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Is it necessary or some kind of government requirement that I ‘reserve’ the PTY LTD company name I want before actually going ahead and registering my company?
(By Brendan Muller, Operations Manager of Incorporator.com.au and TradingAs.com.au, September 2014)

No it is certainly not necessary in the vast majority of cases and it is definitely not an ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) requirement that a company name be reserved in the time prior to the company being registered.

Indeed, reserving a company name at ASIC ahead of registering the actual company is not even all that common.

Having said that, there are some circumstances where it might be an advisable thing to do.

So there is a procedure at ASIC to reserve a name that you may wish to call your new company at some point ahead of actually registering the company.

To put that particular name on hold in other words.

This would normally be done in circumstances where you’ve definitely decided on the name you want (and wish to capture it, so to speak) but there are also other aspects to your proposed company (for example, its structure or the timing of its registration) that you’re still undecided about and which may necessitate some delay before actually proceeding to register it.

There might also be the case where, again, you know the exact name that you want for your proposed company but you’re undecided about whether you want to go ahead and register it at all – you know the name you want but you want to think things through a bit more.

And, by the way, there is no obligation whatsoever to go ahead and register the company even though you’ve reserved a name that you want. The reservation simply lapses after a period of time and the name returns to being generally available.

But in the absence of such considerations, and in the normal course of events, you simply apply to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to register the company whilst at the same time and in the very same process, stipulating the name that you wish to call the company - the registration/creation of the company and the registration of the company name are the one and the same process.

There just wasn’t any need to have reserved the company name beforehand because there were no particular circumstances that required it.

This is by far the most common scenario.