What documents are included in the Cleardocs package?
The Cleardocs Business Name Registration package includes:
- Record of Registration of Business Name emailed to you direct from ASIC; and
- Starting a New Business workflow — a useful tool for ensuring you meet the relevant regulatory requirements and registrations.
What is involved in the Cleardocs Business Name Registration process?
After you complete the question interface and pay the Cleardocs fee, we will apply to ASIC to register the business name for you. Then, if the application is
- you can instantly download our helpful Starting a New Business workflow from your Cleardocs account;
- ASIC will email you an invoice for payment of the ASIC fee and confirmation of registration of the business name pending payment;
- after you pay the ASIC fee, ASIC will email you its Record of Registration of Business Name and your ASIC key — you can print the record if you want to; and
- you can search, for free, the name on ASIC's website www.asic.gov.au and see that it is
Do I need an ABN to register a business name?
We have prepared a business name registration checklist outlining the information you will require to complete your order.
Before you register your business name, you need an ABN. You can apply for your ABN at www.abr.gov.au.
Our ABN and TFN checklist provides a useful guide to the information you will require.
What is a business name?
A business name is a name or title under which a person or entity carries on business. It identifies the business to customers and
differentiates a business from its competitors. Generally, you must register a business name if you carry on business in Australia and you
are not trading under your entity name.
Do I need to register a business name?
Generally, you must register a business name if you carry on business in Australia and you are not trading under your entity name.
There are some exemptions from registering a business name. You do not need to register a business name if:
- the person carrying on business is an individual and the business name is the individual's first name and surname;
- the entity carrying on business is a registered company and the business name is the company's name; or
- the business is a partnership and the business name is all of the partners' names.
How long does ASIC take to register the business name?
Normally, ASIC will issue the notice of reservation of your business name within minutes. Registration will take place pending payment
of the ASIC fee. After payment of the ASIC fee, ASIC will issue the Record of Registration within 24 hours.
How long is the business name registered for?
You can choose to reserve the business name for 1 year or 3 years. Different ASIC fees apply.
How do I renew a business name?
If you want to continue to carry on business under a business name, you must renew registration of the name before it expires. ASIC will
send the business a renewal notice at least 28 days before the business name is due to expire and tell you how to pay the renewal.
Choosing a business name
You can register any business name you wish — as long as it is allowed and available in Australia.
A business name will not be allowed or available if it:
- contains any foreign language character, graphical character or the symbols ~'^+;
- is identical, or nearly identical, to a name that is already taken (that is, already registered for a business or company);
- includes a restricted word (for example, 'charity' and 'trustee') — if you want to use a restricted word, you will need to obtain
- is undesirable; or
- is otherwise unavailable.
As part of registering the company and its name through Cleardocs, you can check the
ASIC site to see if the name you want is taken.
What happens if the business name registration is rejected?
If the name you want to register a business name that is unavailable or ASIC has an issue with your application, then:
- ASIC will reject the application;
- after payment of the Cleardocs fee, you will immediately see notice of the rejection on your "MyDocuments" page (you can find details of
the rejection under the heading "What's next?"); and
- you will need to change your business name and resubmit the application to ASIC.
The lodging again is easy and free. You can always call us on 1300 307 343 to check things are ok.
Business name registration v trade mark application: what is the difference?
When you register your business name, it does not give you exclusive rights over use of the name. The registration does not mean that you
'own' the name, and does not prevent other people from registering and using similar names.
In order to get exclusive use of your name in Australia now and in the future, you will have to register a trade mark. You can
register a trade mark through Cleardocs.
National business names registration service replaces state and territory services
On 28 May 2012, the regulation and administration of business names in Australia shifted from state and territory services to a national
system regulated by ASIC. A new business now only needs to register its name with the single national register maintained by ASIC. If you
have a current business name that was registered under a previous state or territory service (for example, with Consumer Affairs in
Victoria), you do not need to do anything — ASIC automatically transferred the business name to its national register.
Seek legal advice
The Business Name Registration information here should be considered general in nature, and in no way interpreted as legal advice. You must
always seek your own independent legal, accounting and financial advice about your particular situation. The summary on this page is for
information purposes only.