Businesses can now register their business name nationally through one simple online process, administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe has stated that the new national business name registration service was a key regulatory reform under the Council of Australian Governments’ Seamless National Economy Agenda.

The new online national business name registration service has replaced state and territory services. NSW Fair Trading will no longer administer business names in NSW.

A business name is simply a name or title under which a person, or other legal entity, trades. It not only identifies you to your customers, but also allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors and enables your customers to make an emotional connection to your business and brand. For many businesses, the name is often the most valuable asset.

Business name renewals that were due before 28 May 2012 should be lodged with NSW Fair Trading to ensure the business name is transferred to the national register. Current state business name registrations have been automatically transferred to the new national register. Details of the new online renewal process will be included in renewal notices sent by ASIC.

To help new businesses, there will be a linked process for registering for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and a national business name, the two most common registrations when starting a business. Businesses will also be able to follow links to TM Check, the simplified Australian trade mark search, as well as domain name searches, which can help when people are choosing business names.

Enhancements to the national business names registration service will be delivered progressively between 28 May and November 2012.

Costs for registering for a business name is significantly cheaper under the new online system, costing $30 for one year or $70 for three years.

Business name registration allows consumers to find out who is behind a business name. Consumers will be able to search online free of charge for the entity behind any business name currently registered in Australia.

In addition to cutting red tape for companies, this database enables consumers to obtain live information of firms they may wish to conduct business with.

Here at The Quinn Group, our team of experienced lawyers, accountants and business advisors can help to assist organisations with all your business registration needs. For individually tailored information and advice for your new or existing business situation contact us on 1300 QUINNS (784 667) or submit an online enquiry.