Trading names in the ABR
The national Business Names Register was introduced in 2012 and is managed by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
With the introduction of the national register, the Registrar of the Australian Business Register (ABR) stopped collecting and recording:
- business names registered for an entity under the old state or territory laws
- unregistered names used by entities for business purposes.
However, during a transitional period, these historical names, referred to as the entity’s trading names, have continued to be displayed in the trading name field of ABN Lookup.
The transitional period ends on 31 October 2023. From this date, the Registrar will not publicly display the trading names that were recorded in the ABR prior to the introduction of the new national business names register.
- Section 25 of the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999
- Subregulation 5(1) of the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Regulations 1999
- Paragraph 8(1)(c) of the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Regulations 1999
Do you need to register a business name?
From 31 October 2023, the only names displayed on ABN Lookup will be:
- an entity's legal name
- an entity's business name registered with ASIC.
From 31 October 2023, if you continue to use a trading name for business purposes, rather than your legal name, or a business name registered with ASIC, the entities you deal with will be unable to use ABN Lookup to verify your identity or GST registration status.
- To register a business name, go to the ASIC website: Registering a business name.