Date of this Version
This article examines the position of the small business as "consumer" under existing consumer protection legislation and the incongruities arising from this characterisation in the area of consumer credit regulation. While the inclusion of small businesses may be defensible under the Australian Consumer Law, it is contended that this is not the case in consumer credit regulation. It is arguable that such an inclusion impacts significantly on commercial dealings and could have a lasting effect on the availability of credit to small businesses. The effects of treating businesses as consumers in relation to consumer credit transactions are far-reaching, potentially affecting the power of the courts to make winding-up orders under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and also countenancing insolvent trading under the hardship provisions.
This document has been peer reviewed.