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Avoid this business name renewal mistake

Your business name is a valuable asset, so when you receive a renewal notice your first thought is often to pay it straight away.

While the notice letter or email may look official, you may not realise that it may have been sent by private organisations looking to make money from you. These unsolicited approaches are often made just before the legitimate renewal notice from the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) is due to arrive.

You also need to note that when responding to these third party notices, you aren’t renewing your business name directly with ASIC, but are instead paying the companies to renew and manage your business name for you. This puts you at risk of:

  • paying more than you need to - you could end up paying $100s when the actual renewal fee is only $35
  • giving authority to these companies to manage your business name, which may see them change the business registration in ASIC Connect from your details to their own, taking away your ability to control and manage the renewal process

How to check your renewal notice is genuine

Business name registrations are managed by ASIC. Unless you have given authority to a third party to manage your registration for you (eg. your accountant), your business name renewal will come to you directly from ASIC.

Three easy tips to check your renewal notice is from ASIC and not a third party:

  • Your official business name renewal from ASIC will be emailed to you 30 days before it’s due to expire. ASIC will never send you a renewal notice by letter.
  • Check the website and email addresses on the renewal notice letter or email. If they do not end in ‘.gov.au’ they are not an official government agency or connected with ASIC.
  • Use the ASIC Business Name Register to check your registration renewal date. If the renewal arrives outside the usual 30 day notice period, the notice may not be genuine. It’s a good idea to make note in your calendar of when your renewal is due.

If you receive anything you are not sure about, contact us for advice.

What to do if you renewed with a third party by mistake

Unfortunately you're unlikely to have any of the extra money you've paid refunded back to you, but do contact ASIC to explain your situation and ask them to reassign the business name to your ASIC key.

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