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Name dropping shaves Net gain

THE WA Government has sliced a $2.6 million annual cost from business by removing the $75 business name renewal fee.

The decision comes after a hefty rise in the number of business names registered for the first time, jumping 20 per cent for the six months to June 30 compared to the same period in 1998-99.

The GST and the demand for business-based Internet domain names were attributed as the main causes for a jump of 12 per cent for the full year to 31,780, bringing the total number of business registered in WA to more than 200,000.

But, rather welcoming the move to drop the renewal fee as WA Fair Trading Minister Doug Shave expected, business groups condemned it as tokenistic and bad policy.

Mr Shave said the State would bear the cost of re-registration of business names which must be renewed every year.

“The dropping of the renewal fee fulfils a Government commitment and is part of its program to keep red tape on business to a minimum,” Mr Shave said.”

“I am confident the abolition of this fee will be welcomed by businesses.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry did not share Mr Shave’s view saying it would encourage frivolous registrations.

“The $2.6 million the government will forgo in business name registration fees is a drop in the bucket compared with the $825 million it will collect from business in payroll tax this year,” CCI chief executive Lyndon Rowe said.

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