Rental, hiring and real estate services industry fact sheet

This fact sheet provides an overview of the legal, operational and business issues relevant to the rental, hiring and real estate services industry, which includes property rental and real estate agents as well as businesses that provide renting and hiring services for:

  • motor vehicles
  • transport equipment
  • farm animal & bloodstock
  • video and other electronic media
  • heavy machinery
  • scaffolding
  • intangible assets (e.g. patents and trademarks).

For further advice and assistance, contact your accountant, solicitor or business adviser.


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 rental, hiring and real estate services industry include:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
    The Hire services section of the ABS website contains a range of statistics for the hire services industry including regional indicators, performance and income data. See also the Real Estate Services page for statistics on the real estate profession.

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 rental, hiring and real estate services industry includes:

Rental hiring

Real estate

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 rental, hiring and real estate industry are often managed by state or territory governments and are largely related to:

  • hire car operator accreditation
  • real estate agent accreditation
  • vehicle permits and licences
  • luxury car licence
  • erecting/displaying signage
  • playing video/sound recordings
  • disposal of waste
  • zoning permits
  • restricted trading days.

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:

Apprentices and trainees

With flexible hours and on the job training, the rental, hiring and real estate industry lends itself easily to taking on apprentices and trainees. If you take on an apprentice or trainee, you can access a range of government support and financial help. See the Australian Apprenticeships Centre website to find out more.

Finance & tax

There are a number of finance and tax measures specific to the rental, hiring and real estate industry. These measures include:

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
    It’s important to know your GST obligations to ensure you’re providing your services at the correct price. Make sure you’re registered with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) so you can claim your GST credits. Visit the ATO’s page on GST Motor vehicle and transport and GST and real estate agent services for details specific to your industry.
  • Fuel schemes
    Fuel tax credits provide a credit for fuel tax (excise or customs duty) that is included in the price of fuel. Credits only apply to fuel that is used in eligible business activities.
  • Luxury Car Tax (LCT)
    If you purchase or import luxury vehicles valued above a certain amount, you will need to pay Luxury car tax.
  • Boat hire arrangements
    Find out the circumstances where a boat hire arrangement qualifies as a business for the purposes of tax.

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

Levies & charges

Levies and charges are generally used to fund activities that benefit the industry or region as a whole. Levies that apply to the rental, hiring and real estate services industry are usually applied at the local level in your rates payment. Levies differ from state to state but can include a tourism levy, fire levy, heritage levy or environment levy.

Visit your local council or state government agency for details on any levies or charges applicable in your area.


There are very few grants available for the rental, hiring and real estate services industry, unless you are starting a business in a specific regional area. Search Grants & Assistance to find grants and assistance programmes for the rental, hiring and real estate services industry.

Workplace Health & Safety (WHS)

As well as the general health and safety regulations, there are also some state-specific WHS topics relevant to the rental, hiring and real estate industry including:

  • occupational noise management
  • standards for protective clothing and equipment
  • standards for occupational safety signage
  • national standard for manual handling
  • prevention and response to workplace bullying
  • prevention of workplace violence (e.g. robbery)
  • electrical safety.

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 rental, hiring and real estate services industry.

​Insurance options vary depending on your business type but can include insurance for public liability, equipment & machinery, property & buildings, vehicles, animals and business interruption.

Go to insurance 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 rental, hiring and real estate industry such as:

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 real estate methods or marketing strategies can often help improve your competitiveness and grow your business. 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 the rental, hiring and real estate industry does not rely heavily on the environment, they can still have a significant impact. The main environmental concerns that businesses in this industry should be aware of include:

  • waste management and reduction
  • reporting
  • fuel economy
  • sustainability.

Go to environmental management 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 rental, hiring and real estate services industry include:

The key state government agencies relevant to the rental, hiring and real estate services industry include:

Key advisers

Business advisers can be a valuable tool when establishing and developing your business in your industry. Search Advisory Services to find one near you.

Industry groups

You may also wish to consult with an industry association or group for more information and advice on your industry.

© Commonwealth of Australia 2016. 

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