Business guide: media and telecommunications industry fact sheet

This fact sheet provides an overview of the legal, operational and business issues relevant to the information media and telecommunications industry includes businesses involved in:

  • newspaper, magazine, book, and directory publishing
  • software publishing
  • motion picture and sound recording publishing and distribution
  • radio and television broadcasting
  • internet publishing and broadcasting
  • telecommunication services, internet service providers & web search portals
  • data processing, web hosting and electronic information storage services
  • library and other information services.


Industry research is an important part of planning for your business. It may uncover economic and industry trends, establish or improve your business and help you keep pace with your industry.

Key government sources for industry specific statistics on the information media & telecommunications industry include:

Key legislation & initiatives

Legislation often plays a large part in how you run your business, so it’s important to be aware of the laws that apply to your industry. Key legislation that may affect businesses in the information media & telecommunications industry includes:

Schemes, standards and codes

See the Policy and Legislation page on the Department of Communications website for a more comprehensive list of policy and legislation that affect the information media and telecommunications industry.

You can have your say on government policy and regulation affecting the future of your industry by registering on the Business consultation website.

Licences & permits

Licences and permits specific to the information media and telecommunications industry include:

  • television licence
  • radio licence
  • commercial filming licencing
  • broadcast of copyright material
  • filming and photography permits.

Search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) website to find out what licences and permits you need for your industry.


If you employ staff, you need to comply with Australia’s national workplace laws and the specific requirements in your industry:

Finance & tax

There are a number of finance and tax measures specific to the information media and telecommunications industry including the Producer Offset, which is a tax offset for the producers of Australian feature films, television and other projects.

To find more finance and tax guidance, take a look at:

  • the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for to find out more about tax measures such as offsets, rebates, deductions and income, depreciation and disaster assistance.
  • our general taxation information
  • more detailed information on how to manage your finances.

Levies & charges

Levies and charges are used to fund activities such as providing accessibility for the public to telecommunication and broadcast services, delivery of the emergency call services, and research and development of telecommunication and broadcast technologies.

The main levies that apply to the information media and telecommunications industry include telecommunications carrier levies and charges, broadcast licensing fees, and equipment licensing. Visit the ACMA website for more information on levies and charges for the industry.


Limited grants are available for the information media and telecommunications industry. Grants are largely state specific and aim to assist with the development of the industry in areas where there is a shortage, such as the Public lending rights scheme is available to eligible Australian authors and publishers in recognition of lost income from the availability of their books in educational libraries.

Search Grants & Assistance to find more grants and assistance programs for the information media & telecommunications industry.

Workplace Health & Safety (WHS)

As well as the general occupational health and safety regulations, there are also some state-specific WHS requirements relevant to the information media & telecommunications industry, including:

  • radiofrequency radiation exposure
  • working with electricity
  • working at height
  • manual handling
  • noise and vibration
  • plant and machinery.

Need help understanding your WHS obligations? Try these government resources:


As well as compulsory insurance such as workers compensation, there are also a number of specific insurance options available for businesses in the information media and telecommunications industry. Insurance options vary depending on your business type but can include insurance for:

  • telecommunications
  • filming and media equipment
  • printing machinery
  • information technology equipment and software
  • radio equipment
  • property and buildings
  • liability
  • professional indemnity
  • business interruption.

Visit Insurance and workers' compensation for details on general insurance options for business.

Intellectual Property (IP)

As well as trade marks, there are other IP rights that may be relevant to businesses in the information media & telecommunications industry:

IP Australia is the federal government agency responsible for granting rights in patents, trade marks and designs. Visit the IP Australia website to find out more about your IP options.

Industry training

Industry training can be an important part of your business survival. New technologies and media trends can have an impact on the way you run your business. For more information. Need some help getting started?

  • See Training for tips on training yourself and your staff.
  • Search Events to find government events, seminars, training courses and workshops.


While businesses in the information media and telecommunications industry do not rely heavily on the environment, they can still have a significant impact. The main environmental issues that businesses in the information media and telecommunications industry should be aware of include:

  • resources used in products
  • environmental impact of telecommunication sites and facilities
  • post-consumer waste
  • waste management and reduction.

Visit our Environmental management topic for advice on how you can manage your impact on the environment. 

Key government organisations & websites

The key federal government agencies and websites relevant to the information media & telecommunications industry include:


© Commonwealth of Australia 2016. 

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