Business names availability

The Business Names Registration (Availability of Names) Determination 2015 which prescribes the rules when business names are available for registration commenced on 20 July 2015.

The Determination sets out:

  • rules regarding the determination of whether proposed business names are identical or nearly identical to existing business names;
  • the kinds of names that are undesirable;
  • words or expressions that are restricted.

The list of expressions considered ‘nearly identical’ has been expanded and rules around common name terminologies have been
clarified and simplified.

The updated Determination includes additions to reduce the risk of business names being registered where the public may be misled into believing they are dealing with a company registered under the Corporations Act 2001 or a limited partnership when this is not the case.

The Determination does not operate retrospectively.

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