As of 1 October 2019, applications for registration as an Australian Company must be done online and the traditional ASIC form 201 is no longer available. One way to do this is using the Australian Government Business Registration Service (BRS) which attempts to provide a streamlined and improved user experience.
The advantage of online applications is that companies can be registered within two business days provided that all required documentation is complete, your company name is available and payment has been successful. ASIC will advise you if they require further supporting documentation following lodgement.
The BRS also allows you to apply for an ABN at the same time as registering a company. To do this, you will need:
- Name and contact details of the applicant and an authorised contact person for the application.
- Your business information, including what you do in business (or intend to do).
- Name and contact details of any associates (partners, directors and trustees) or related entities.
- Address and contact details of the company (e.g. email address). This includes other business addresses if the company operates out of more than one location.
- Registered office – occupier's consent. If the company does not occupy the registered office address then you will be asked to confirm that you have written consent from the lessor or owner to use the address as the registered office.
- Registered office – office hours. You will be asked what hours the registered office is open to the public (e.g. for a public company the registered office must be open at least 3 hours each business day between 9am and 5pm).
- The following details for each director, secretary, or member associated with the business:
- full name;
- date of birth;
- place of birth;
- residential address; and
- tax file number (if applying for an ABN).
- Shareholding of each member, if applicable.
For more details, please see the Australian Business Register's website page – What you need for your ABN application.
There are exceptions to having to register online for some company types, for example:
- company with unlimited liability;
- a public company that is ruled by a constitution, which also has the ACN as the company name;
- where a company address is not accepted by ASIC; and/or
- where there are other extenuating circumstances.
For a full list of the company exemptions please see ASIC's list published on their website page – Steps to register a company, under "online exceptions" at https://asic.gov.au/for-business/registering-a-company/steps-to-register-a-company/
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.