Small Business Glossary

Australian Consumer Law (ACL) - definition & overview


What's the definition of Australian Consumer Law or ACL?

The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is a national law that applies to all Australian states and territories. It sets out the rights and obligations of consumers and businesses

Key obligations:

  • Consumer guarantees: These are automatic warranties that apply to all goods and services sold in Australia. They ensure that products are of acceptable quality, match their description, are fit for any specified purpose, and come with any promised repairs or replacements (warranties). Services must be provided with due care and skill and within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Fair trading: The ACL prohibits misleading or deceptive conduct, unconscionable conduct, and unfair contract terms. This ensures a fair and honest marketplace for both businesses and consumers.
  • Product safety: The ACL ensures that products sold in Australia are safe and meet mandatory safety standards. Businesses are prohibited from selling banned or recalled products.

Benefits for Small Businesses:

  • The ACL protects small businesses from unfair contract terms imposed by larger businesses.
  • The ACL helps to create a level playing field by ensuring all businesses compete fairly.
  • Understanding the ACL can help small businesses avoid costly disputes with consumers.


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