ASIC guide on registering national business names

ASIC has published Regulatory Guide 235 Registering your business name (RG235) explaining procedures under the new National Business Names Register which will commence on 28 May 2012: when you must register your business name, how to register your business name and how to maintain your business name after it is registered.

If, on commencement of the national business names register, a business name was registered in a state or territory, it will not have to be registered again with ASIC. The business name will be automatically transferred to the business names register. The period of registration will also transfer from the state or territory business name systems.

If a renewal date falls on the commencement of the national business names register or shortly after, ASIC may send the renewal notice after the date the business name registration expires. ASIC will not cancel the business name until the extended due date provided on the renewal notice.

If the same business name is registered in more than one state or territory, all the business names will transfer to the ASIC business names register on commencement. If one person owns the multiple names they may choose to keep one business name record (e.g. the business name with the latest registration expiry date) and cancel the registration of the other remaining business names. There is no fee to cancel a business name.

If the same business name has previously been registered by different businesses in different states and territories ASIC will provide additional information on the public register to assist the public in differentiating between identical business names transferred from the states and territories (such as the state or territory the business name was first registered in or the state or territory business name registration number).

The fee to register a national business name online will be $30 for 1 year or $70 for 3 years. An ABN will be required to register a business name.

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