Start-ups are to be hit by an increase in the cost of registering a business name, with the corporate regulator hiking fees to $32 for one year and $74 for three years.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission will raise the fees from the current rates of $30 and $70, respectively.
The measure is aimed at recouping $7.8 million pledged by the government in the budget to support the introduction of the National Business Names online registration system.
The cash will be given to ASIC to improve its information and support services for new enterprises, which use the online system to register a business name.
ASIC will use $1.6 million of this funding to upgrade its call centre infrastructure, to help field enquiries from start-ups.
Last year, the government moved to consolidate Australia’s business naming regime, merging various state systems into a single national register.
While the cost of naming a business is going up, the government has promised reduced compliance costs for new start-ups by beefing up checks around the Australian Business Numbers regime.
More than $80 million will be given to the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Finance and Deregulation to standardise the business name and reporting process that new enterprises have to go through.
There will be more up-front checks for start-ups issued ABNs, with entrepreneurs encouraged to use AUSkey, which allows secure access to the online services of the Australian Business Register.
The government says the move will “reduce regulatory costs and minimise the compliance burden” for new companies and sole traders by ensuring rules are adhered to from the start.
There is a sting in the tail for start-ups, however – the government estimates it will generate $106.4 million in revenue over the next four years from new firms that don’t comply with the rules.
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