Transfer your business name

How to change business name ownership.

Transferring a business name is a two-step process involving the current and new business owners.

If you're the current business owner, you will need to transfer the business name if the new owner wishes to use it. Once the request to transfer is submitted, we will cancel your registration within 28 days. 

Find out what to do if you are the current business owner.

If you're the new business owner and wish to continue using the name, you'll need to register it using the transfer number.  

Find out what to do if you are the new business owner.

You'll also need to complete this process if you currently own a business and its ABN has changed, or you're changing your structure. For example, changing from a partnership to a company.

Find out what to do if your ABN or structure has changed.

Before you transfer your business name

Watch our simple overview of transferring your business name.

Video transcript - Transferring a business name

A few years ago, I owned a small café in my home town, but when I decided to move to the city, it made sense to sell it.

Part of selling a business involves transferring the business name from your name to the new owner’s name. You also have to do this if the ownership of your business changes, for example you take on a new partner, or if you pass your business on to someone, like a relative, for example.

Luckily it’s not that hard. You can do it all online on the ASIC website.

The first thing you need to do is to set up a free, ASIC Connect account if you don't already have one, and link it to your business name.

If you have an AUSkey, use it to log into ASIC Connect, you don’t have to worry about linking your business name if you use your AUSkey.

Then you complete an online application to transfer the business name. Be careful that you apply to transfer your business name and not to cancel it.

ASIC will then send a secure transfer number to the email address you gave them when you registered your business name. If you didn’t give them an email address, they’ll send it to your service of documents address.

The new owner will need the transfer number to register the business name in their name, so you should give it to them once the sale of the business has gone through.

If you have a solicitor or someone else managing the sale for you, make sure you let them know when you receive the secure transfer number. They'll need it from you to complete the sale of your business.

And that’s it. The new owner can start trading once they’ve registered the business name.

Oh, and if the sale of the business falls through, you can ask ASIC to stop the transfer. Check their website to find out more.

So, you can see that it’s a pretty simple process. But, if you get stuck, just check out the user guides on ASIC’s website. They’re very helpful. You should also check out ASIC’s other videos on YouTube.

What happens after the business name is transferred

When you transfer a business name you should be aware:

  • Renewal periods are not carried over to the new business name holder. For example, if there were two years remaining on the previous business name registration this isn't carried over to the new registration.
  • The previous holder can't request a refund of their renewal fees.
  • The transfer number is valid for 4 months and 28 days from the date of the transfer application. After this time, the business name will be available for others to register.
  • Two business names may appear on our register for 28 days. One will be registered to the previous business owner and one registered to the new business owner.

Who needs to transfer a business name

You need to transfer a business name if the person or organisation that owns the business changes.

Find out who needs to transfer a business name.

Stopping your business name transfer

You can stop the business name transfer if the sale of your business falls through or you no longer need to change ownership.

Find out how to stop your business name transfer.

Looking for more information on how we manage your business name?

Download our Regulatory Guide 235 or feel free to Ask us a question online.

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Last updated: 30/11/2023 03:48