How to change a Company's name to an existing business name

Question

How can I change a Company's name to an existing business name?

Answer

If you are using NowInfinity's Corporate Messenger service, you can access and prepare a Form 205A, via the Company Profile. Find this form by hovering over the "Company Name" menu:
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To change a Company's name to an existing business name, there are additional steps required as part of the Company name change form as follows:

  1. You must answer "Yes" to "Is the proposed name identical to a registered business name", and enter the ABN or Registration Number:
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  2. The owner of the business name must be appointed as a member of the Company. See here for further information. 
    • 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 same company, proceed to complete the form with next steps.            
    • If the owner is another company, that other company must also be a member/shareholder. 

  3. On the Authorisation and Declaration page, select "I want this application to be processed manually by ASIC".
  4. 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 name of the Company is being changed to an existing business name. The owner of the business name, [Insert name of person/company] [insert ABN], is a [director of/shareholder of/ is] 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.

For example,

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5. Complete your order. 

 

What to do if the Company Name Change is rejected

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

 

Rejection message: V557 The ABN is not valid for 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:

  1. Navigate to page New Company Name
  2. Update "Is the proposed name identical to a registered business name" to No
  3. Navigate to page Authorisation and Declaration
  4. Update "I want this application to be processed manually" to Yes
  5. In the text box, enter in the text box (depending on the business name holder type)-

"The name of the Company is being changed to an existing business name. The owner of the business name, [Insert name of person/company] [insert ABN], is a [director of/shareholder of/ is] the company"

 

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 with an existing business name

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