In 2012 the Australian Business Register stopped collecting or updating trading names. This change was to be followed by all trading names being retired from 1 November 2018, having given businesses sufficient time to inform their customers and suppliers of any required changes to their name.

The removal of all trading names from ABN Lookup from 1 November 2018 has been postponed for a further 5 years. The impact of this extension to the transitional arrangements will mean businesses that have unregistered trading names, now have until 31 October 2023 to decide whether to register a business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. From this time, businesses that trade under a different name to their company name, must register a business name and have an ABN.

In light of this change, it important to note that registering a business name does not give businesses an exclusive proprietary right to a name. In order to secure exclusive rights to a brand name in the marketplace, with the ability to stop others using the same or similar name, all businesses should consider applying for trade mark protection.This is a consideration we strongly recommend as it can be a business’ most valuable commercial asset that continues to add value as your business grows.