If you’re a business owner, it’s important to take note that from November 2018, all trading names, including the trading name listed against your Australian Business Number (ABN), will be removed from ABN Lookup. However, registered business names will remain listed.

Your company name or trustee company name may still be adequate for business name protection, however, these names won’t be visible to someone checking the ABN Lookup. If you predict some confusion for your business, it’s best to register your business name with ASIC immediately.

What does this mean?

To continue trading under a specific name, it must be registered on the ASIC website, as well as confirming beforehand that the preferred name has not already been taken.
 
You can utilise ASIC’s 'Check name availability' search function to confirm whether your business name is available. If the process becomes too cumbersome, please contact your WCH accountant who will help you fulfil all the requirements as efficiently as possible

Also, don’t despair if your business name has already been assigned, as a slight tweak in wording can ensure a registration is still completed successfully.

The ASIC fees for registering your business name are:

  • $35 for one year
  • $82 for three years. 

What happens after registration?

After a business name has been registered successfully, ASIC will email you a copy of your record of registration and your business name will appear on ABN Lookup that same day.
 
From that point forward, you must display your registered business name:

  • wherever you're open to the public, including your storefront;
  • on business correspondence/stationery (with your ABN number), including invoices and/or purchase orders.

Please ring your West Carr & Harvey accountant if you wish to discuss these changes in further detail or require assistance with the process.

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.

Reference

[1] ASIC 2018, ‘Registering a business name’ accessed on 29 May 2018,
 https://asic.gov.au/for-business/registering-a-business-name