What’s in a (business) name?

23 Apr 2015


  • Business Law
  • Intellectual Property

Here are a few points that people should remember in relation to business names, courtesy of ASIC:

  1. If you are no longer using a business name, you should consider cancelling it.  If you cancel your business name, it removes your contact details from the public business names register and can avoid other unexpected costs.  Of course, the business name does become available for others to use after six months.
  2. On the other hand, if you wish to retain your business name, remember to renew it, because ASIC has begun cancelling business names that have not been renewed.
  3. Transferring a business name:  while this is more complicated than it used to be when it was a state run system, the process, when followed, works very well, although it takes a bit of time.  ASIC produces user guides and even video tutorials to show you how to do it step-by-step.
  4. Don’t forget you cannot use “emojis”.  They do not form part of a business name, even if you use them in your own e-mail correspondence from time to time.
  5. Finally, as with a business name, if you have a company that you don’t use, it still attracts annual review fees until it is de-registered.  You can apply to voluntarily de-register your company if:
    • all the members of the company agree to de-register,
    • the company is not carrying on business;
    • has assets worth less than $1,000.00 with no outstanding liabilities,
    • is not party to any legal proceedings; and
    • has paid all its fees.


Contact our business law team for expert advice.