Business name availability

You can check to see if a business name may be available to register by using our 'Check business name availability' search.

Select the 'Search now' button below to visit ASIC Connect. You need to select 'Check business name availability' in the 'Search within' drop down box and enter your proposed name to see if it's available.

For information on how to register a business name, visit 'Steps to register your business name'.

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Business name availability results

When you apply to register your business name or use our 'Check business name availability' search, you'll get one of three results:

  • Green - means the name is available.
  • Amber - means that we need to assess the name after you apply.
  • Red - means the name is not available.

The name I want is not available, What should I do?

If the name you want isn't available, we recommend altering your choice so that it differs from any existing names. For example, instead of "Bunch of Apples", try "Sam's Bunch of Apples".

Business name availability tests

Generally, a business name is available to register if it's not undesirable, it doesn't have any restricted words or expressions and it's not identical or nearly identical to a name that is already registered to someone else.

We use a number of tests to assess if a proposed business name is available to register. 

To learn more, visit business name availability tests.

Undesirable business names

A potential business name may be undesirable for registration if it's offensive or if it suggests a connection with Australian or foreign governments and government bodies, Royalty, charitable or ex-service personnel organisations, Sir Donald Bradman, Mary MacKillop or the United Nations.

A name that is undesirable is not available to be registered unless the Applicant has received written consent from the Minister or the Minister's delegate.

Learn more about undesirable business names.

Restricted words and expressions in business names

Certain words and expressions are restricted and can only be used in business names with permission or authorisation. These include words that may mislead consumers about the nature of a business. 

For example, "Incorporated", "Charity", "Bank" and "University" are restricted words.

A name that includes a restricted word or expression is not available to be registered unless it is required by a law, or the Applicant has received written consent from the Minister, the Minister's delegate or the relevant public authority.

Learn more about restricted words and expressions in business names.

Other laws affecting business names

The Business Names Registration Act 2011 outlines the rules for registration of a business name.

However, other laws may also prohibit the use of certain words and expressions such as industry or professional titles. 

Learn more about other laws impacting business names.

Registered trademarks

If you want exclusive rights to your business name, you should consider protecting it with a registered trademark. A registered trademark is a type of intellectual property (IP) right that protects a business's unique brand, products or services. This will help you:

  • protect your name and stop others from trading with it
  • get exclusive use of that trademark throughout Australia
  • have protection in all Australian states and territories for an initial period of 10 years, with unlimited renewals provided eligibility requirements are met.

Visit the IP Australia website to:

  • learn more about trademarks
  • use their free TM Checker tool to complete an initial check on the availability of your trademark.

Request a review of an ASIC decision

If we refuse your application because your proposed business name is not available to register and you aren't sure why, you should first check the business name availability tests.

If you disagree with our decision, you may be eligible to request a review of the decision. 

Government body names

If you're a government agency, learn more about protecting your organisation's name.

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Last updated: 30/04/2014 12:00