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Our small business jurisdiction

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) Australia can consider disputes between financial services providers and some small businesses, including:

  • sole traders
  • small businesses constituted as a company, partnership, trust or otherwise
  • partnerships of individuals – if the partnership carries on a small business
  • clubs or incorporated associations – if the club or incorporated association carries on a small business.

If you’re not sure whether FOS can consider your small business dispute, please contact us on 1800 367 287.

What is a small business?
We can consider disputes from business that have less than 20 employees, or where the business is or includes the manufacture of goods, has less than 100 employees. FOS considers many different types of disputes including: banking, credit cards, mortgages, general and life insurance (including small business insurance products), financial planning and investment advice.

Jurisdiction review
We are currently working with ASIC on a review of our small business jurisdiction. Until any changes are approved, the limits set out in our published Terms of Reference apply. The maximum of any individual claim may not exceed $500,000, however a single dispute can also contain more than one claim.

Further information, including information about our compensation caps, may be found in the Operational Guidelines to paragraph 9.7 of our Terms of Reference.