Reading time: 3 minutes

Many small businesses have experienced bullying at the hands of larger business and corporations. However, due to the fact that many small businesses lack the necessary resources to be able to resolve disputes with these larger businesses and/or proceed to litigation, smaller businesses have been unable to effectively exercise their contractual rights.

This has become quite a prevalent problem in Australian society as, according to the NSW Small Business Commissioner, small businesses make up 96% of all business in Australia. The contribution that small businesses make, in providing new and innovative products and services at competitive prices, is extremely valuable to our economy and our society, and as such, is something we need to protect. Small business lawyers recognise this fact and are available to assist you if you believe that your business is being bullied by a market competitor.

When does bullying arise?

Bullying can arise at various points during the life of a business. Generally, bullying arises when a business engages in anti-competitive behaviour.

Anti-competitive behaviour includes:

  • Creating anti-competitive agreements;
  • Cartels;
  • Collective bargaining and boycotts;
  • Exclusive dealing;
  • Imposing minimum resale prices;
  • Misusing market power;
  • Predatory pricing;
  • Price signalling;
  • Refusing to supply products or services; Or
  • Engaging in unconscionable conduct.

For more information on what constitutes anti-competitive behaviour, please see our article “What is anti-competitive behaviour? Am I engaged in or losing business to it?”.

Bullying can also arise when a party to a contract refuses to comply with the terms of an agreement it has entered into. If you were considering entering into a contract with another business, it would be a good idea to get your contract drafted by a small business lawyer so he or she can carefully prepare the contract and ensure that it is binding on all parties involved. If you have already entered into a contract with another party who is not complying with the terms of the contract, a small business lawyer can review your contract and give you legal advice on the binding terms of the contract, and what you can do to demand compliance with the terms.

Small Business Commissions

If you find yourself in a position where your business has been bullied and this has resulted in a dispute between the parties, there are several options available to you to resolve this dispute.

For example, you may approach the Small Business Commission (SBC) in your particular state to assist in resolving the dispute before resorting to litigation.

The development of the SBC across Australia has served an important function in providing a dispute resolution service for businesses of various sizes and capacities. While the SBC is not a court, and its judgments are not binding, it has, thus far, proven successful in mediating disputes between parties as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism.

The commissioner of the SBC can ask a party to produce evidence and answer questions during a mediation session, which provided small-business owners with the power to assert their contractual rights against a larger business, despite their limited financial resources.


If you believe that your business is being bullied and you would like to know your rights in the matter, we recommend speaking with a small business lawyer as soon as possible. In the mean time, for information regarding the NSW Small Business Commissioner, please visit:


Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards