The recently updated rules and guidelines for determining the availability of business names reflect the changing nature of words and expressions used in registering business names since the commencement of the national register in 2012, and will ensure that small businesses can rely on the integrity of their business name registration and that new business name applications are appropriately vetted.

The rules for determining whether a business name is available for registration were updated on 20 July 2015.  The Business Names Registration (Availability of Names) Determination 2015 specifies new rules for determining whether a business name:

  • is identical to another business name;
  • is undesirable; or
  •  contains a restricted word or expression.

  The Guidelines for Ministerial consent to business names under the Business Names Registration Act 2011 were also updated on 20 July 2015.  Authorised ASIC officers will have regard to these guidelines in considering applications for consent.

See media release and ASIC update dated 20 July 2015.