The Abbott government has announced updates to the Business Names Registration rules as part of an ongoing commitment to ensuring Australia is a global leader in facilitating small business start-ups.
Minister for Small Business and Acting Assistant Treasurer Bruce Billson says an existing business may be devastated by a new entrant mimicking its name.
“Equally, a new business that inadvertently echoes the name of another may incur great costs unwinding confusion,” he said.
The new Business Names (Availability of Names) Determination 2015 and accompanying Guidelines will ensure small businesses can rely on the integrity of their business name registration and that new applications are appropriately vetted.
Under the changes, the list of expressions considered ‘nearly identical’ will be expanded and rules around common name terminologies will be clarified and simplified.
Mr Billson says these changes reduce the risk of business names being registered where the public may be misled by nearly identical business names.
“They will also ensure ASIC is still able to maintain fast and efficient processing of new business name applications,” he said.
The National Business Names Register, in operation for more than three years, delivers a single online national registration point for the registration of business names. Since its introduction, more than half a million new names have been registered, taking the total number of registered business names to more than two million.
These changes are in addition to the Government’s streamlining business registration measure announced as part of the $5.5 billion ‘Growing Jobs and Small Business’ package in the 2015-16 budget. As part of this, the Government is simplifying business registration processes by developing a single online registration site for all businesses.