Business types in this industry

The professional, scientific and technical services industry includes:

  • scientists
  • accountants
  • advertising and marketing specialists
  • lawyers
  • vets
  • management and other consultants
  • photographers
  • architects
  • engineers
  • computer system designers.

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 the professional, scientific and technical services industry, on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website. 

Check out the profile for the professional, scientific and technical services industry, on the Labour Market Insights website. This will give you an idea of what's happening in the Australian job market.

Explore statistics for specific professional, scientific or technical businesses below.

Legislation, standards and initiatives

It's important to be aware of the laws that apply to the professional, scientific and technical services industry. Key legislation includes: 

Select the relevant topic below for specific industry and business legislation. 

Licences and permits

State or territory governments manage the licences and permits for the professional, scientific and technical services industry. This section details the approvals you may need to obtain.

  • Permit to use animals for scientific purposes
  • Permit to undertake scientific research in parks or on wildlife.

  • Advertisement signage placement licences.

To work as a lawyer, you need to apply for both: 

  • Admission as a legal practitioner, through the court system in your state or territory; and
  • A practising certificate in your state or territory.

  • registration to work as a veterinarian in your state or territory
  • registration of veterinary premises
  • licence to operate veterinary hospital.

  • Permit to film and take photos on state land including footpaths, roads, parks and other spaces.

  • registration to work as an architect in your state or territory.

Registration in your state or territory to work as a: 

  • civil engineer
  • structural engineer
  • electrical engineer
  • fire safety engineer
  • mechanical engineer.

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.

Search now


Professional, scientific and technical 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.

Workplace health and safety (WHS)

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 professional, scientific and technical services industry:


The main environmental issues that businesses in the professional, scientific and technical services industry should understand include:

  • disposal of chemicals and drugs (including developing film)
  • protection of national parks, forests or marine parks
  • protection of threatened species
  • protection of animals and native flora and fauna
  • protection of waterways including rivers, lakes, estuaries and wetlands
  • protection of Aboriginal heritage sites and land
  • protection of world heritage and other heritage listed sights
  • environmental design in architecture and engineering
  • waste management and reduction.

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.

You may need to consider applying for a: 

  • trademark to protect your brand
  • patent to protect a new invention
  • design right, to protect the visual appearance of a product.

These rights can be applied for through IP Australia.

In Australia, you have automatic protection in relation to:

  • copyright, protecting drawings, art, literature, music, film, broadcasts, computer programs
  • trade secret rights, protecting secret formulas, processes and methods
  • circuit layout rights, protecting layout designs for integrated circuits and computer chips.


Alongside compulsory insurances, the professional, scientific and technical services industry has specific insurances. These insurances include:

  • professional indemnity
  • public liability insurance
  • equipment and machinery
  • property and buildings
  • vehicles and business interruption.

Professional indemnity insurance

Professional indemnity insurance protects advice-based businesses from customers and clients who take legal action against losses incurred as a result of professional negligence. In certain professions, indemnity insurance is a mandatory requirement. These professions include:

  • Accountants and bookkeepers – You must obtain professional indemnity insurance before you can register as a Tax agent or BAS Agent.
  • Architects – In most states, you must obtain professional indemnity insurance before you can operate as an architect.
  • Veterinarians – In some states, you must obtain professional indemnity insurance before you can operate as a veterinarian.

Was this page helpful?

Thanks for sharing your feedback with us.

Why not?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.