The demise of trading names
What is happening?
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) is working with the Australian Business Register to retire the use of trading names in Australia.
After 31 October 2018, the ABN Lookup will cease displaying trading names and only registered business names will be listed.
What are trading names?
The national business names register was established in 2012 to replace the old state and territories system.
Prior to 2012, the Australian Business Register collected the names used by entities to carry on their business activities as ‘trading names’. These ‘trading names’ included:
- business names registered under the old state and territories system, and
- any unregistered names used for business purposes by an entity. During a transitional period, trading names registered under the old state and territories system, have continued to be displayed in the trading name field of the ABN Lookup. This will cease as of 31 October 2018 and the ABN Lookup will only display business names registered under the new national system.
The retirement of trading names is the final step in the lengthy process that began in 2012 to move to the national business name registration service.
What does this mean for me?
From November 2018, the process for searching and determining the name used for an entity’s business activities will be more streamlined and accurate.
Entities operating a business or trading under a specific name in Australia should ensure they have that business name registered with ASIC, unless one of the limited exceptions apply.
Businesses should also secure trade mark protection. This is because business name registration does not provide any exclusive rights in the name, only trade mark registration provides that protection.
If you require assistance with trading names, business names, trade marks or general advice in matters relating to intellectual property, please contact a member of our team.
This publication covers legal and technical issues in a general way. It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases. It is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication.