Government body names

What are they?

Commonwealth, state or territory government bodies can notify us of their name to ensure their name is protected from being registered as a 'business name' by the general public.

Types of government body names that can be notified to us include:

  • a state or territory government body name (for example, 'Fair Trading NSW')

  • a name that is specified by an Act of a state or territory (or instrument made under the Act) as the name of another entity (for example 'Victoria State Emergency Service')

  • a Commonwealth government body name (for example, 'Australian Bureau of Statistics')

  • a name that is specified by an Act of the Commonwealth (or instrument made under the Act) as the name of a body (for example 'Australian Competition and Consumer Commission').

Commonwealth, state and territory government bodies are not required to register their name or any name they trade under as a business name, but may still wish to do so under some circumstances.

We will not accept the registration of a business name that is identical or nearly identical to a name of a government body, unless the government body is the business name holder.

If an existing Commonwealth, state or territory body would like to register their name as a 'business name' – they must email us outlining the details of the request. 
 

How do they influence business names availability?

We maintain a list of government body names and use them when assessing names availability for business name applications.

These checks ensure that proposed business names:

  • do not include a government body name as part of the name

  • do not suggest a connection to a government body.

Proposed business names that fail these checks will not be registered.

If an existing business name is identified as having a government body name or suggests a connection to one – ASIC has the power to investigate further and if required, cancel the registration of that business name.

 

How to find out if a government body name is on our list

Email us with the subject line 'Enquiring if a government body name has been notified to ASIC' and include the following information:
  • the name of the government body you represent

  • your capacity within the government body

  • details of your request, including names you want to have checked.

We will then contact you to discuss your enquiry.
 

How to add a new government body name to our list

You must represent either a Commonwealth, state or territory government body to make a request.

Email us with the subject line 'Notification of a government body name under the Business Names Registration Act 2011' and include the following information:
  • the name of the government body you represent

  • your capacity within the government body

  • the name(s) you wish to notify us as being the name of a government body

  • reference to the relevant section of the Business Names Registration Act 2011 under which you are making the notification

  • details of the relevant Act or instrument that specifies the name as the name of a government body. If the Act or instrument is not available online, attach an electronic copy.

We will then contact you to discuss your request.
 

Protections

Once a name is listed with us as a government body name, it will remain on our protected list until we are notified otherwise or until the name falls outside the legislative provisions.

 

Further links

Description

Business name availability

Check to see if a business name is available to register by using our business name availability search.

Business Names Registration Act 2011

This Act details the legislative framework for business names in Australia.


 

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Last updated: 30/04/2014 12:00