Article by Jane Tweedy, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre


To generate more interest in your business you copy what you’ve seen many times before, you run a Facebook competition. Unfortunately, copying others can get you in trouble! You can safely run competitions to promote your business, but there are laws and guidelines to obey. Remember the law is there to protect people from scams and fake competitions, it’s not trying to block your business.


It is best to give away something your business sells or is directly related, so entrants are potential clients.


Trade Permits

All states have laws about running promotional lotteries. If your business operates in multiple states or online, you will need to check all state/ country requirements. For instance, you may need to limit entry to the competition to NSW or Australian residents only, or exclude a specific state. In NSW, Trade Permits are required to run any form of giveaway that is “trade promotion” – promoting your business, where a game of chance or luck is used. To avoid the requirements you can run a skill based competition. Lucky door prizes are also  generally exempt!


Skill based competition

Skill based can mean a number of things, but a good one for business is running a “Tell us in 25 words or less …” competition. This can allow you to conduct market research on things like why customers love your business, or why they want to win your product. This may help when marketing the business.


Facebook or channel guidelines

As many competitions are run on Facebook, I’ll cover this here. Facebook competition guidelines appear under Page Guidelines. Often you’ll see competitions that require people to like the page, tag friends and share on their timeline as a condition of entry. They are breaching Facebook guidelines (tagging or sharing cannot be an entry condition) and risk both the competition post and the entire page being taken down without warning by Facebook for breaching their page guidelines.


Terms and conditions

The law and the channel you use may require short or full Terms and Conditions.