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Registrable Australian bodies

This information sheet sets out the steps involved in registering an Australian body. It covers:
If your registered body is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) some of your reporting obligations to ASIC will no longer apply. See here for details.

Bodies eligible for registration

If a registrable Australian body wishes to carry on business in one or more states or territories other than its home jurisdiction, it must be registered under Part 5B.2 of the Corporations Act 2001 (the Corporations Act).

A registrable Australian body is a body corporate which has been formed or incorporated in Australia. Registrable Australian bodies include bodies corporate that are not companies, recognised companies, exempt public authorities, corporations sole, foreign companies or financial institutions. Certain unincorporated bodies can also be registrable Australian bodies. An association which is registered under a state law not recognised in other states will generally be a registrable Australian body.

Whether a body is carrying on business interstate will depend on certain legal principles and on the circumstances of the case. Where a body is in any doubt as to whether it may be carrying on business interstate it should seek its own legal advice.

How to register as a registered Australian body

Step 1 - Ensure the name is available
This first step in the registration process is to ensure that the name is available for the corporation or body. use our
Check Name Availability search Opens new window on ASIC Connect.

Step 2 - Reserve a name (optional)
If the name is available, you may reserve the name, however, this is optional.
If you wish to reserve the name you need to complete Form 410 Application for reservation of a name and lodge it with the prescribed fee.

If the application is approved, the name will be reserved for two months. The application will only be rejected if the name:
The fact that ASIC approves the reservation of a name does not mean that the body corporate is exempt from action taken by another corporation with a similar name. It is entirely your responsibility to be aware of any problems that might arise from names already registered which are similar to, or likely to be confused with, the name you are seeking to register.

Note: Provided that the initial period of reservation has not expired, you may apply to extend the two-month period of reservation by lodging a second form 410 with the prescribed fee.

Step 3 - Complete the relevant application form
To register a registrable Australian body, complete Form 401 Application for registration of a registrable Australian body. If you decided not to reserve a name (Step 2), we will only register the body if the name is available.

The form asks for general details about the body. It also requires:
If the registered office will not be occupied by the body but by, for example, its accountant or solicitor, the form must show that their consent has been given to the body’s use of that address.

Step 4 - Assemble accompanying documents
Lodge the following documents with the Form 401 Application for registration of a registrable Australian body:

Step 5 - Lodge the form and associated documents with the prescribed fee
The application for registration of a registrable Australian body must be signed by a director or other person authorised to sign on behalf of the body.

Prescribed fees are listed in Information Sheet 30 Fees for commonly lodged documents

The completed application can be mailed to:
After the application has been processed ASIC will issue a Certificate of Registration.

Post-registration obligations

1. Displaying the registered name
A registrable Australian body must display its name in a conspicuous position and in legible characters outside every office and place of business that is open to the public. (s601CW of the Corporations Act).

In addition, unless it is a bank or other authorised deposit-taking institution , it must similarly display:
2. Australian Registered Body Number
Every registrable Australian body will receive upon registration a unique nine digit identifying number known as the Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN).

Under s601DE of the Corporations Act the name of the registered body followed by the expression ‘Australian Registered Body Number’ (or a permitted abbreviation - list shown below) and the number itself must appear on all its public documents and negotiable instruments published or signed in the jurisdiction.

In addition, unless the body is a bank or other authorised deposit-taking institution, every public document and negotiable instrument of the body must include :
Permitted abbreviations include :
3. Notice of changes
Registered Australian bodies are required by the Corporations Act to lodge written notice of certain changes with ASIC. Some of the more important notification obligations are set out below.

A registered Australian body must lodge written notice of a change in:
A registered Australian body must also lodge written notice (Form 407) within 7 days of its ceasing to carry on business, or within 1 month if it is wound up or dissolved or deregistered in its place of incorporation or origin.

Relevant forms of notice

Form Description

489 Notification of change of office hours or address of one or more registered bodies

490 Change to officeholders of a registered body

401 Application for registration of a registrable Australian body

407 Notification of cessation, winding up or dissolution of a foreign company or registered Australian body

409 Notification of change to details of a foreign company or a registered Australian body

410 Application for reservation of a name

Lodging fees
Lodging fees and or late fees are applicable on some of the forms mentioned above and are subject to change from time to time. Fees information can be found

Where can I get more Information

Please note that this information sheet is a summary giving you basic information about a particular topic. It does not cover the whole of the relevant law regarding that topic, and it is not a substitute for professional advice. Omission of any matter on this information sheet will not relieve a company or its officers from any penalty incurred by failing to comply with the statutory obligations of the Corporations Act.

You should also note that because this information sheet avoids legal language wherever possible, it might include some generalisations about the application of the law. Some provisions of the law referred to have exceptions or important qualifications. In most cases your particular circumstances must be taken into account when determining how the law applies to you.

This is Information Sheet 60 (INFO 60). Information sheets provide concise guidance on a specific process or compliance issue or an overview of detailed guidance.

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