The national business name registration legislative package, which establishes the new business names service, has been enacted. Each of the state jurisdictions have referred power to the Commonwealth or adopted Commonwealth legislation.
The objectives of the new legislation are to:
ensure the public can identify the entity trading under a business name, and
remove the inconvenience of registering business names in more than one jurisdiction within Australia.
Key changes to business names law and policy include:
you only need to register a business name once to have national effect
new automated tests to determine if a name is available
you need an Australian Business Number (ABN) to register a new business name from 28 May 2012 (limited exceptions apply – see our Regulatory Guide 235)
you may not register a name if the proposed holder is ‘disqualified’
entities other than legal entities may register as the holder of a business name (for example, partnerships and trusts), and
an entity that is exempt from holding an ABN may register as the holder of a business name.