A new national register of business names is anticipated to be unveiled in May 2012 to enable simple online registration. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released regulatory guidance to help businesses prepare.

Under the new national register, businesses operating interstate will only need to register their name once rather than register separately in each state and territory. Existing registered state or territory business names will be automatically transferred to the new register.

ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft believes this service will significantly simplify the registration process and reduce the burden and costs on businesses.

Regulatory Guide 235, which is available here, aims to assist new businesses prepare for the change. RG 235 also provides guidance for existing business names and the automatic transfer process.

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