The government has decided to extend the display of trading names on the ABN Lookup from 1 November 2018 to 31 October 2023.
The display of existing trading names on the ABN Lookup was due to expire next month, following the launch of the Business Names Register in 2012 which required all businesses to register a business name with ASIC.
Speaking to Accountants Daily, Institute of Certified Bookkeeper executive chair, Matthew Addison said the extension was welcomed, considering the impact it would have for businesses using the ABN Lookup to verify details.
“The ABN Lookup is an integral tool for the integrity of the business and GST systems. A valid ABN is required and when paying a supplier, especially when it includes GST, a business should check that the supplier is quoting their own ABN and that they are registered for GST,” said Mr Addison.
“Many business arrangements validly have used the trading name fields in ABN Lookup to display the correct trading name on invoices with an ABN that may be correctly registered to a different legal name, such as a trustee company.
“Many businesses such as trustee companies for trading trusts, have been unable to show the correct legal entity name with the aligned ABN because the correctly GST registered ABN belongs to the trust.”
While the government expects to implement changes to modernise the business registry system over the “next few years”, Mr Addison believes advisers should get clients to register a business name as best practice.
Accordingly, accountants and bookkeepers should review the trading name of the business, be aware of any trading name that are not registered business names, and register the business name with ASIC.