It is important to outline in your competition terms and conditions who entry is open to. This is to avoid issues of people entering who you didn’t intend to enter and to make it clear to potential entrants whether or not they are entitled to enter. If you don’t make competition eligibility clear you could find yourself awarding a prize to a person to an unintended recipient; or you may receive queries from the public with questions on competition eligibility which could have been avoided.
The typical considerations for considering who can enter your competition are outlined below:
- Location of residents
- Age restrictions
- Driver’s licence requirements
- Is the entrant an individual or a business
- No overdue monies owing to the promoter
- Employee entrants
- Other eligibility requirements
Location of residence
Typically, you will outline whether the entrant for your competition must be an Australian or New Zealand resident or resident of any specific State/Territory. You may also want to require the entrant to be a permanent resident or only a person with a VISA.
If you are conducting a game of chance promotion, the place of residence of an entrant may also impact where you will need to obtain permits. E.g. if you are opening entry to QLD residents only, no promotion permit will be required. If you open to NSW residents, a NSW permit is required.
It is important to outline the winner’s place of residence, as if the winner is located in an area unintended or overseas, you may need to organise delivery of the prize to that location which could be expensive. If a travel prize, this could also be a financial concern in terms of providing flights from their place of residence to the prize destination.
Most Common: Australian residents
For any trade promotion, age restrictions are always a consideration.
- Social Media Competition Entry Requirement: Most social media platforms e.g. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, require a competition entrant to be aged 13 years or over to have an account. Therefore, you need to ensure you include this age limit in the competition eligibility requirements.
- Valid Driver’s Licence required: If there is an element of driving required as part of the prize (e.g. hot laps) or entry (e.g. complete test drive), you will need to specify if the entrant must have a valid unrestricted driver’s licence.
- Alcohol Purchase for Entry/ Alcohol Prize: if purchase of alcohol is required for entry or alcohol is awarded as a prize, then you will need to specify that entry is restricted to persons 18 years or over. If you are awarding a trip to the US and the prize involves alcohol (e.g. visit to a brewery), you need to ensure you limit entry to persons 21 years or over.
- Nature of prize or entry requirement: If the manner of entry or prize awarded is not suitable for persons under a particular age, ensure you include an appropriate age restriction on the competition. E.g. if an energy drink must be purchased, limit entry to at least persons 16 years or over.
- Under 18: If entry is open to persons under the age of 18, you must ensure you include a clause which states any person under 18 must have parental or legal guardian approval to enter; as the child cannot provide their own consent to the competition Ts and Cs.
- Car Hire: If car hire is included as part of the prize, check with the car hire company as to whether any age restriction applies. Most car hire companies will only hire to persons 21 years or over, with a full, valid and unrestricted driver’s licence. If this is the case, you will need to add this requirement as a condition of entry. If you only have one component of the prize which contains car hire (e.g. travel prize with car hire), you may specify if a winner or a travel companion does not meet this requirement they will forfeit their right to the car hire element of the prize. Please be aware that this approach is not always approved in SA, as they generally require that if a person is eligible to enter they must be able to take all components of the prize.
Individual or Business Entrant
You need to consider whether the entity who enters is an individual or a business (or both). In some instances, it will be necessary to specify who on behalf of a business can enter (e.g. an authorised representative of the business, owner or manager, etc) and include any age/residency requirements for that individual.
For a business, you need to also consider whether they have to be a certain type of business e.g. a business with an account with the promoter or who purchases XXX products from the promoter.
No overdue monies owing
If a competition entrant is a customer of the promoter, you may not want to award the prize to them if they have outstanding debts owed at the time the prize is awarded. In such a case, we would recommend including the following clause (or similar): The entrant must be within the Promoter’s trading terms throughout the promotional period and must not have overdue monies owing to be eligible to win a prize.
If you are opening entry to employees of the promoter or a particular business, you must be quite specific as to which employees may enter the competition. If this is a big company, and entry is restrictions to members of one particular office or department or only a certain type of employee (e.g. sales staff), this needs to be included in your terms.
Where you award a prize, fringe benefit tax may be required to be paid by the winner’s employer. Therefore if you are asking employees of a third party company to enter, ensure you first obtain permission from the third party company owner and flag to them they may be liable for fringe benefit tax (or let them know you will cover this tax, if it applies).
Other eligibility requirements for competitions in Australia
If the entrant must comply with certain other criteria, you should ensure this is clearly specified in the terms and conditions. E.g. if they must be a member of an organisation/website/Facebook page. If this is simply a requirement of entry, and not a pre-requisite as an entrant, this should be referenced in the how to enter instructions instead.