Where do I find the ASIC Electronic Lodgement Protocol (ELP)?
Can Patricia Holdings register a business name for me on my behalf?
You do not need to have set this entity up with Patricia Holdings initially.
Once we receive your order form we will apply for your business name on your behalf. Assuming the name is available; in most cases we are able to confirm the registration of your name on the same day and often in as little as an hour.
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Can I use my existing business name as the name of my new company?
Yes, you can. Whoever owns the business name will need to be either a Director or a shareholder of the new company being incorporated. At the time of incorporation you will need to quote the ABN of the entity that holds the Business Name.
How do I renew my business name?
Renewing a business name can be done directly with ASIC via your ASIC Connect account. If you don’t have an ASIC Connect account you are able to create one at https://asic.gov.au/ by clicking on the blue “ASIC Connect” button.
You must have already received your business name renewal notice in order to renew the business name. Via ASIC Connect you are able to renew the name for either a one or three year period, pay for the renewal and request an invoice.
You can find more information about renewing a business name on the ASIC website
Can I re-register a cancelled business name?
Yes. If ASIC cancel a business name as a result of unpaid renewal fees, you are able to apply to ASIC directly to have the business name re-instated. For 6 months following the cancellation ASIC will not allow anyone else to register the business name.
What is a business name?
A business name is a name, other than its legal name, by which an entity can trade or be recognised.
Once registered, the business name appears on the public register so people can identify the individuals, companies, registered bodies or other organisations that hold the business name.
Do I have to register a business name?
If you choose to operate as a sole trader, partnership or a trust then you will need to register your business name with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) unless you trade under:
- your own individual name; or
- all of the individual names of the partners in a partnership
If you are not sure whether you need to register a business name, or need help to choose the right structure for your business, you may wish to obtain advice from a professional advisor such as a lawyer or accountant.
The obligation to register a business name is entirely separate to any steps that business owners may take to protect any intellectual property rights in a name or brand, such as registering a trademark.
Who can register a business name?
Any entity with an ABN.
This could be:
- an individual (for example, a sole trader)
- an incorporated entity, including an Australian registered company (has an ACN), an Australian registered body (has an ARBN) or other incorporated entity (no ACN or ARBN)
- an unincorporated entity, including a trust, superannuation fund or unincorporated body or association
- a partnership or joint venture partnership, or
- a joint venture.
How long can I register a business name for?
Can I transfer a business name?
Yes, you can transfer a business name from one ABN to another.
You can transfer a business name by logging into or creating an ASIC Connect account by going to ASIC Connect. You will need to start a "cancel/transfer" process which will provide you with a transfer number. This number is then used to register the business name to the new ABN in the same manner as registering a new business name.
Patricia Holdings can transfer the business name for the same cost as registering a business name.
Does a business name give me the exclusive right to use that name?
While having a registered business name will prevent others from registering the same or very similar business name or company name with ASIC, it does not give you ownership of the name or the exclusive right to use the name. Registering a business name:
- does not stop another person from registering a similar name
- will not prevent the name being registered as a trademark
- will not prevent the name being used by someone that has already registered it as a trademark; and
- does not protect you from legal action if the name of your business infringes the intellectual property rights of another (for example, a name which is a registered trademark).
What should I do before applying for a business name?
Check to see if the name is identical or similar to a registered trademark, by using the free IP Australia Trade Mark Check (TM Check).
If you would like to register a domain name in addition to your business name, check to make sure that the domain name you want is available.
Check any state or territory licences you may require to use a name or conduct a particular type of business in your state or territory. For more information go to Business Licence Information Service.
Do I need an ABN before applying for a business name?
Yes. The individual or entity you are seeking to register a business name for must first have an ABN or an ABN application reference number before they can apply for a business name. While the business name will be reserved on the ASIC register, the business name will not be considered "registered" until your ABN application is approved and an ABN granted.
How can I update the details of my business name?
