InFocus September 2018 - Volume 27 Issue 8

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Business Registration Service - start your business in just one place!

The Government has launched the Business Registration Service (BRS), with over 2,000 companies and nearly 11,000 business names registered using the new service to date. BRS has significantly reduced the time needed to apply for business and tax registrations, removing red tape and making it easier to start a business. For the first time, you can use BRS to apply for an Australian company online directly.

With BRS, you can apply for:

  • an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • an Australian company
  • a business name, and
  • Goods and services tax (GST). has also developed a new ‘Starting a business’ guide, that walks you through the process of starting a business in Australia.

The guide will help you to:

  • prepare and plan to start a business,
  • understand what is required and what is optional when starting a business, and
  • understand key business and tax registrations.

Industry Funding – metrics must be lodged before 27 September 2018

A reminder that many organisations regulated by ASIC can now submit their business activity metrics online using the new ASIC Regulatory Portal. Metrics must be lodged before Thursday 27 September 2018.

A letter was sent from ASIC to each impacted regulated organisation’s registered office address with instructions on how to submit your metrics. This includes your unique ‘security key’, which you’ll need to create an account. 

Small proprietary companies

ASIC’s regulatory costs for small proprietary companies will be collected through a $4 increase to their Annual Review Fee, which will take effect from 1 July 2018. This simple fee increase minimises the reporting burden on small proprietary companies.

Once you create an account and log in to the portal, you’ll be asked to either enter your metric data or confirm the pre-populated information. This could include:

  • number of authorised representatives
  • total deposits
  • credit provided, or
  • number of financial advisers.

Impacted organisations will then receive an invoice by January 2019.

If you are impacted, you don’t have your letter from ASIC, but you are still required to act.  Follow these instructions to submit your metrics. Alternatively, you can send us an online enquiry.

For more information on Industry Funding, visit our website. – Our company dataset is now updated weekly

If you use our company dataset on, you'll be happy to know we're now updating it more frequently, moving from monthly to weekly!

Some of the information available for free includes:

  • company name and Australian Company Number (ACN)
  • company type
  • status (e.g. 'registered'), and
  • date of registration.

This change has been made so users have access to up to date information from our register, making it even more useful.

For more information about and the datasets that are available, visit their website.

Reminder – To trade under a name, it must be a registered business name

If you want to trade under a specific name, it must generally be registered as a business name.

You don't need to register a business name if you trade under your own name ('John Smith') or your company name, but you'll generally need to register a business name if it's anything else ('John Smith Plumbing').

The ABN Lookup contains a list of all Australian Business Numbers (ABNs). When you register a business name with ASIC, it will be displayed as a ‘registered business name’ against the associated ABN on ABN Lookup.

It’s important to know that ‘trading names’ listed on the ABN Lookup don’t meet the requirements of a registered business name.

For more information on how to register a business name, visit our website.

Impacted by the current drought? We can help

If you’ve been affected by the current drought and are facing financial hardship, you may be able to make payment arrangements with us for your registry fees.

There are a number of alternate payment options available that can help. In some circumstances, we may also be able to waive fees.

To apply, you need to provide us with details of your current situation and evidence supporting your application. Once a decision has been reached, we’ll respond to you in writing.

For more information on how to apply for relief, visit our website.

Upcoming changes to ASIC search fees in 2019

The Government has announced that from 1 July 2019, it will reduce and remove fees for accessing certain information on ASIC’s registers.

Existing search fees of $40 will be cut to $19 to reduce the burden on individuals and businesses that need to access company roles and relationship extracts from the online registries.

For more information about the changes,  visit the Treasury website.

Australian Taxation Office – New phoenix hotline now available

‘Phoenix’ activity involves creating new companies to continue the business of a company that has been deliberately liquidated to avoid paying its debts.

Phoenixing is a serious issue for the Australian economy, costing up to $5 billion in employees’ wages, unpaid entitlements, and unpaid taxes.

If you suspect phoenix behaviour, you can report it directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by:

For more information about the new hotline, visit ATO’s website.

Last updated: 04/07/2019 12:21