Changes to trading names and ABN Lookup

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) introduced a new business name register in 2012 that replaced registers held by the States.

From November 2018, all trading names listed against your ABN will be removed from ABN Lookup. For the creative industries, trading names may have been used to describe the activity of an artist without being formally registered. For example, if John Smith was a dance teacher, he may have had a trading name like John Smith Dance School. From November John Smith Dance School will cease to be a trading name and it will not be allowed as a business name without being registered with ASIC.

In summary:

  • you do not need to register a business name if you trade under your own name, like John Smith, without describing your business activity in the trading name;
  • a business name cannot be registered if it is identical to one already registered with ASIC; and
  • you cannot apply for a business name that includes prohibited words without seeking permission from ASIC.

If you want to continue trading under a specific name, you will need to register it as a business name. The fees for registering business names are $35 for one year and $82 for three years. Make sure you have your ABN when you apply.

After your business name has been successfully registered, ASIC will email you a copy of your record of registration and your business name will appear on ABN Lookup the same day. You must display your business name wherever you are open to the public at your storefront and you must also include your business name and ABN on any business correspondence, including tax invoices.

Michael Fox Arts Accountant & Valuer is an ASIC agent. Please contact us if you require assistance with your trading name or your registered business name.


Featured Artwork:
Robert Andrew
Country, Ground, Earth, Sand, Time and Space, 2017
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