According to the Australian Business Register, trading names will no longer be listed on the ABN Lookup as of November 2018. The only names listed will be those registered with the ASIC. What does this mean for Australian businesses? In order to trade under your registered trade name, you’ll need to register your trading name as your business name. We’ll explain how to do this, provide information on what will happen if you don’t register your trading name as your business name, and explain what you can do if your trading name isn’t available as a business name.

How to Register your Trading Name as a Business Name

  1. Search for your ABN on ABN Lookup.
  2. Check the trading names linked to the ABN
  3. Register those trading names as business names if you still want to trade under them.

What happens if you don’t register your trading name as a business name?

You won’t be able to trade under that name, and your trading partners won’t find it on ABN Lookup.

How to Register a Business Name

You can register a business name online through the ASIC website. Make sure you have your ABN with you when you apply.

What if I trade under my own name?

You don’t need to register a business name if you trade under your own name, but you will need to register it if it’s anything else. For example, if your business name is John Smith, you won’t need to register, but if your business name is John Smith Plumbing, and you want to be able to trade under that name, you will.

Can I register a business name if it’s already on the register?

No, you can’t register a business name if it’s already on the register. Be sure to use the “check name availability” feature to see if it’s taken.

What if my business name is taken?

If the name is taken, you can change it slightly so it’s not exactly the same. For example, if the name “Bunch of Apples” is taken, you could register “Sam’s Bunch of Apples.”

What happens after I register a business name?

After you successfully register, you’ll receive an email from ASIC with a copy of your registration record and your business name will be added to the ABN Lookup.

What else do I need to know?

You’ll need to show your business name when you’re open to the public, including on your storefront. You’ll also need to include your business name and ABN when you send any business communication, including invoices and purchase orders.

What if I have additional questions?

If you have questions about how to register a business name, you can call ASIC on 1300 300 630 between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm. Select one of the following options when calling them:

1 for business name registrations

2 for business names or companies

2 for business names

We hope this information answers any questions you have about the change and the steps you need to take to ensure you can still trade. If you have any questions, contact the ASIC at the number listed above. If you follow the steps outlined, the transition should be fairly smooth

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