The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has released regulatory guidance to help businesses prepare for its new national register of business names.
The new business names register will commence on May 28, subject to legislation passing through state parliaments.
It will allow businesses to register their name nationally through an online service.
Businesses with activities interstate will only need to register their name once rather than register separately in each state and territory they operate in.
Existing business names currently registered in a state or territory will be automatically transferred to the new register.
According to ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft, the new business names service will reduce red tape and business costs.
“Under this system, businesses will also have the option of registering their business name at a cost of $30 for one year or $70 for three years,” Medcraft said in a statement.
“Currently, a business operating and registering their business name in every state and territory faces a cost of more than $1,000 for three years registration.”
Once the new service is launched, businesses will be able to check the availability of a business name in order to register, maintain and renew that business name with ASIC.
The general public will also be able to search the register for a business name to identify the entity that has registered it and how to contact them.
The regulatory guidance aims to help new businesses prepare for the change, providing details on when and how to register a business name, and maintaining that name once it’s registered.
Guidance is also given to businesses with existing business names, providing information about how the automatic transfer to the new register will occur, and accessing the new register.
Businesses will also receive guidance on how to check details are up to date, and how ASIC will contact businesses to renew their registration before their business name expires.
Medcraft said the new national register is “consistent with ASIC’s efficient registration and licensing priority”, providing benefits for businesses and consumers.
“Consumers will be able to search online free of charge for contact and ownership of any business name currently registered in Australia, resulting in greater transparency,” Medcraft said.