Business Names Registration Act 2011



An entity commits an offence if:

(a)  the entity carries on a business under a business name; and

(b)  the entity does not display the name prominently at every place at which the entity carries on the business that is open to the public.

Penalty: 5 penalty units.

Subsection (1) does not apply if:

(a)  the entity is an individual and the name is the individual ' s name; or

(b)  the entity is a corporation and the name is the corporation ' s name; or

(c)  the entity is a partnership and the name consists of all of the partners ' names; or

(d)  the name is registered to the entity on a notified State/Territory register; or

(e)  an Act of the Commonwealth, a referring/adopting State or an affected Territory, or an instrument made under such an Act, specifies the name as the name of the entity; or

(f)  the entity is a government body; or

(g)  the entity is a notified successor in relation to the name; or

(h)  the Minister has exempted the entity from the requirement in relation to the business name and the place, under subsection (4) ; or

(i)  other circumstances prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph apply.

Subsection (1) does not require an entity to display a name at a place in circumstances where:

(a)  it would be contrary to the law of the Commonwealth or of a referring/adopting State or an affected Territory to display the name at that place; or

(b)  displaying the name at the place would directly or indirectly give rise to a representation that would be contrary to the law of the Commonwealth or of a referring/adopting State or an affected Territory; or

(c)  the use of the name by the entity would be contrary to the law of the Commonwealth or of a referring/adopting State or an affected Territory.

Note 1:

A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in subsections (2) and (3) : see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code .

Note 2:

As an example, the law of a referring/adopting State or an affected Territory may prohibit advertising in relation to gambling. A sign relating to gambling would not therefore be required to be displayed under this Act.

The Minister may, by determination in writing, exempt an entity from the requirement to display a specified name at a specified place, if the Minister is satisfied that the display of that name at that place would create a serious risk to:

(a)  public safety; or

(b)  significant infrastructure such as:

(i) transport infrastructure; or

(ii) energy infrastructure; or

(iii) communications infrastructure; or

(iv) water infrastructure.

The determination is not a legislative instrument.

Subsection (1) is an offence of strict liability.


For strict liability, see section 6.1 of the Criminal Code .


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