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Frequently asked questions for business names

Browse through our frequently asked questions to answer any business name questions you may have.

If you are seeking more information you might also like to download our Regulatory Guide 235 or feel free to Ask us a question online.


Q. Can I have multiple business names held by the same entity with the one ABN?

A. Yes. Multiple business names can be registered to a single ABN.

Q. If you have a trademark, do you also need to register a business name?

A. Each business should assess whether this is needed depending on their circumstances. A business name registration is separate from a trademark and does not protect your trademark rights. For more information on trademarks and intellectual property visit the IP Australia website. Opens new window

Q. What is a trading name and is it different to a business name?

A. A trading name is the name that an entity or person trades under, or is known as, by its suppliers or customers.


Q. Will ASIC issue a business name certificate and do I need to display it?

A. There is no legal requirement for us to issue, or businesses to display, certificates of registration. However, in response to customer feedback we will issue a record of registration following registration and each renewal. You do not need to display the record of registration, although you may wish to. You are still required to display the business name.

Q. Where can I go for in-person help to get started?

A. Everything you need to know is available online via our website or through our information line, 1300 300 630 (within Australia) or + 61 3 5177 3988 (outside Australia). You can also pick up an information sheet and get some high level guidance if you visit an Australian Taxation Office service centre or a Business Enterprise Centre.

Q. What if I disagree with the outcome of my application to register a business name?

A. You can seek a review of an ASIC decision by lodging your request within 28 days of being notified of the decision. You should submit a copy of your application. If you are still not satisfied with our decision, you may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for further review.


Q. How can I make changes to my business name registration details?

A. Use ASIC Connect to update business name details. You must ensure your details in the business names register are kept up-to-date. For example, you may need to update your contact address or business name holder details.

Q. Why would I ask ASIC to suppress information from appearing on the public register?

A. You might ask us to do this if you believe there is a risk to the personal safety of an individual, their family or individuals in their place of business. We will consider each application on its merits.


Q. Can I have an extension of time to pay my fees?

A. No. You will have until the due date shown on the renewal notice to pay the registration renewal fee.

Q. Will ASIC waive fees in exceptional circumstances?

A. No, ASIC does not have the authority to waive fees for the registration or renewal of a business name.

Q. What are the differences between company annual reviews and business names renewals?

A. Companies and business names are governed by different legislation. Registering a company is different to registering a business name and both have different statutory fees for their ongoing registration.

Cancel / Transfer

Q. My business name is identical to another business name. Can I transfer it to a new holder?

A. Yes, if the identical business name was registered before 28 May 2012.

Q. Why do I have to cancel my business name to transfer it? Can't I just change the proprietor?

A. The law does not allow you to transfer or assign a business name to another holder. However, you can choose to cancel the business name and notify us of your consent to transfer the business name to another holder.

This can be done in the same transaction. When you submit a request to cancel the business name, select the ‘cancel and transfer’ option. We will then email you the transfer number.

You can then provide this number to the new proposed business name holder, where they can use it to apply to register for the business name. If the new registration does not occur within three months from cancellation, the transfer number will expire and the name will become available for the public to register.

Q. Am I eligible for a refund of my registration fee if my business name is transferred to a new holder before my renewal date?

A. No you will not receive a refund if you perform a cancel and transfer transaction before the registration expires.

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