As foreshadowed in our November newsletter, the Federal Government has passed the Business Names Registration Act 2011 (Cth) to establish a National Business Names Register.
As of 28 May 2012, the States and Territories will no longer operate individual registries for business names. Instead, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (“ASIC”) will manage a national register of business names.
The objectives of the National Business Names Register are to:
- ensure the public can identify the entity trading under a business name; and
- remove the current inconvenience of registering business names in more than one jurisdiction within Australia.
Some of the advantages of the new National Business Names Register include:
- you will only need to register a business name once for the registration to have national effect;
- new automated tests will be introduced to determine if a name is available nationally;
- you will need an Australian Business Number (ABN) to register a new business name from 28 May 2012 unless you are an exempt entity;
- you will not be able to register a name if the proposed holder is ‘disqualified’; and
- non-legal entities such as partnerships and trusts will be able to own a business name.
As of 28 May 2012, existing registered business names will automatically be transferred to the National Business Names Register operated by ASIC. These registrations will continue in force until they would have expired in the State of Territory where they were originally registered.
If you would like more information on business names or the National Business Names Register please contact Partner Claire Carton.