Business types in this industry

The health care and social assistance industry includes:

  • general and specialist medical services
  • pathology and diagnostic imaging services
  • aged and residential care services
  • allied health services, such as dentists, optometrists, physiotherapists and chiropractors
  • aged and residential care services
  • child care services
  • disabilities assistance services.

Industry statistics

Industry research is an important part of planning for your business, it may help you identify:

  • economic and industry trends
  • establish or improve your business
  • help you keep pace with your industry.

See statistics for Australian industry, including health care and social assistance, on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website. The ABS also has statistics on health services and disability.  

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) provides industry benchmarks to help you compare your business's performance against similar businesses in your industry. Read about the benchmarks for health care and personal services.

Check out the profile for the health care and social assistance industry, on the Labour Market Insights website. This will give you an idea of what's happening in the Australian job market.


If you are planning for a childcare business, read about research and reports for the National Quality Framework on the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority website. Also see early childhood data and reports on the Department of Education website.

Legislation, standards and initiatives

It’s important that you’re aware of the laws that apply to the health care and social assistance industry. Key legislation includes the: 

There are also laws and standards that apply to specific businesses in this industry, as outlined in this section.

Licences and permits

Federal, State and territory governments manage the licences and permits for the health care and social assistance industry. The licences and permits you may need include:

  • childcare service licence
  • working with vulnerable people registration
  • provider of support licence (for aged care and disability)
  • preparing and/or selling food
  • erecting/displaying signage
  • restricted trading days
  • reproducing printed and electronic materials 
  • playing video/sound recordings
  • disposal of waste
  • fundraising registration.

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.

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Health care and social assistance businesses have specific goods and services tax (GST) measures. It’s important that you know your GST obligations and to make sure you register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure you can claim your GST credits.

Employing people

If you employ staff, you need to comply with Australia‚Äôs national workplace laws specific to the health care and social assistance industry.

Workplace health and safety

There are general work health and safety regulations for all businesses, however there are state and territory WHS requirements that apply to businesses in the health care and social assistance industry:

Intellectual property

It is important to protect your intellectual property when starting and growing your business. ‘Intellectual property’ (IP) is the creation of original ideas, inventions or brands.

If you have a business in the health care and social assistance industry, you may need to consider different types of IP. For example, this may be a patent for a new healthcare invention, a trademark to protect your brand or a design for a new healthcare resource.


The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water has tips for reducing your energy costs in their services industry sector guide

Find support

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

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