Changing a company name
It's possible to change the name of your registered company. However, the new name must be available. This means that:
- the name is not identical or nearly identical to a name which is already registered, and
- the name is not unacceptable for registration.
Once you've chosen a name, you must pass a special resolution and lodge a Form 205 Notification of resolution, giving details of the company’s special resolution to change the company name.
We'll let you know once the name change is accepted or rejected.
- Step 1 - Choose a new name
- Step 2 - Pass a special resolution
- Step 3 - Lodge a Form 205
- Step 4 - We accept or reject the new name
A new company name must:
- not be identical or nearly identical to an existing name held by another entity on our registers
- not contain any restricted words (e.g. consumer, bank, ANZAC etc) (unless Ministerial or Public Authority consent has been obtained)
- not suggest a connection to government or other organisations where such a connection does not exist; or
- not be offensive to members of the public or suggest illegal activity.
If the name your company wants is already held by your business, you must confirm that you're the owner of the business name.
If there are any identical names already on the register (which could have been registered in different states or territories as part of the old legislation), you won't be able to use it as your company name, even if you own one of the identical businesses.
When the business name holder is...
the name is available if…
that individual is a current company director or member
it is the company itself which is changing its name
A trust or partnership cannot be a director or member of a company. If the identical business name is held by a trust or a partnership, the name is not available to the company. You will need to transfer ownership of the business name to an individual or company if you want to use it.
Reserving a name
If you've found a name you like but aren't ready to use it, you can apply to reserve it (Form 410).
If we approve your application, we will reserve the name for two months. If you wish to extend this period, you'll need to apply to reserve the name again.
We will not reserve a name indefinitely as this may prevent other people from using the name to conduct business.
A company must convene a meeting of its members and pass a special resolution to change its name.
Unlisted companies must give at least 21 days' notice of the meeting to its members. Listed companies must give at least 28 days' notice. Shorter notice can be given if members with at least 95% of the votes agree beforehand.
The special resolution must be passed by at least 75% of votes cast.
Once you've confirmed your name is available and you've passed a special resolution, lodge a Notification of resolution (Form 205) (including a copy of the passed special resolution) and pay the required fee.
Make sure the form is lodged within 14 days of the resolution being passed. Otherwise, late fees will apply.
Ensure that you've entered the name correctly and there are no typos in your application; once it's approved, we cannot update the name. You will need to pass another special resolution and lodge another Form 205.
If we accept the name change, we'll send a certificate of registration to your online services inbox (if you lodged the Form 205 online) or by mail to the company's registered office address.
If we reject the name change, we'll write to you and explain why. We can apply the fee you've already paid to another Form 205, or refund it on request.
Even if we register a name, that doesn't prevent someone else from being able to register a name that is similar. It also doesn't prevent someone from taking legal action if any part of the name infringes on a trade mark.