Company names-Chamber of commerce or industry
Before you can register some company names, you need to apply for ministerial consent. Your application should address the criteria for assessment outlined by Treasury.
To apply for ministerial consent, you must write a letter asking for consent to use the name. Your application should reference the 'Treasury Guidelines' outlined below and include any other evidence or claims in support of your submission.
The fee for applying for ministerial consent is $1,433.
Once complete, send your application and the fee to:
Australian Securities & Investments Commission
Ministerial Consent Applications
PO Box 4000
Gippsland Mail Centre, VIC 3841
We'll provide a written response to you as soon as a decision has been made.
Below is an excerpt from Treasury's Guidelines for Ministerial Consent to Body Corporate Names under the Corporations Act 2001. Your application for consent should reference the guidelines under the section 'Words governed by special purpose legislation'.
For a full copy of the guidelines, visit www.treasury.gov.au.
**Start Treasury Guideline**
Purpose of the guidelines
These guidelines set out the procedures to be followed and the criteria to be applied in considering applications for the Commonwealth Minister’s consent to body corporate names that are otherwise not available for reservation or registration under the Corporations Act 2001 (the Corporations Act). Bodies corporate in this context include companies, foreign companies and registrable Australian bodies. Consent is granted under subsection 147(2) or 601DC(2) for purposes of Parts 2B and 5B of the Corporations Act.
Responsible Commonwealth Ministers
The Commonwealth Ministers who have responsibility for the administration of the Corporations Act are the Commonwealth Treasurer, the Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer.
A name that would not otherwise be available is available if the Commonwealth Minister has consented to the name being available under subsections 147(2) and 601DC(2) of the Corporations Act. The Minister’s consent may be given subject to conditions (Corporations Act, subsections 147(3) and 601DC(3)). If a condition for the granting of ministerial consent has been breached, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission may direct the relevant body to change its name under section 158 or 601DJ.
Delegation of Minister’s powers and Direction to the Delegate
The Minister’s powers under subsections 147(2) and 601DC(2) have been delegated to certain senior officers of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Corporations Act, subsection 1345A(1A)). The Minister’s delegate is required to have regard to any written guidelines issued by the Minister that are in force (Corporations Act, subsection 1345A(2)). The Guidelines contained in this document are guidelines that have been issued by the Minister.
The overall policy consideration in considering applications
The overall policy consideration in considering applications under subsection 147(2) or 601DC(2) to the use of body corporate names is whether the proposed name would be likely to mislead persons dealing with the body about the nature of the body’s activities.
The following Guidelines outline the policy criteria that will normally be applied in considering applications for consent to proposed body corporate names including specific words or phrases.
However, each application is to be considered on its merits, having regard to the individual circumstances involved.
Review of decisions
Under subsection 1317B(1) of the Corporations Act, decisions made under subsection 147(2) and 601DC(2) of the Corporations Act are reviewable by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal under the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975.
WORDS SPECIFIED in part 3, schedule 6
GUIDELINES FOR THE USE OF THE WORDS ‘CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’ OR ‘CHAMBER OF MANUFACTURES’ IN BODY CORPORATE NAMES
Subregulations 2B.6.01(2) and 5B.3.01(2) respectively of the Corporations Regulations provide that, for paragraphs 147(1)(c) and 601DC(1)(c) of the Corporations Act, a name is unacceptable for registration if it is unacceptable under the rules set out in Part 2 of Schedule 6 of the Regulations.
Rule 6203(b) provides that a name is unacceptable for registration if the name contains a word or phrase specified in an item in Schedule 6 of the Regulations, an abbreviation of that word or phrase, or a word or phrase or an abbreviation having the same or a similar meaning. Items 6304 and 6305 in Part 3 of Schedule 6 respectively specify the words ‘Chamber of Commerce’ and ‘Chamber of Manufactures’
Criteria for the Assessment of Applications
Consent will normally be granted to the use of the words ‘Chamber of Commerce’ or ‘Chamber of Manufactures’ in body corporate names where the following criteria are satisfied:
the applicant is a ‘genuine’ Chamber of Commerce or Chamber of Manufactures in the sense that one of its primary objects is to promote trade and commerce in the region that it proposes to cover, (the proposed constitution of the applicant will be an important factor in applying this criterion); and
the applicant’s constitution or charter precludes the payment of a dividend or any other pecuniary benefit to the applicant’s members (i.e. the applicant has a non-profit objective).
An application will not be rejected simply because an existing body corporate has broadly similar objectives. The key issue is whether the proposed name would be misleading as to the nature of the business activities to be conducted by the applicant.
The proposed or actual membership of the applicant and the extent to which the membership is engaged, or has strong commercial interests, in trade and commerce are factors that will be taken into account in considering the ability of the applicant to carry out its object of promoting trade and commerce.
Where the applicant operates, or proposes to operate, as a regional or suburban Chamber, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission will consult with the most relevant State or Territory Chamber of Commerce or Chamber of Manufactures.
Where the applicant operates, or proposes to operate, as a State or Territorial Chamber or as an international or ‘bilateral’ Chamber, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission will consult with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).
The Minister’s delegate is not obliged to accept the advice given by the chamber of commerce.
In the case of an international/bilateral application, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission will also consult with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). DFAT will assess whether it would be undesirable for consent to be granted to the application. They will have regard to any adverse commercial, economic or legal impact upon Australia that would be likely to result if consent were to be granted.
In order to avoid any undue delays in processing applications, the organisation from which comments are sought is requested to provide any comments, which it may have within 14 days.
Any comments received within that time frame will be taken into account. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission will keep ACCI informed about the processing of all ‘Chamber of Commerce’ and ‘Chamber of Manufactures’ name applications.