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Business Name Registration to go National

Business Law: 23 March 2019

A new National Business Names Registrations System is expected to commence on 28 May 2012.

Under this new system, ASIC will administer the registration of business names, which is currently a function of the Departments of Justice in the States and Territories.

If your business operates in more than one State or Territory, you will have the advantage of having to register your business name only once.

Even if your business name is only used in one State, it will still be registered on the national ASIC register. You will be able to search for availability of business names through ASIC, which currently provides the facility for searching for both business and company names.

If you already own a business name it will be migrated from your State register to ASIC's register without you having to do anything. If you have a business name registered in multiple States or Territories, ASIC will contact you in order to reach agreement as to which will be your principle place of business for the purpose of sending communications.

You should ensure, however, that your State registration is current, since, while identical business names from different States or Territories will be migrated to the new register (probably with a State or Territory marker, eg, (Vic), after them), new registrations, or registrations of lapsed business names, will only be permitted if they do not conflict with existing business names.

Your renewal date for registration will remain the same, unless you decide to align your dates of registration for multiple States or Territories or for your business and company name.

Since your business name is an integral feature of your trading identity, we recommend that, so far as is possible, you also obtain the protection available from registering it as a trade mark.

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