Government extends deadline to register business names

By Craig Whatman - October 24, 2018

Further to our recent bulletin regarding new registration requirements for trading names, the Government has, at the last minute, extended the deadline to register business and trading names with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (“ASIC”). The deadline has been extended for a further 5 years to 31 October 2023.

This means unregistered trading names will continue to be displayed on the Australian Business Register (“ABR”) from 1 November 2018 until 31 October 2023.

This extension is chiefly due to an underwhelming response from the public in the lead up to the original deadline of 31 October 2018.  The Government has acknowledged that, as a large number of trading names are yet to be registered with ASIC, removing all unregistered trading names from the ABR from 1 November 2018 could negatively impact businesses. This is because the ABR is a key tool used by the public to verify the identity of businesses.

The extended transitional period has been regulated in the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Amendment (Display of Trading Names) Regulations 2018.

From 1 November 2023, the ABR will display an entity’s legal name and will only display business or trading names that are registered with ASIC. Any unregistered business or trading names will no longer appear on the ABR.

Our recommendation

Many of you have already commenced the process of registering your trading names with ASIC.  If you have not yet taken any action, we recommend that you still proceed with any necessary registrations now. The more names that are registered with ASIC, the greater the likelihood that the trading name you may wish to register as a business name could soon become unavailable. Therefore, we recommend registering your trading name as a business name with ASIC as soon as practicable despite the extension of the registration deadline.

For more information regarding the registration requirements and processes for trading names, please refer to our initial bulletin, New Registration Requirement for Trading Names.

Our specialist Corporate Affairs and Transaction Taxes teams are ready to assist you with any questions and can help you through the transition process.  Please contact your Pitcher Partners representative for further information.


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