How to register a Company with an existing Business Name

Question

How can I register a new Company with an existing Business Name? 

Answer

To register a Company that already has an existing Business Name, there are additional steps required as part of the company registration form as follows:

  1. On the Company Details page, you will need to specify that an existing Business Name is being used,
  2. Tick the disclaimer "I declare that I own, or am registering the Company for the owner(s) of the identical business name(s), the registration details of which are listed.
  3. Enter the ABN of the Business Name holder.2023-07-10_16h06_04.png
  4. There are certain cases where an existing name may be used for a proposed new Company - accordingly, it depends on who the Business Name holder is. 
    If the holder is an Individual, that individual must also be a Director OR Member of the proposed Company. 
    If the holder is a Partnership or Joint venture, each Partner must also be a Director OR Member of the proposed Company. 
    If the owner is a Trust, each Trustee must also be a Director OR Member of the proposed Company, and you have provided ASIC with a copy of the Trust Deed (see below).
    If the owner is a Company, that same Company must also be a proposed Member. See here for further information. 
  5. On the Ready to Submit page, select "I want this application to be processed manually by ASIC".
  6. In the text box, provide confirmation that the requirements above (depending on the Business Name holder type) are satisfied e.g. enter in the text box "The owner of the Business Name, [XYZ], has been appointed as a [director/ member] of the company"
    Note: If the owner is a Trust, you must also email ASIC a copy of the Trust deed (ecr.support@asic.gov.au). Advise ASIC, via the text box, that you have emailed a copy of the Trust Deed to ecr.support@asic.gov.au.

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What to do if the Company Registration form is rejected

There may be instances where the form is rejected. Outlined below are some common scenarios and potential resolutions.

Rejection message: V557 ABN is not that of the Business Name

Resolution:

Verify the Business Name's ABN or Business Number via the ABN Look up tool and correct accordingly.

https://abr.business.gov.au/

If this does not work, try removing the ABN on the first page and answering "No" to "Is the proposed Company Name an existing Business Name?". On the last page of the application, select manual processing and add a note that the Business Name is actually in existence and note its ABN.

Rejection Message: The Business Name is owned by a Sole Trader

Resolution:

The Sole trader needs to be recorded as Director OR Shareholder of the Company.

Rejection message: The Business Name is owned by a Partnership

Resolution:

Both partners need to be recorded as Director OR Shareholder of the Company.

Rejection message: The Business Name is owned by a Trustee of a Trust

Resolution:

Each Trustee of the Trust must be appointed as a Director OR Shareholder of the Company.

Send a copy of the deed to ASIC directly: ecr.support@asic.gov.au

Rejection message: Business Name is cancelled

Resolution: 

Until the 'cancelled' Business Name becomes available again, the proposed name cannot be used to register as either a Company or Business Name.

Cancellation of a Business Name is not immediate, and once the cancellation is completed by ASIC the Business Name will be put on hold. The hold will be lifted depending on who had initiated the cancellation:

  • If initiated by the owner of the Business - the name will become available after 4 months from the date the Business Name was cancelled, or
  • If initiated by ASIC - the name will become available after 6 months from the date the Business Name was cancelled.

Further Information 

How to Register a Company - ASIC

Registering a Business Name using the name of an existing Company

 

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