Business name registration

We have partnered with Patricia Holdings to allow you to register your business name easily and quickly.

You don’t need to have ordered a company or a trust from Patricia Holdings.

You can choose to register your business name in Australia for 1 year or for 3 years.


How the service works

Patricia Holdings will lodge your application electronically with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) as soon as you have completed it on their website.

They send you a copy of the lodged application.

ASIC processes the application. Once complete, it sends a Business Name Registration Certificate to the address for service that you provided on the application form.

If the name is available, usually you should receive confirmation of the registration of your name on the same day. Often it takes as little as an hour.

If the name requires manual review, the process will take longer. ASIC may flag a name if:

  • it includes unknown words
  • it contains a restricted word or expression
  • it contains a potentially undesirable word or expression

What is a business name?

A business name is a trading name - one that is not the legal name of the person or the company, but which is used instead in the course of business.

Business names are recorded on a public register with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), which allows anyone to identify who holds the business name.

Do I have to register a business name?

If you run your business as a sole trader, a partnership or a trust (in other words, not as a company) then unless you trade in your own individual name (or in the names of all partners) then you need to register your business name with ASIC.

Most business names are registered by companies, individuals and partnerships, but your business might also be a joint venture partnership, a trust or a superannuation fund, or an association.

Sometimes it is easy to determine whether you need to register your business name. For example, if you operate a business as a sole trader under the name “NSW Roofing Contractors” you would have to register that name.

It can be more difficult if you want to use a variant of your name. A professional advisor such as a lawyer or accountant should be able to help you.

You should note that the requirement to register a business name does not in any way protect the intellectual property (IP) rights in a name or brand. You may still need to trademark your name as well.

How long does a name business name remain registered?

You can register a business name for either 1 year or 3 years.

Registering a business name

In order to register a business name, your business needs to have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or an application reference number. So you need to have applied for one beforehand.

During the registration process, ASIC does not check that your name does not infringe any IP rights.

You need to be careful when you select a name that the name is not trademarked by anyone else, otherwise that other person or company may be able to take legal action against you.

You can check for identical or similar names already in use and which might be registered as a trademark through the free IP Australia Trade Mark Check (TM Check).

You can also check whether the domain name is available. This indicates whether anyone else might be trading under that name already, and allows you to then secure the domain name for yourself.

You should certainly search the ASIC register for existing names before starting an application for registration of a new business name.

Additionally, you may wish to confirm whether you require any state or territory licences to use a name or to conduct a particular type of business.

After registration, ASIC issues a record of registration. There is no legal requirement to display this record, although you may wish to do so. You do need to display the business name.

Transferring your business name

You can transfer your business name to another ABN. For example, you might sell your business, including the rights to use the name, or you may incorporate, transferring the name to your new company.

Patricia Holdings can arrange this for you.

Re-registering a cancelled business name

If you fail to pay your renewal fees, ASIC will cancel your registration. Within six months, you may apply directly to ASIC to have the name reinstated.

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