In preparation for the commencement of the National Business Names Register on 28 May, it is expected that State Business Name registries will start scaling down acceptance of applications for new business names from 21 May in readiness for closure on 25 May.
Invoices from State Business Name registries for renewal of business names that expire before 28 May should be paid to the State offices.
You can view a webcast of an ASIC seminar on the new register (about 1 hour) here.
ASIC’s FAQ page has helpful information.
UPDATE 20 May 2012: The Business Names Registration (Availability of Names) Determination 2012 was registered on 18 May 2012. It sets out the rules regarding the determination of whether business names are identical or nearly identical, undesirable names and words or expressions that are restricted.