Regulatory Sandboxes

The NSW Government endorses the use of regulatory sandboxes to improve the competitiveness of doing business in NSW.

The Regulatory Sandbox initiative encourages innovators to raise regulatory barriers with the relevant regulator and allows innovators to negotiate testing environments for new business models or products that are constrained by or outside of existing regulations. 

A regulatory sandbox is a risk-controlled, time limited testing environment that enables:

  • A business to reduce uncertainty and manage regulatory risks during the testing stage of its innovative product or business model
  • A regulator to test adaptive regulatory responses to disruption in the market.

Success factors of regulatory sandboxes:

  • The parameters are co-designed by government and stakeholders
  • Risks are controlled
  • It is time limited
  • It is open to all businesses - the process of application and approval is transparent
  • The parameters are clearly communicated and participants are bound by the conditions set by the regulator.

The NSW Government has established a Productivity Commission, led by Peter Achterstraat AM. Mr Achterstraat will be responsible for driving microeconomic reform and targeting regulatory roadblocks.

More information about the Productivity Commission’s work can be found here

Navigating Regulation in NSW

Many businesses have told us that they are unclear of the how their product fits within existing regulation or whether there were regulatory barriers to market entry.

So we have compiled the following Tips for Innovators to assist you in your journey:

  • If you are unclear about which regulation applies to your innovation seek legal advice. A complete directory of regulations is available here 
  • Engage with the relevant regulator early and often when you are preparing to test your innovation and you are unclear of the regulatory environment in which you are operating. 
  • Make use of all the supports available to small businesses in NSW:
    • Business Connect provides general and specialist business advice and government information to startups and SMEs
    • Small Business Commission’s website lists useful business sites and includes a list of government agencies and their responsibilities.

Commonwealth Government's support for small business is listed here they also have a Small Business Support Line on 1800 777 275.