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How to Transfer a Business Name From a Sole Trader to a Company (2019 Update)

How to Transfer a Business Name From a Sole Trader to a Company (2019 Update)

Do you have a great business name as a sole trader, but want to carry it over to your new company? Read this guide to find out how to transfer it.

22nd March 2019

Having the right name for your business is crucial. But what happens when you have the perfect name as a sole trader, but have decided to register your business as a company?

Have you recently decided to register a company? Do you have an existing registered business name under your sole trader ABN? Running a successful business likely means that you have a great name to match. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can carry over your business name and make the transition to company ownership that much smoother.

What happens to my ABN?

When you register a company, you will also be allocated a fresh ABN. Your ABN will remain on the ATO register, but it is worth canceling if you will no longer be using it. It’s important to understand how your tax obligations will change once you transition into a company structure.

Carrying over your business name

If your business has recently changed from a sole trader structure into a company structure, any existing name registrations under your ABN as a sole trader will remain under this structure. Your business name will continue to be registered under your ABN – that is unless you change it.

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To retain ownership of the names under your ABN, you will need to transfer your business name from your sole trader ABN to your company ABN. This can be easily done on the ASIC website and involves a two-step process.

How to Transfer a Business Name from a Sole Trader to a Company

1. Preparing Your Business Name to be Transferred

To authorise the transfer of the business name you will need to log into ASIC Connect and link your business name to your account, if you haven’t already done so. You can also login with your AUSkey. Once logged in, you must select the option to ‘Cancel/Transfer business name’.

Once confirmed, this will generate a secure 13 character transfer number (e.g. 1-12347564652), which will be sent to your email address. The transfer number is valid for four months.

2. Registering the Business Name to the New ABN

After your receive the transfer number you will need to log into the ASIC Connect account for your new company. In the Licences and Registrations tab, select the option to register a business name. To find your business name you must enter it exactly how it is listed in the ASIC register.

Unfortunately, the registration period of your business name will not carry over, so you will need to select a new registration period.

Unsure where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace.

Louis Bridle

Louis is a legal intern at Lawpath who is working with the content team to provide accessible guides to legal issues. With an interest in contract and media law, he is completing his Bachelor of Communications and Laws at the University of Technology Sydney.