What Fair Trading can do for you
National business names registration service
Buying goods and services
The ACL sets out your rights and responsibilities in all sorts of purchasing situations. For example, it covers consumer guarantees, refunds, unsafe and defective products when you make a purchase using a lay-by or an unsolicited consumer agreement with a door-to-door seller or telemarketer.
We can provide free information to help you if you have a problem. But remember, traders and retailers have rights too, so ensure that you make the right choice and are fully informed.
Resolving a complaint
If you believe you have a legitimate complaint, the first step is to make every effort to sort out the problem directly with the trader or service provider.
Be clear, firm and polite and state what the problem is and how you would like it fixed. Keep all relevant documents, such as receipts, warranties and quotes.
If you don’t reach a satisfactory outcome, call us on 13 32 20, visit your nearest Fair Trading Centre or lodge a complaint online.
We provide free information about your rights and options to resolve disputes with traders. In some cases our staff can contact the trader and attempt to negotiate a settlement.
If we are unable to successfully negotiate your matter, you can take your dispute to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.
The Tribunal provides independent, low cost and accessible dispute resolution in consumer or tenancy disputes. For more information visit the Tribunal’s website at www.cttt.nsw.gov.au or call the Tribunal Registry on 1300 135 399.
We fund community-based financial counselling services which provide assistance to people in financial hardship. To find the service closest to you call the Credit and Debt Hotline on 1800 808 488.
For information on alternatives to using high cost credit, visit the Using credit page on our website.
Buying a motor vehicle
Before you buy a used car, truck, motor bike, caravan, trailer or boat through a private sale, make sure you protect yourself against repossession by checking the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR). The PPSR can check if there is any money owing on a vehicle, visit www.ppsr.gov.au or call 1300 007 777.
Warranties and repairs
If you buy a new or used car from a motor dealer and have problems with warranty issues, call Fair Trading for assistance on 13 32 20. We can also help if you have problems with the cost or quality of repairs to your motor vehicle.
Home building and renovating
Thinking of building a new home or renovating? Only use a builder or tradesperson who is currently licensed with NSW Fair Trading. You can check a licence by using our Home building licence check or by calling 13 32 20.
Our website and building publications also contain lots of practical information, covering such things as the importance of written contracts, home warranty insurance and resolving building disputes for consumers, builders and tradespeople.
We provide information on all aspects of living in a strata or community scheme, including management and administration, and solving disputes.
Renting a home
We provide information to tenants, landlords and real estate agents about their rights and responsibilities.
This covers all residential premises, including residential parks. We also fund a number of community organisations to provide advice and advocacy to tenants across NSW. Any money given to a landlord or their agent as a bond must be lodged with NSW Fair Trading.
Buying or selling your home
We have information to help you buy or sell a home either at auction or by private sale. If you are using a real estate agent or conveyancer, you can check if they are properly licensed on our website or by calling 13 32 20. We also have information about buying ‘off the plan’ from a developer.
If you have any questions about your rights and responsibilities as a resident or operator, or if you are thinking about moving into a retirement village, visit Retirement villages page on our website or contact the Fair Trading Specialist Support Unit for help and advice on 9895 0297 or toll free on 1800 625 963.
Your business may require some government licences and permits before it can start. To find out what licences you need, visit the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) website.
Registering your business name
If your business is being conducted under any name other than that of the owner, it must be registered. Visit the Business names page on our website for more details or for informaiton on how to register, renew or to search for a business name, visit ASIC's website or call ASIC on 1300 300 630.
Associations and co-operatives
Incorporation as an association or a co-operative creates a legal entity separate from members which can give members important legal protection.
Our Registry Services can provide free information and assistance, as well as free association incorporation packages and co-operative information kits. You can find out more from any Fair Trading Centre or by calling Registry of Services on 1800 502 042.
Whether you are a retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer or importer, you need to comply with national product safety laws. In NSW, both NSW Fair Trading and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) play a role in their regulation. For information on product safety laws visit our website or www.productsafety.gov.au
Additionally, in NSW many electrical and gas appliances also need to be approved before they are sold. Visit the Product safety page on our website for more information.
Guides for business
A number of guides are available for businesses to explain requirements under the ACL. These are:
- Avoiding unfair business practices
- Consumer guarantees
- Product safety
- Sales practices
- Unfair contract terms law.
How to contact us
You can call us on the freecall number 1800 500 330 which is specially for Indigenous callers.
Fair Trading Centres
You can get face-to-face help and information from any of our 24 Fair Trading Centres located throughout NSW. Most are open Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5.00pm. For location details, go to the Contact us page.
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