InFocus November 2016 - Volume 25 Issue 10

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Answers to your common business name questions

Over the past few months, we've enjoyed chatting with small business owners at a number of business focused events.

In this issue of InFocus, we answer a number of questions we often get asked.

If you know someone who's planning to start a business, this would be a great edition to share.

How many business names can I register?

We are often asked if there is a restriction on the number of business names you can register.

The simple answer is no. You can register as many business names as you need. There is no limit as long as you're trading under the name or setting up a business.

Find out more about registering a business name.

How do I check if a business name is available?

If there's a specific business name you'd like to use, you can check online by using our check business name availability search.  

If the result is green the name is available, while red means it's already taken.

An orange result means an ASIC staff member must decide if the name can be used. You can submit an application for the business name and we will assess whether the proposed name meets legislative requirements. If it does, the business name can be registered as long as you have a current ABN and have paid the registration fee.

Help! The business name I want to register is already taken.

We know the situation: you've come up with your perfect business name, only to find it's been registered by someone else.

If this is this case, you'll need to come up with a different business name.

See our rules on business name availability for more information.

How long will it take to complete my business name registration?

If the name is available, it normally takes about 15 minutes to complete your business name registration online. If you have a current ABN and pay by credit card you will get a record of registration within minutes.

It's a good idea to understand what's involved before you start, so you can avoid making mistakes you'll need to fix later.

Our step-by-step user guide will help you complete your registration.

Can I change my business name after it's registered?

Unfortunately you can't change a business name once it is registered.

It doesn't matter how big or small the change is, you will need to register a new business name and cancel the old one.

Find out how to register a new business name.

No longer need your business name?

If you're no longer using your business name, you can cancel it online through ASIC Connect. Otherwise we will cancel it if you don't renew your business name.

However, it's a good idea to cancel the name yourself as this will let someone searching your business name know you are no longer using it. It will also mean the business name can be used by others.

Find out more about cancelling your business name.

Last updated: 09/11/2016 10:17