Budget 2010: Government to consolidate business registries

The Federal Government is set to push ahead with its plan to create a single online registry for business names.

The plan was agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) under the Business Names Agreement program in July last year.

Under the agreement, a single, national online registration system will be created for business names and Australian Business Numbers, run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Online accounts will be created allowing businesspeople to access registrations, monitor compliance requirements, and subscribe to regulatory change notifications from all governments.

The system for searching trademarks will also be simplified.

The plan sees the consolidation of nine existing Business Licensing Information Services under a single service administered by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

The shared, whole-of-government Business Licensing Information Service will give businesses customised information about their regulatory requirements including licences, registrations and permits.

The initiatives will be funded by $125.2 million over four years as announced in the 2010 Federal Budget.

According to COAG's Business Names Agreement, the responsibility and cost for providing all data for the new registry will be up to each state and territory.

“Each State and Territory will use its best endeavours to transform the data in its electronic business names register into a format acceptable to the Commission and make such electronic registry data available for transfer to the Commission,” the agreement reads.

“[ASIC] will use its best endeavours to minimise the costs incurred in transforming data into the form determined by the Commission.”

The initiative is expected to save small business an estimated $1.5 billion over eight years according to Federal Innovation Minister, Craig Emerson.


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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