Have you transitioned your trading name to a registered business name?

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If you want to trade under a specific name, you need to register it as a business name with the Australian Securities and  Investments Commission (ASIC).

Before 28 May 2012, the Australian Business Register (ABR) collected names used by entities to carry out their business activities.  

The ABR display these names as trading names, but trading name records have not been updated since the national business names register commenced on 28 May 2012. Trading names that were collected prior to 28 May 2012 will continue to be displayed on ABN Lookup until 31 October 2023 but can no longer be updated.

Trading names were to be retired from 1 November 2018, but transitional arrangements were extended for a further five years to 31 October 2023. This gives affected businesses more time to inform their customers, suppliers and other stakeholders of any changes to the name that they use to conduct their business. This extended transitional period will also provide additional time for businesses to take steps to register their business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.


Points to note:

  • Trading names do not meet the requirements of a registered business name.
  • A business name does not give you exclusive trading rights or ownership over that name.
  • The obligation to register a business name is separate from protecting any intellectual property rights in a name or brand, 
  • such as registering a trademark.
  • Registering a business name will not stop someone who has registered the name as a trademark from using it. 
  • In fact, using a business name that is similar to someone else’s registered trademark could cause you legal problems.  You should always conduct a trademark search before deciding on a business name.
  • The difference between a trading name, business name and company name (source ASIC).

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