Further to my ASIC Comes To The Party post, I attempted the address suppression steps and as expected, it’s not as straightforward as we’ve been led to believe.
First up you can apply - that doesn’t mean ASIC will grant it. Secondly you can only apply for suppression once you have applied to the Electoral Commission to have your address suppressed there.
“You may be entitled to use an alternative address in place of your usual residential address in forms and applications lodged with us, and on our public database, if: the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has granted you ‘silent enrolment’ status. This means your name, but not your residential address, is on an electoral roll.”
“If your name and address are currently on the Australian electoral roll, you need to apply to the AEC for ‘silent enrolment’ before you apply to ASIC to suppress your residential address. If silent enrolment is granted, the AEC will remove your residential address from the electoral roll and will display only your name. You then lodge with ASIC a Form 379.”
There are a whole lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘mays’ in there…..
There are alternative steps if you are not on an electoral roll but for the purposes of this exercise let’s assume you are on a roll somewhere in Australia.
On the Form 379 you can only provide an alternative STREET address.
“An alternative address must be within Australia and be one at which documents can be served on you. A post office box address is not acceptable.”
So nothing seems to have changed at all and the only alternative address available to home-based business is their accountant (if they have one) and accountants have already said they don’t want to become mailing houses for small/home-based businesses. Plus consider the additional cost to home-based businesses of having your accountant acting in this way?
Interestingly all ASIC have done is direct us to the form that company directors and secretaries have to use – so they’re not considering small business and home-based business at all and merely treating us like big business. Which we’re not.
So the upshot is, despite their 26 September assertions ASIC clearly don’t give a toss about privacy concerns of home-based business, and you still cannot use a PO Box as an alternative address.
Nothing like KISS!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if the states could do it why can’t the feds? It cannot be this difficult.
It seems the form I was originally provided is not the right one. You can access a different suppression form here. This makes the process much simpler however again the application must be approved. If the details you wish to suppress are on the electoral roll for example they won’t approve the request. They also still say:
“We will not suppress….the address for the service of documents, therefore, the address for service should not be your residential address.”
In addition, supporting documentation must be provided and may include:
- a letter from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) showing that the applicant has silent elector status)
- a court order
- a police report, or
- other evidence to support this request
Keeping it simple? Would be interested to hear from anyone who has successfully completed the process about how difficult it might be?
© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – eSOS