As a consumer or business owner, it is vital to ensure that your interests are protected, when dealing with other businesses. There are a number of steps you can take to protect your interests.
1. Ask for information
What is their ACN?
Since 1991, every company in Australia has been issued with an ACN. This is a unique identifier, as the ACN cannot apply to more than one company.
What is their ABN?
An ABN is needed to register for GST.
What is their business name registration number?
Since 2012, all business names are registered by ASIC and the holder of a business name must hold an ABN. Each registered business name has an individual number.
2. Verify the information
Once you have the ACN, ABN or business name registration number, you can check its registration, find out who holds the business name and find out who the directors are, by searching ASIC’s registers at ASIC Connect.
ASIC’s Money Smart website enables you to check basic facts about the people or companies you’re dealing with.
You can purchase a company extract at ASIC Connect, which will provide current and historical information about a company, including the officeholders, addresses, and in some cases, the shareholders of the company.
Further information is available through an ASIC information broker.
3. Use the information
You can use your search results to answer a number of questions, which will help you to assess how much risk may be involved in dealing with the business.
How long has it been in business?
What’s its current status?…registered, deregistered or under external administration.
Who are the directors?
Are the directors disqualified?
What is the company’s share capital?
What is the company’s financial situation?
Does the activities of the business require a licence?
What is their credit rating?
So, now you’re in a better position to know who you’re dealing with.