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DC Article

The National Business Name Register

The new rules will apply to any business that sells goods or services to consumers in trade or commerce.

Has your business registered its business name? ASIC is making life easier by cutting the red tape…

Key Points

  • In NSW the Business Names Act 2002 (NSW) is being replaced by the Business Names Registration Act 2011 (Cth). Similar State and Territory laws to the NSW legislation are making way for the new nationalised system of business name registration.
  • The changes are an attempt by ASIC to improve efficiency and remove red tape surrounding business name registration and compliance.
  • The nationalised register shall commence from 28 May 2012 assuming the smooth legislative passage through State and Territory parliaments.


1. The new ASIC register shall allow businesses to register their business name with a single national register to obtain 'national registration status'.

2. Business names that are currently registered under the State and Territory systems shall automatically be transferred across to the new register.

3. If a business name is due for renewal under the State and Territory system before the new nationalised register commences it is recommended that these businesses re-register their business name as soon as possible. If they do not before the new register commences they may not be able to protect their rights.

4. Business entities must register their business name under the current law. Under the soon to be proclaimed legislation this requirement shall continue unless an exemption applies.
The exemptions include the following:

  • The entity is an individual and the business name is the individual's name;
  • The entity is a registered company and the business name is the company name; and
  • The entity is a partnership and the business name consists of all the partner's names.

5. Businesses shall be allowed to suppress certain details in specific circumstances, such as protecting an individual's safety.


It is vitally important for businesses to be aware of the changes that are taking place. If a business wants to ensure their rights are protected with regard to one of their most important assets, their business name, then they must comply with the new legislation. If you want to know more about the National Register, speak to one of our Legal Specialists today!

Alex Rybak | Solicitor

Download (PDF) For more information, contact us:
Level 7, 9 Hunter Street Sydney NSW 2000
T: 02 9222 8000 F: 02 9222 8008 DX: 707 SYDNEY

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