Small Enterprise Development

According to the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition,1 the purpose of the Small Enterprise Development Agency, established in December 2004, is to provide business development and support services for small enterprises, implemented through a national network of delivery points. These take the form of SEDA branches, Enterprise Information Centres, and certain ‘business incubators’.

The National Small Enterprise Act 1996 supports the role and functions of the Agency. It is administered by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition.

As its name suggests, the Act is aimed at ‘small enterprises’ This means any separate and distinct business entity (whether registered or incorporated, or not), managed by its owner(s), and having certain scheduled maximum numbers of employees, turnover and asset value.2 3

  1. It is a crime to conduct any affairs or business, or carry on any occupation or trade under a name containing the words ‘Small Enterprise Development Agency’, or a translation thereof (in an official language) or the abbreviation ‘SEDA’.4

  2. It is also a crime to be registered, or licensed under any law, with such a name.5

  3. It is an offence to claim, falsely, to be acting on behalf of the Small Enterprise Development Agency.6

  1. – ‘Small Enterprise Development Agency’. 

  2. According to whether the enterprise is classified as ‘medium’, ‘small’, ‘very small’ or ‘micro’ in the following sectors: agriculture; catering, accommodation and other trade; community, social and personal services; construction; electricity, gas and water; finance and business services; manufacturing; mining and quarrying; retail and motor trade and repair services; transport, storage and communications; wholesale trade, commercial agents and allied aervices. 

  3. See the Schedule to the Act for the criteria. 

  4. Section 16A(1)(a) read with section 16(2). 

  5. Section 16A(1)(b) read with section 16(2). 

  6. Section 16A(1)(c) read with section 16(2).