Business Name Registration FAQs

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What is a registered business name?

A registered business name allows a business to trade as something other than its legal name.

When a business is registered it has a legal name under which it can trade. In each case the business type is allowed to trade Australia wide as their legal name without having to register a business name. For example:

  • When registering a company you get to choose the legal name when making the application, e.g. ‘Great Graphic Design Pty Ltd’
  • A sole trader will automatically have the legal name of the person who registers the ABN, for example John Smith.
  • A partnership’s legal name will consist of all the names of the people involved.

So the company ‘Great Graphic Design Pty Ltd’ can trade Australia wide as its own name, however if it wants to trade as ‘Great Logos’ or just ‘Great Graphic Design’ it would first have to register a business name.

How many business names can I register?

As many as you need! ASIC does not restrict the amount of business names a company can trade with.

How do I use my existing business name with my company?

If you have an existing registered business name and are changing from a sole trader or other type of business, then you have two options:

  1. Use the same name for the company’s legal name during registration.
  2. Register the company with a different name and then transfer the business name to the company. The transfer is done after the company is registered and has its own ABN. Once transferred the company can then trade as the business name.

If you want the company name to be identical to the existing registered business name then you need to:

  1. Answer Yes to the question on the first page of our application regarding identical business names and supply the business name registration details.
  2. Ensure that all the owners of the business name are listed as either directors or shareholders of the new company. If the business name’s current owner is a company then that company will have to be a shareholder in the new company.

To transfer a business name to your new company you will need its ASIC Key. If you have that then you can transfer the business name through ASIC.

How do I register a business name with eCompanies?

eCompanies provides a businesss name registration service for companies registered through our company registration service. If you have registered a company with us you register a business name for that company by:

  • Log in to the eCompanies client area.
  • Click on the ‘Business Names’ tab.
  • Select your company and click on the ‘Register Now’ button.

Please note that your company must also have its ABN registered before you can register a business name.