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Business types in this industry

The rental, hiring and real estate services industry includes businesses providing a diverse range of rental services to individuals, other businesses and organisations. Some of these include:

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

Legislation, standards and initiatives

You must be aware of the laws that apply to the rental, hiring and real estate services industry. Key legislation includes:

Licences and permits

State or territory governments manage the licences and permits for the rental, hiring and real estate services industry.

The licences and permits you may need include:

  • 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

Find the licences and permits you need for your business

Search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) to find information on the licences you may need.


The rental, hiring and real estate services industry have specific Goods and Services Tax (GST) measures. Know your GST obligations and register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure you can claim your GST credits.

Visit the ATO website to learn more about the GST requirements for the rental, hiring and real estate services industry:

Other tax measures that may apply to your rental, hiring and real estate services business include:

  • 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) applies if you purchase or import luxury vehicles valued above a certain amount.
  • Boat hire arrangements may apply if your arrangement qualifies as a business for the purposes of tax.

Employ people

If you employ staff, you need to comply with Australia’s national workplace laws specific to the rental, hiring and real estate services industry.

Browse a list of industry and occupation awards to find the one that applies to your industry.

Create an employment contract tailored to the award and your business needs.

Workplace health and safety (WHS)

All business must comply with general occupational health and safety regulations. The rental, hiring and real estate services industry also has state specific WHS requirements.

These include:

  • 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

Learn more about state-specific WHS requirements.


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 issues that businesses in the rental, hiring and real estate services industry should understand include:

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


Alongside compulsory insurances, the rental, hiring and real estate services industry has specific insurances. These insurances include:

  • public liability
  • equipment and machinery
  • property and buildings
  • vehicles
  • animals and business interruption

Government organisations

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Further advice and assistance

Check our general business information for additional regulations and obligations relevant to your business.

For further advice and assistance, consider contacting your accountant, solicitor, business adviser or industry association.

Read next

Check out our insurance information to find out more about insurance options for your business.

If your business imports goods, understand your obligations.