What is in a Corporations Name?

In Australia most companies are now incorporated under the Corporations Act, 2001 (“The Act“)

Section 112 of the Act provides for the incorporation of the following 6 types of Companies.

Proprietary companies 1)      Limited by shares
2)      Unlimited with share capital
Public companies 3)      Limited by shares
4)      Limited by guarantee
5)      Unlimited with share capital
6)      No liability company

No Liability Companies can only be registered in certain circumstances for mining purposes.

Section 148 of the Act provides that when a company is registered its name must include:

  • Limited” (or an approved abbreviation) if is a limited company.
  • Proprietary”  (or an approved abbreviation) if it is a Proprietary Company
  • No Liability” (or an approved abbreviation) if it is a No Liability Company.

Section 148 also provides that a Public Company must not include in its name “Proprietary” ( but excepts from that exclusion Public Companies that had “Proprietary” as part of its name before 1 July 1998).

Section 149, allows for the following approved abbreviations.

Proprietary Pty
Limited Ltd
No Liability NL

So that a proprietary limited company may be registered with the names

  • XYZ Pty Ltd
  • XYZ Proprietary Ltd
  • XYZ Pty Limited; or
  • XYZ Proprietary Limited

A proprietary company that is unlimitedmay be registered with the names

  • XYZ Pty; or
  • XYZ Proprietary

A public limited company may be registered with the names

  • XYZ Limited; or
  • XYZ Ltd

A public no liability company may be registered with the names

  • XYZ NL ; or
  • XYZ No Liability

In all cases, the correct name of the company, is the name it is registered with. For example

  • A company  registered with the name “ABC Pty Ltd” should only be called that “ABC Pty Ltd”.
  • A company registered with the name “DEF Proprietary Limited”, should not be called “DEF Pty Ltd”, as that is not its registered name.
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