Your business name is a valuable asset!
Whether you are planning to start your own business or take over an existing business, there are procedures to follow to ensure that your business complies with Government regulations and the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
What is a Business Name? Do I need to register my Business Name?
A business name simply means the name that you use in relation to your business.
Under the Business Names Registration Act 2011 (Cth) (“the Act”), you need to register your business name if you are carrying a business under that name unless:
- You are an individual and you are carrying the business under your personal name;
- You are a corporation and you are carrying the business under the corporation’s name; or
- You are a partnership and you are carrying the business under the names of all of the partners.
While you are required to register your business name, please note that the registration of the business name alone does not grant you any intellectual property rights over the business name. If you would like to own exclusive rights over the business name in relation to the goods or services you sell, you need to apply to register a trade mark with IP Australia.
Accordingly, having a registered business name might not necessarily give you the rights to carry on a business under that name. If your registered business name could cause confusion due to its similarity to any registered trademarks, you might still be in breach of trade mark law and/or the Australian Consumer Law for misleading and deceptive conduct.
Once you have registered your business name, your business name will be recorded in the National Business Names Register.
Transferring Your Business Name
If you sell your business, you can transfer your registered business name online via the ASIC website as follows:
- You need to have an account with “ASIC Connect” and obtain a password, which you can use for all future dealing of the business name.
- To transfer the business name, you need to first request to cancel the business name.
- By requesting to cancel the business name, ASIC will offer you the option to request to transfer the business name. If you choose this option, ASIC will send you a letter with a unique number.
- Simultaneously or after the settlement of your sale of business, you can provide the unique number to the purchaser. This will enable them to register the business name exclusively within a three month period.
Buying or Selling a Business? Sharrock Pitman Legal can help.
Our Accredited Specialist Commercial Law team has been helping business owners and investors manage their business portfolios for over fifty years. Our team has experience in assisting businesses across a wide range of industries including retail, hospitality, manufacturing, health and medical practices, construction and real estate.
The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only and should not be reliedupon as legal advice. Any legal matters should be discussed specifically withone of our lawyers.
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Ignatius Suwanto is a lawyer at Sharrock Pitman Legal. He is a member of our Property Law team. For further information, contact Ignatius on his direct line (03) 8561 3331.