Business names

ASIC receives reports about businesses:

  • carrying on a business under an unregistered business name

Generally, an entity must register if it is 'carrying on' business in Australia, by conducting an activity, or series of activities:

- in the form of a profession, a trade, employment, a vocation or a calling

- in the form of an adventure or concern in the nature of trade, or

- on a regular or continuous basis, in the form of a lease, licence or other grant of an interest in property.

If the entity is not entitled to an Australian Business Number (ABN) (e.g. a private recreational pursuit or hobby, or as an employee), then they will not be carrying on a business for the purposes of the Business Names Registration Act 2011.

For information on dealing with unregistered business names, read Unregistered business names (INFO 200).

  • not including their business names in written communications

In your report to ASIC, please list the documents you have that do not have the business's name.

  • not displaying their business names at places open to the public

In your report to ASIC, please give details of the addresses open to the public.

To find out what to do if you have a dispute with a business because they have not displayed their business name, read Failure to display a business name (INFO 201).

  • carrying on a business under a business name while disqualified

If there is evidence that a business has acted illegally we may consider taking action:

Where ASIC can help


Business ethics: New challenges, better theories, practical solutions
A speech by ASIC Commissioner John Price, 9 December 2019. John discusses the important role whistleblowing can play in fostering an ethical culture for business.

ASIC gives guidance on companies’ whistleblower policies and relief to small not-for-profits
Media release 19-308MR. 13 November 2019

New regime for corporate whistleblower protections commences
From 1 July, whistleblowers who report misconduct about companies and company officers can access stronger rights and protections. 19-164MR. 1 July 2019

Whistleblower protections for not-for-profit organisations, 29 May 2019

ASIC welcomes new whistleblowing laws
Media Release 19-038MR. 21 February 2019

Whistleblowing - new rules, new policies, new vision
A speech by ASIC Commissioner John Price, 16 November 2018

Whistleblowers and the Corporations Act

Corporations Act Whistleblowing

ASIC Executive Director Warren Day talks about whistleblowers and the important role they play in identifying and calling out misconduct and harm to consumers and the community.

Read the transcript

ASIC and whistleblowers

Asic Whistleblower Thmb

ASIC Executive Director Warren Day discusses when ASIC will act on whistleblowing information.

Read the transcript

Fair Work Ombudsman

You can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman if you would like to report someone who isn't complying with workplace laws or you need help in resolving a workplace issue.

Last updated: 31/01/2020 12:23