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Intellectual Property and IT update: The new National Business Names Registration system

Mar 1, 2012

A business that currently trades as a sole trader or partnership, (and not as a company), or a company that trades under a name other than its corporate name, must register its business name and details in each State and Territory in which that business trades. This registration process can be complicated, time consuming and costly, as each State and Territory has a different application form and set of fees.

The Business Names Registration Act 2011 (Cth) seeks to simplify the registration procedure by:

  • establishing one register, which will operate nationally.  This means that business owners will no longer have to register in each State/Territory in which they will trade;
  • setting the same fee for the registration and renewal of business names;
  • providing an online service.

ASIC will administer this new business name register. National Business Names Registration will simplify business name registration and will make it less costly.

Business name registration is a licensing requirement to enable a business to trade.  Its purpose is to allow members of the public to identify the entity that is ‘behind’ a business name. Business names do not provide intellectual property rights, and registration of business names is not designed to, nor does it give, a business owner the same rights and protection achieved through the registration of a trade mark.

Registered trade mark protection gives a trade mark owner a monopoly right to prevent a third party using the same or a deceptively similar trade mark for the goods or services for which it is registered. Trade marks can include logos and slogans used in connection with a business as well as the name of a business itself.

More information

If you have any queries regarding any of the proposed reforms, or how the register will operate or trade marks and IP generally, please contact Jeremy Goldman, Principal Lawyer, on (03) 8600 8886 or jgoldman@kcllaw.com.au.

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