You will need to go to the ASIC Connect website and register yourself as a user and then link your business name to your login using the "Link a Business Name" function on the right hand side of the web page once you have logged in.
Once you have linked your business name to your login just follow the prompts to make any required changes.
Can ASIC send my ASIC key to another party, such as a registered agent?
Yes. You can ask ASIC to send your ASIC Key to your registered agent. You generally need to give your written authority for ASIC to provide your ASIC key to a third party (exceptions are made for large agents).
How can I check whether the business name I want to register is available?
You will be able to check the availability of a new business name by searching the asic name availability register for existing names before progressing with an application for registration of a new business name.
Before registering a business name, you should conduct a trade mark search.
How will ASIC determine if a business name can be registered?
ASIC provides a search function that allows the user to determine whether a business name is available for registration.
You are able to search your proposed names availability here
You will also find information about reviewing an ASIC decision on the link above.
Can I appeal the decision if my proposed business name is rejected?
Yes, 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 their decision, you may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for further review.
Will ASIC issue a business name certificate and do I need to display it?
ASIC will issue a record of registration following business name registration and each renewal. You do not need to display the record of registration by law, although you may wish to. You are still required to display the business name.
Am I able to set up a company with the same name as a registered business name?
Yes, this is possible. The only ASIC regulation is that the holder of the business name be a part of the company at the time of incorporation. If the business name holder is:
- a sole trader, then this individual must be an Officer or Member of the company at the time of incorporation.
- a company, then the company must be a Member of the new registration.
- a trust, then the trustee of the trust must be a member of the company holding the shares non-beneficially for the trust. The trust deed will also need to be sighted by ASIC proving the trustee of the trust is who is listed; this can be emailed to Patricia Holdings who will forward on to ASIC with the 201.
- a partnership, then all members of the partnership must be Officers or Members of the company
- an incorporated association or any other organisation holding an ABN, then the association or organisation will need to be a Member of the company
The entity holding the business name does not need to be involved with the company beyond the point of incorporation and can be ceased as an Officer or Member of the company as early as the next day.
Is it best to register a business name before or after registering a company?
Business names are registered to an ABN however an ABN for a company can only be applied for once an ACN has been issued by ASIC, so this really depends on if you’re already trading or not. If you’re not already trading then we suggest waiting until you have registered your company. Outside of needing an ACN to have an ABN, there are three main reasons for this:
- It can be difficult to register a company (depending on who the business name holder is) with the same name as your business name.
- Transferring a business name from one entity to another comes with the same fees as registering a business name – this means you may end up paying double the registration fees.
- If you are registering a business name that is exactly the same as an existing company’s name, then only that company can register the business name (as it is already considered “taken” to ASIC) – this can save on registration fees as you may not need to register the business name.
If you are already trading, chances are you already have a business name registered. You can either use this name to register your new company (see article Can I set up a company with the same name as a registered business name?) or you can transfer the business name to the company’s ABN once obtained
Can I register a company using an existing business name?
You can register a Company using an existing business name provided the owner of the business name is involved in the proposed Company as either an officer or member. Simply select ‘Yes’ to the question on our order form that asks whether the proposed Company name is identical to an existing business name and provide us with the ABN of the entity that owns the name.
The exact requirements will depend on the type of entity that owns the business name – the most common are below:
If the business name is registered to the ABN of a sole trader, that individual will simply need to be an officer or member of the proposed Company.
The business name owning company must be a member of the proposed Company (regardless of whether the directors of each company will be the same).
If the business name is registered to the ABN of a trust, we will require a copy of the trust deed as ASIC will need to view it in order to prove who the trustee of the trust is, and confirm that the trustee is involved in the proposed Company.
If the business name is owned by a partnership, each member of the partnership must be involved in the proposed Company.
Should I cancel my business name if I want to register a company using that name?
If a business name is cancelled by the holder, it will be unavailable to the public for a period of four months starting from the date of cancellation. Cancelling the business name is therefore not recommended if you are wanting to register a company using the name in a timely manner.