, small businesses and private businesses to facilitate more specific and detailed analysis of this vitally important sector.
  • The ABS designs its data capture to enable separate reporting on the family business sector.
  • Government undertakes a review of the regulatory framework to stimulate investment in and the financing of family businesses.
  • Government considers tax incentives and/or changes to regulations regarding debt and equity funding for family businesses.
  • Consideration be given to structural reform of the taxation of trusts and the taxation of family groups to create certainty and simplicity.

David Smorgon, a long standing client of Deloitte Private and Chairman of Generation Investments, points out that the majority of Australia’s leading businesses started out as family businesses.

“For seventy years the Smorgon family has been running family businesses and I am a third generation family business owner.  We have found over the years that family businesses have demonstrated great agility, flexibility and resilience (as evidenced during the Global Financial Crisis) and that they continue to be innovative and highly productive. Family businesses are major contributors to the Australian economy as employers and investors. This inquiry has the potential to assist family businesses to remain as the engine room of our economy,” said Mr Smorgon.

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Elise Elliott
Job Title:
Tel: +61 3 9671 7869
Jane Kneebone
Deloitte Australia
Job Title:
Director, Corporate Affairs & Communications
Tel: +61 3 9671 7389, Mobile: +61 416 148 845




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