Trading Names to be retired

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The Australian Business Register has announced that trading names will be retired on 31 October 2023.

A trading name was a name that businesses used to conduct their business activities when their public name was different than the name of their company or entity.

The Australian Business Register (ABR) collected trading names prior to 2012.

Trading names have not been collected since May 2012 and have slowly been phased out in favour of registering business names. As of 31 October 2023, trading names will be retired and will no longer appear on the ABR website.

Businesses are now required to use a registered business name instead of a trading name.

If businesses are still using a trading name, they must ensure that a business name is registered prior to the end of October this year.

All businesses must register their business name unless a person trades under their own name or an exemption applies.

Business names are linked to an Australia Business Number (ABN), which is a unique 11-digit number that identifies a business to the government and community.

Registered business names may be any word or phrase and include a town, a year, a colour, an entity name, or another word relevant to the business.

You can register your business name on the ASIC website here.

Names that are identical or nearly identical to an existing registered business name are not allowed. This helps prevent confusion in the marketplace as businesses cannot operate with identical names.

Current registered business names can be checked on the ASIC website so business owners can ensure that the name they want is available.

While a registered business name allows you to operate under the registered name, it does not necessarily grant permission to use that name exclusively.

If a business name requires protection and exclusivity, then the business will need to apply for a trade mark.

A trade mark is a type of intellectual property used to protect a brand and is usually a symbol or name which customers recognise in the marketplace that distinguishes a business from competitors.

Trade marks are best used in conjunction with a registered business name to help ensure the business name and brand are protected from multiple angles.

For questions or concerns regarding trading names, business names, or trade marking your business, contact our team of experienced business and commercial lawyers.

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