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FAQs -> Business Name Registration

  1. What is a Business Name?
  2. When should I register a business name?
  3. Why should I register a business name?
  4. Does registering a business name give an exclusive right over the use of that name?
  5. Is an ABN necessary to register a business name?
  6. How long does it take to apply for a business name registration?
  7. How can I check whether a business name is available?
  8. When will I receive a record of registration?
  9. Who can apply for a business name?
  10. For what period of time can the business name be registered on the Australian Business Register?
  11. Which business names cannot be registered?
  12. Does the business name need to be registered separately for separate states / territories?
  13. Can multiple business names be registered under one ABN?
  14. What are the requirements after registration of a Business Name?
  15. What documents will I receive on the registration of a Business Name?
  16. What is an 'ASIC Key' for a registered business name?
  17. Can a registered business name be changed?
  18. When will ASIC initiate cancellation of a business name?
  19. How will I know that my business name is due for renewal?


What is a Business Name?

A business name is simply a name or title under which a person or legal entity conducts a business. In Australia, unless you fall within an exemption, for example, trading solely in the Cocos Keeling Island or trading under your own legal name — you must register as a business name.



When should I register a business name?

You will need to register a business name if you carry on a business or trade within Australia and you are not trading under your own name.

Exceptions to this include:

  • if you are operating as an individual and your operating name is the same as your first name and surname
  • if you are in a partnership and your operating name is the same as all of the partners' names, or
  • if you are an already registered Australian company and your operating name is the same as your company's name.


Why should I register a business name?

Registering a business name not only enables your customers to identify you, but also allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors.



Does registering a business name give an exclusive right over the use of that name?

Registering a business name does not in itself give you any exclusive rights over the use of that name—only a trade mark can give you that kind of protection. Business name holders often think that by registering a business name they have protected a brand or a trading name – whereas in reality the business names laws that exist today do not offer that kind of protection. Be aware that registering your business name does not give you the ownership of that name. Registering a particular name does not stop another person from registering a similar name nor does it give you the exclusive right to use the name or a part of that name. Also, registering a business name will not prevent the name being used by somebody who has registered it as a trade mark. This is an important point – and one that every business owner should be aware of. The obligation to register a business name is a legal obligation which is entirely separate to any steps that business owners may take to protect any intellectual property rights in a name or brand, such as registering a trade mark.



Is an ABN necessary to register a business name?

Yes. to register a Business Name, you will need an ABN unless you operate solely in the Christmas Islands or Cocos (Keeling) Islands and you are not entitled to an ABN..



How long does it take to apply for a business name registration?

An Application for registering business name takes not more than 10 minutes on our website. It is a simple, fast and efficient way to register your business name.



How can I check whether a business name is available?

You can check the availability of a business name on our website.



When will I receive a record of registration?

You will receive a record of registration by email within 1-2 business days of lodging the application for registration of a business name. You can also download it from our website by logging in to your secured page..



Who can apply for a business name?

The following types of entities can apply for registration of a business name:

  • individual or a sole trader
  • incorporated entity, including an Australian registered company (has an ACN), an Australian registered body (has an ARBN) or other incorporated entity (no ACN or ARBN)
  • unincorporated entity, including a trust, superannuation fund or unincorporated body or association
  • partnership or joint venture


For what period of time can the business name be registered on the Australian Business Register?

You can register a business name either for one year or three years as per your preference. The business name is registered under your name till the expiry of your registration period. You will have to renew your business name registration before the expiry of the registration period.



Which business names cannot be registered?

You may not be able to register a business name if:

  • it includes words unknown to ASIC
  • it contains a restricted word or expression, and/or
  • it contains a potentially undesirable word or expression.


Does the business name need to be registered separately for separate states / territories?

A Business Name is not required to be registered under different states and territories of Australia. Since, May 28, 2012, National Business Names Registration System has replaced the separate state and territory registers. Hence one national registration is required to trade across Australia.



Can multiple business names be registered under one ABN?

Yes, you can register more than one business name under one ABN.



What are the requirements after registration of a Business Name?

After registration of a business name you should ensure that your details on the Business Names Register remain correct and up-to-date and if you wish to continue using the business name, you should renew your registration before it expires by making a payment of the Business Name renewal fee.



What documents will I receive on the registration of a Business Name?

We will email you a Record of Registration and ASIC Key received from ASIC once you register a business name through us.



What is an 'ASIC Key' for a registered business name?

An ASIC Key is a unique number used when making an update to any of the details recorded with ASIC relating to the business name.



Can a registered business name be changed?

A registered business name cannot be changed. To change your existing business name, you must cancel your current business name and/or register a new name.



When will ASIC initiate cancellation of a business name?

ASIC will initiate cancellation of a business name -

  1. If you do not renew the registration
  2. If you are disqualified from holding the business name
  3. If you do not notify ASIC in case of any changes within the required time


How will I know that my business name is due for renewal?

You will receive a renewal notice from ASIC 30 days prior to the date that your business name is due to be renewed. You will need to pay a renewal fee before the expiry of the registration period.



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