Transfer of Business Name

Transfer of a business name can become necessary if you sell your organization or if change in partnership occurs.  In most situations when a new person or new organization will become the holder of an existing company name, a formal transfer process is required.  This process can be complex, especially as the requirements for the registration and transfer of business names are set on the national level by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

When Should You Transfer a Business Name

 
A business name must be transferred to a new holder when:

  • A business name is sold.
  • A business name is passed on to a family member or friend.
  • A new partnership is formed with an existing business name holder.
  • One partner in a joint venture has left and is being replaced.
  • One partner in a joint venture has left and one or more partners is continuing operations.

If you are part of a partnership, which is not a joint venture, and one partner leaves but two or more other partners continue operations, you may need to transfer a business name but you may not.  If your partnership agreement allows you to change who the partners are, you can conduct an add or remove partner transaction instead of transferring a business name.

What to Know Before You Transfer a Business Name

Transfer of Business NameThe transfer of a business name can affect your rights. It is important to understand the impact of making a transfer. Some of the different rights that can be affected include:

  • The possible right to a refund of renewal fees. After a business name is transferred to a new holder, the person or organization who previously held the name may no longer ask for a refund of renewal fees.
  • Renewal period rights. A renewal period may not be transferred to a new holder of a business name.

Before you begin the process of transferring a business name, it is advisable to speak with a legal professional to make sure you will not be giving up claims or rights that you did not intend to lose.

How Can You Transfer a Business Name?

An online service created by the Australian Securities and Exchange Commission (ASIC) can be used to complete an application to transfer a business name.  You will need a login and an ASIC Key, which is a security number unique to your organization. If you registered your business name after 28 May 2012, your ASIC key should have been provided to you upon registering. If you registered before that date, you should have received your ASIC key with your notice of renewal, which is sent every three years for every registered business name.

Input your login and ASIC security key to sign into the online portal. Once you are signed in:

  • Go to the tab labeled Lodgings and Notifications and select the business name you wish to transfer. All of the different business names linked to the account will be listed, so be sure to select the correct name.
  • Select “Cancel/Transfer” and then hit the “Go” button to begin the transfer process.
  • In the “cancellation details page, select the option that says: “I would like to transfer the business name” and then hit “” You will be given the opportunity to save your pending application to transfer the business name, which you should do.
  • Review the transaction, checking to make sure that all of the provided information is correctly displayed.
  • Read the declarations to ensure that you are in agreement with all transfer conditions. Once you have transferred the name of the business, canceling is not possible. You should not transfer the name of the business until you are certain that the purchase of the organization or the transfer of business ownership will go through. If you are in agreement with transfer conditions, you’ll need to make declarations.

When you complete the Cancel/Transfer process, the successful completion of the process indicates the existing holder of the business name is canceling his ownership and it serves as notice that the new owner is being given authority to register the same business name.

You will receive immediate confirmation online indicating your cancel/transfer transaction has been submitted to ASIC. Both a Notice of Intention to Cancel a Business Name and a Consent to Transfer number will be sent out when the transfer process is completed. The new owner of the business name must be provided with a transfer number, which will be used for the new owner to officially register the business name as belonging to him.

What Happens After You Submit an Application to Transfer a Business Name?

Transfer of Business NameWhen you have submitted the transfer application, your part in the process is complete but the new owner is not yet officially registered as actually owning the business name.  The new owner will need to use the provided transfer number to go to the ASIC website and officially register the business to himself or his organization.

The transfer number that ASIC provides when you submit a request to transfer a business name will be good for four months, and the new owner can use the transfer number at any time during the four months to go online and register as the official owner of the business name.  If the new owner does not go online, use the transfer number, and complete the registration process within four months, the business name will become available to the public for anyone who wishes to register it.

Get Help From Us

Owen Hodge Lawyers provides assistance to companies and individuals who wish to transfer a business name, as well as to those assuming a business name who need help with the transfer process. Call us today at 1800 770 780 or contact us via ohl@owenhodge.com.au to schedule a consultation and learn more.