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Words suggesting a connection with government

Date



Guidelines for the use of the words 'Commonwealth' and 'Federal' in Body Corporate Names

Regulation

Subregulations 2B.6.01(2) and 5B.3.01(2) respectively of the Corporations Regulations provide that, for paragraphs 147(1)(c) and 601DC(1)(c) of the Corporations Act, a name is unacceptable for registration if it is unacceptable under the rules set out in Part 2 of Schedule 6 of the Regulations. Rule 6203(c) provides that for paragraphs 147(1)(c) and 601DC(1)(c) of the Corporations Act, a name is unacceptable for registration if the name includes the word 'Commonwealth' or 'Federal'.

However, rule 6205 provides that rule 6203(c) does not apply where the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is satisfied that the word is used in a geographical context.

Criteria for the Assessment of Applications

Consent will normally be granted to the use of the words 'Commonwealth' or 'Federal' in a body corporate name in the following circumstances:

  1. where the name as a whole indicates clearly that the body is not connected with the Commonwealth Government;
  2. where the applicant is a business enterprise owned by the Commonwealth Government;
  3. where the applicant is a business enterprise that is a wholly-owned subsidiary within an existing Australian group that is already using comparable company names, provided that:
    1. the group was using the name in Australia prior to the proclamation of the Companies Act 1981; and
    2. the proposed name varies from an existing group name only by the addition or substitution of a geographical or functional description; or
  4. where the applicant is a non-profit organisation that is connected with or receives support from the Commonwealth Government.

Use of the words 'Commonwealth' and 'Federal' in other names

There is a long-standing arrangement for the relevant State or Territory Minister to consult with the Commonwealth Minister about an application under State and Territory business names legislation or associations incorporation legislation to use the word 'Commonwealth' or 'Federal' in a business or association name. In considering such applications, the Commonwealth Minister will have regard to the guidelines set out at Attachment C.

Guidelines for the use in body corporate names of the words 'Aboriginal Corporation', 'Aboriginal Council' or 'Torres Strait Islander Corporation'

Regulation

Subregulations 2B.6.01(2) and 5B.3.01(2) respectively of the Corporations Regulations provide that, for paragraphs 147(1)(c) and 601DC(1)(c) of the Corporations Act, a name is unacceptable for registration if it is unacceptable under the rules set out in Part 2 of Schedule 6 of the Regulations.

Rule 6203(b) provides that a name is unacceptable for registration if the name contains:

  • a word or phrase specified in an item in Schedule 6 of the Regulations,
  • an abbreviation of that word or phrase, or
  • a word or phrase or an abbreviation having the same or a similar meaning.

Items 6301, 6302 and 6320 in Part 3 of Schedule 6 respectively specify the words 'Aboriginal Corporation', 'Aboriginal Council' and 'Torres Strait Islander Corporation'.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Councils and Corporations are established or registered under Commonwealth or State legislation such as:

  • Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006; and
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (Queensland Reserves and Communities Self-Management) Act 1978 (Commonwealth).

General Criteria for the Assessment of Applications

Consent will normally be granted to the use of the words 'Aboriginal Corporation', 'Aboriginal Council' or 'Torres Strait Islander Corporation' in a body corporate name where evidence is provided of the establishment, or proposed establishment, of the body corporate under legislation, or in accordance with Ministerial authorisation.

Consultative Procedures

Where the applicant proposes to use the words 'Aboriginal Corporation', 'Aboriginal Council' or 'Torres Strait Islander Corporation', or to use phrases with a similar meaning including 'Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Corporation', 'Torres Straight Islander and Aboriginal Corporation' and 'Indigenous Corporation', the Australian Securities and Investments Commission will seek advice from the Registrar of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Corporations, or other relevant regulatory authority as appropriate.

Guidelines for the use in body corporate names of words suggesting a connection with the Crown, certain Governments, a municipal or other local authority or with a Commonwealth, State or Territory department, authority or instrumentality

Regulation

Subregulations 2B.6.01(2) and 5B.3.01(2) respectively of the Corporations Regulations provide that, for paragraphs 147(1)(c) and 601DC(1)(c) of the Corporations Act, a name is unacceptable for registration if it is unacceptable under the rules set out in Part 2 of Schedule 6 of the Regulations.

Rule 6203(d) provides that for paragraphs 147(1)(c) and 601DC(1)(c) of the Corporations Act, a name is unacceptable for registration if the name in the context in which it is proposed to be used, suggests a connection with:

  1. the Crown; or
  2. the Commonwealth Government; or
  3. the Government of a State or Territory; or
  4. a municipal or other local authority; or
  5. the Government of another part of the Queen's dominions, possessions or territories; or
  6. a department, authority or instrumentality of the Commonwealth Government; or
  7. a department, authority or instrumentality of the Government of a State or Territory; or
  8. the government of a foreign country;

if that connection does not exist.

Criteria for the Assessment of Applications

Consent will normally be granted to use names suggesting a connection with government if the applicant establishes that there is an appropriate connection with, or support from, government. For example, this evidence could be provided where:

  1. the connection with government is apparent from the text of the applicant's constituent documents; or
  2. a Government Minister is able to appoint persons as members or directors of the body corporate; or
  3. the body corporate's name has been approved by a relevant Government Department or authority or municipal body; or
  4. a particular Government is the controlling shareholder of the body corporate.

However, where a proposed body corporate name suggests a connection with government that does not exist, an application for consent to the use of the proposed name will need to demonstrate that there is no real likelihood that members of the public will be misled into believing that there is such a connection.

Guidelines for the use in body corporate names of the words 'Police' and 'Policing'

Regulation

Subregulations 2B.6.01(2) and 5B.3.01(2) respectively of the Corporations Regulations provide that, for paragraphs 147(1)(c) and 601DC(1)(c) of the Corporations Act, a name is unacceptable for registration if it is unacceptable under the rules set out in Part 2 of Schedule 6 to the Regulations.

Rule 6203(b) of Part 2 provides that a name is unacceptable for registration if the name contains a word or phrase specified in an item in Part 3 of Schedule 6 to the Regulations, an abbreviation of that word or phrase, or a word or phrase or an abbreviation having the same or a similar meaning. Items 6316A and 6316B in Part 3 of Schedule 6 respe
ctively specify the words 'police' and 'policing'.

Criteria for the Assessment of Applications

Consent will normally be granted to use of the word 'police' or 'policing', or words having a similar meaning, where:

  1. the name as a whole indicates clearly that the body is not connected with any police force; or
  2. the applicant is a business enterprise owned or operated by a State, