Competition rules and permit requirements across Australia
When you run a competition, it is important that everything is kept fair and above board.
It wouldn’t be very fair if prizes were not judged and just awarded to family and friends!
In order to regulate this, most states have a system in place whereby permits need to be obtained in order for a business to run certain kinds of competitions. These are referred to as ‘trade promotions’ on government websites. There is usually a fee involved to obtain a permit for a competition.
The information can be somewhat ambiguous, so to reduce anxiety for busy party vendors we have summarised the information here!
Do all competitions need permits?
No. Any competitions that include a game of skill (as opposed to being judged) generally do not require a permit. However, it is advisable that you write clear terms and conditions that are easily accessible via your website.
The terms should include open and close dates, who can enter, how to win and when and where the prizes will be announced.
Most competitions that are judged do not require permits either. That is because they will likely fall under the prize value range for a permit. Each state in Australia has its own rules and regulations around this, and we have summarised them below
It is important to note that each state does have some basic rules for competitions to ensure things are kept fair, so it is advised you always check the relevant rules before starting, even if you are certain you won’t require a permit.
The guidelines below are only relevant to competitions being held by a business to promote a product or service, with free entry criteria. Charities, lotteries and other types of competitions are not covered here.
New South Wales
The rules regarding trade promotions in NSW can be found here.
Permits are not needed unless prizes are valued at over $10,000
There are no permits required but all trade promotions need to comply with state regulations. Read more here.
No permits required for trade promotions being run to promote a good or service. Find more at this link.
No permits required. Read more here
Permits are not required. Find out more here.
Trade promotions with prize pools under $5,000 do not require a permit in South Australia however there are conditions so it is best to check the website.
This one is a little trickier. Yes, you would need a permit for a trade promotion with prizes over $5,000. However, if you are running this competition nationally and have a permit from another state, you do not need to apply for another permit in NT.
Australian Capital Territory
No permit needed for prizes totalling under $3,000 in the ACT however there are conditions. Read more here.
Want to know more? Check out this blog post on running an Instagram giveaway!
Do you need a solution to pick a random prize winner? Check out this post.
For further reading, check out please check out Legal Vision.
Head to this page for a handy infographic.
Note: before running a competition it is suggested you check the relevant state rules via the above links, as rules do tend to change regularly.