Moving a Company Name.
If the thought has crossed your mind to part ways with your business, keep in mind that transferring your Business Name will most likely be part of the process. While this may have once been straightforward under the state system, the move to ASIC has brought about some challenges that you should be aware of.
If you previously registered your name under the state system, it remains valid, but you'll need to obtain an "ASIC Key" to manage it. Your previous registration number will no longer be sufficient, so make sure to request the "ASIC Key" through ASIC's website. Keep in mind that it could take 5-10 business days to receive it in the mail.
Should you need to register your name under ASIC, there are some important points to take note of. Firstly, the process is entirely online, meaning there's no paper form to fill out. The online system automatically scans for similar business or company names and denies registration if it finds one. However, it's not capable of recognizing if a duplicate company name is seeking registration. If you apply to register a business name with the same name as your company name, your application will be blocked, and you'll need to request permission to proceed, which could take up to 28 days.
Once you've submitted your registration application, make sure to review all emails from ASIC thoroughly, including any attachments and links. The form emails sent do not always include the necessary information. Once your name has been registered, keep the "ASIC Key" in a safe place to avoid having to request it again.
After obtaining your "ASIC Key," you'll need to apply for a transfer, which is no longer done through a form. Instead, you must cancel your existing registration and indicate that it's for a transfer of the business name. ASIC will take up to 28 days to process your request. Note that this request cannot be revoked and should never be submitted before the completion of your contract for sale of business.
After your application is processed, you'll receive a "Consent to Transfer Number," which you'll provide to the transferee. They're then required to wait 28 days before registering the name, and if they don't do so within four months, another party may register it.
All of these steps may cause issues for contracts for sale of business, as a business name transfer typically occurs upon completion. Ensure the contract includes a special condition allowing for the delays outlined above to avoid any potential breaches. Our commercial team can help guide you through these issues and recommend completing the necessary steps as early as possible to reduce the risk of delays. Contact our team for more information.
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