How to renew your business name and not get scammed!

April 6, 2021

TRANSCRIPT:

Hi guys! Here is a video on how to renew your business name and not get scammed. So, I went to my PO Box this morning to pick up my normal business mail and I received something that I hadn’t seen before. I thought, OK, I think I need to bring this to every other business owners’ attention because there is a new ‘scam artist’ on the block. I’ll run you through what exactly this is.

So, I’ve got business names coming up for renewal and I saw this bill saying I can renew this business name or these business names with this company for these costs. Now having been an accountant for a number of years and seeing a lot of letters come through like this, I wanted to share exactly what these are, what to do with them, what they mean and essentially how to renew your business name correctly and at the minimum cost. So, let me run through that.

I have in front of me a printout of the ASIC website running through the exact fees for renewing a business name here in Australia. Just note that I printed it out today, 24th September 2020, so if you’re watching this video sometime in the future the fees potentially might have changed as they do slowly increase. Now, if you’re a business owner, have a business name, you would of at one point registered your business name – whether that’s one year ago, whether that’s three years ago – and you’ve got renew the business name periodically. So, for example, if I registered a business name a year ago it’d be coming up to renewal and I can do another renewal for another year for $37. Now, you can decide to do the business name renewal for $87 so you don’t have to worry about renewing for a longer period.

Now, what I see a lot of is what they call these ‘scam letters’ or ‘scam emails’ and it’s very interesting because ASIC is obviously aware of this and I wanted to show you the letters that I have on hand. So, if you’re a business owner and you see these – just don’t pay them. Just throw them in the bin and what for your ASIC renewal invoice to come through.

ASIC is the government body is that will issue you when your business name is ready to renew. So, if I take this away, this is just straight off the ASIC website this is typically what you will get via email. Sometimes I think it might be issued in the post, but I always see business renewal notifications come through email. When it’s time to renew or coming up to renewal, you’ll get a lovely, little email from ASIC and I don’t have a colour printer so this will be this light blue that their branding is. It will say the business name, it will say when it is ready for renewal by and then it will have some links in here to pay your renewal.

You want to pay your either $37 or $87. What you’ll do is click on your renewal notice and it will look something like this. I’ve clicked on it, I’ve blanked out business information for privacy reasons and it will have the name, some other details. This is just the notice – it’s not actually the invoice. You can go ahead and click on the link which will take you over to the ASIC website where you will pay either one of these two amounts.

I’ll go through the three organisations that I have here in front of me that are issuing these business renewal notices that aren’t connected with ASIC at all. I’ve mentioned earlier that I’ve never seen this green company. Let’s just read through it. We have ‘Registration Pty Ltd’. They are saying this business name is ready for renewal. They’re saying I can pay either $99 to renew for one year or three lots of $63 (so $189) to renew for three years. Remembering that the cost of renewal directly with ASIC is only $37 or $87, right? They are offering to renew your business name via them – the difference would be their fee to do this. Note some of the wording on this letter. It’s saying they’re a third party and they are a business renewal service provider. This isn’t a bill; you don’t have to pay them money and they’re not with ASIC. That’s what this mob’s letters look like.

I will also show you another lot of notices that I’ve seen been circulating for a number of years. These guys are ‘Registry Australia Pty Ltd. Again, they’re saying if you go through us, we will charge you these amounts. Again, this is not a renewal issued by ASIC. They are a third-party provider. We don’t want that; we are just going to ignore that and throw it in the bin. Same with this one.

And the third lot of business renewal notices I have. These ones have been in circulation for a number of years now. I always see these come through, either my own business name registration or what really bugs me is I see these notices in my clients bookkeeping, where they’ve just paid it not really understanding what this is and they’ve be over charged significantly for something they can do themselves. Again, these guys are called ‘Online Business Registration Pty Ltd’. They’ve put the business name, the ABN, you can pay here and, again, they’re not connected with ASIC. I don’t know who you are Victoria, but it’s a very interesting business model. Not sure I like it, because I see a lot of clients paying more money than they should for something they can do themselves. You can see by my stack I have a whole pile I’ve been hoarding these so I can share these with everyone.

If you’re a business owner keep an eye out for anything like this that comes through. Just literally throw it in the bin, don’t even worry about it. What you should be looking out for is an email from ASIC that looks like this and it will direct you to a notice that looks like this. You’ll pay this online directly to ASIC. What I’ll do, these are my business names that have come through. I noticed that I haven’t got one from ASIC yet. They’ve tried to sneak in before ASIC has sent me their renewal to try and get me to pay them, when I’ll literally throw these in the bin, and I’ll wait for my ASIC email to come through. Only pay either my $37 or $87. If you have any business owner friends, please share this video because I think it’s really important to understand what exactly you’re paying for.

Before I let you go, just be mindful of any ASIC emails that do come through. I know a lot of business owners do get a bazillion emails come through their mailbox every day. They might go ‘I’ve already paid for my renewal last year’ and they forget they’ve got to pay it yearly or they might have accidentally paid on of these mob. It is was it is, you’ve paid it, you shouldn’t get an email following this. If you see this email and said ‘I’ve already paid it’ or you’ve forgotten about it or it’s sitting in your to-do list, there is a cut-off date. Just remember if you see an ASIC invoice come through you do have time to pay it. But on the flip side I’ve seen business owners where their business name has lapsed, they’re forgotten to pay, and they no longer hold their business name. Whether it’s sitting there to reregister or someone else has picked it up. Don’t ignore this email, don’t ignore this notice. If you’ve got any other questions, feel free to drop me a comment or reach out. I’m happy to have a chat – thanks for watching!

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Nothing makes me happier than implementing time-saving tools and systems that help small businesses get ahead. Instead of being a cog in a large corporation, freelance consulting lets me be the adaptive Bookkeeper on the Sunshine Coast you need. Whatever your financial situation, I’ll help you find new approaches to cut unnecessary costs and alleviate undue pressure. If you’re ready to watch your business grow, let’s start a conversation

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