As announced in our earlier newsletter, a new National Business Names Registration System will replace the current State and Territory Registers. The new national system, which will be administrated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ("ASIC"), will come into operation on Monday 28 May 2012.

To recap, some of the features of the new system include the following:

  • new business names will now be registered on a national level similar to company names;
  • existing State or Territory business name registrations will automatically become registered at the national level;
  • from 28 May 2012 existing business name proprietors will be invited to sign up to the on-line service "ASIC Connect" to update online their business name contact details;
  • business names will be registered, renewed and important notices relating to business names will be sent, electronically through ASIC Connect;
  • proprietors of existing business name registrations for the same name in different State and Territory will only be required to pay a single renewal fee. The renewal will fall due on the last date of expiration listed on any one of those existing business name registrations.

It is important to remember that the registration of a business name does not, by itself, confer proprietary rights in that name. It is important to check that the use of your new business name does not infringe a third party's registered trade mark rights. You may also wish to consider obtaining protection for the trade marks associated with your new business by securing trade mark registrations.