Have you registered your business name?

November 13, 2018

Since 2012, if you operate your business under a different name than your own name or your company’s name, you must have a registered business name.

Previous to this date, trading names were able to be used. These are being phased out, with trading names no longer being valid from 2023.

A business name must be registered with ASIC and must be renewed every one year or every three years depending on the period of registration you have chosen.

It is an offence to operate a business under a different name without a registered business name. This can attract a penalty of up to $6,300.

There may also be difficulties involved in selling your business. In order for the sale to be GST-free as a going concern, you must transfer all things necessary for a purchaser to continue the business. A trading name cannot be transferred. You will have to register a business name before transferring it to the purchaser, which can delay settlement. If a business name is not transferred to the purchaser, the sale may attract GST.

If you purchased or started your business prior to 2012, it is a good idea to check whether you hold a registered business name using the Federal Government’s ABN Lookup website.

If you are selling or buying a business or require advice regarding any business legal issues including commercial agreements or business structuring, please contact our Commercial Law team on 03 9870 9870.

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