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Newsletter - May 2012

The new national business names registration service commenced on 28 May 2012. This service is managed by ASIC and it creates a platform upon which business names can be registered, updated and searched online. You can no longer register a business name through the Department of Fair Trading in any State or Territory.


All existing business names throughout Australia have now been transferred to the national business names register.

Key Changes

What must existing owners of business names do?

Nothing. In due course renewals will be sent out with instructions on how to set up an ASIC Connect account, link up the business name and renew it. If a business name was registered in more that one state or territory all the identical names will be migrated to the new register. Only one of these names will need to be renewed. The others will lapse if they are not renewed.

It may be advisable for business name owners to check their business name details were transferred to the new ASIC register. This can be done on-line using ASIC Connect – Search located at www.asic.gov.au. You can search the business names index or search by business name holder.

Where do you go to register a business name online?

If the new business does not have an ABN the first port of call is www.abr.gov.au to apply for an ABN. You are not able to apply for a business name without one. There is a hyperlink at the end of the ABN application to the ASIC website.

If you already have an ABN head to www.asic.gov.au to start the business names registration.

ASIC advises that the registration process should take approximately 15-20 minutes if you have all the necessary information on hand.

How are changes to particulars made?

To make changes to business name registration details you must set up an ASIC Connect account and apply for an ASIC key. The keys will issue in one to 2 days. There is link on the front page of the ASIC website for business name maintenance/update transactions.

Can Business names be registered and managed by agents?

Yes. The existing or proposed business name holder can authorise any person to lodge applications or manage business name details.

You are able to provide this service to your clients or alternatively you can ask us to manage with work for you.

Our service fee in this regard will be $55 per transaction.

If you have any questions regarding the new Business Name Register please contact us on 1300 267 739.


It appears that the Tribunals take a very narrow interpretation of what constitutes a fixed trust for the purposes of the land tax legislation. In addition all of the provisions of deeds are considered and must fit within the meanings given by section 3A(2) and sections (3A) and (3B) of the Act.

Notification from the OSR

The confirmation that HWL Ebsworth received from the OSR in respect of its fixed trust precedent stated:

'The trust will receive the benefit of the threshold and the unit holders will be considered to be owners of an equitable estate. Unit holders that are family trusts will be required to lodge a separate return for their units held.' (Emphasis added)

You can order either a fixed or standard unit trust on line or by downloading an order form from our website.

In addition existing fixed unit trusts can be amended to include provisions that fit within the meanings given by section 3A of the Act. Please contact us if you wish to further discuss this course of action.


The information provided in this document is for your general information only. It is not intended that anyone rely upon or adopt this information in respect of their personal circumstances without first seeking professional advice.

To view or download this newsletter in pdf please click here 

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