A new national business names registration service commenced on
28 May 2012. The new service replaces the previous
State and Territory systems and is administered and managed by the
Australian Securities Investments Commission. The national system
is designed to reduce red tape, save time and cut costs for
Australian businesses, who can now register and renew their
business names at a single location for an annual fee of $30 or $70
for three years.
What does this mean for your business?
Assuming your existing business names were not due for renewal on
or before 28 May 2012 you are not required to do anything. Your
State and Territory business names were automatically transferred
to the national register on 28 May.
If your business name was due for renewal before 28 May and you
have not yet renewed the name, then you must first renew your
business name with the Department of Fair Trading and pay any
outstanding fees in the relevant State BEFORE your business name
will transfer to the national register.
Was your business name registered in multiple
jurisdictions before commencement of the new national
If so, all of your identical business names were transferred to,
and would now appear on, the national business names register.
You may choose to renew one business name and let the others
expire by not renewing them, or alternatively you can speed up this
process by cancelling the business names that you no longer
require. Cancelling the duplicate business names will not incur a
What happens if your business name was registered by
another business in a different jurisdiction before commencement of
the new national register?
In this situation identical business names will all transfer to
the national business names register. An additional identifier
(such as the word ´New South Wales´) will appear on the
register to assist in differentiating between identical business
names in different States. This additional identifier does not form
part of the business name, meaning you can continue to trade using
your existing business name.
Simply registering your business name does not give you a
proprietary interest in the name. To enjoy proprietary rights you
should ensure your business name is registered as a trade mark in
respect of the goods and services for which it is used.
Businesses should review their standard form contracts for unfair terms to ensure they do not fall foul of the new laws.
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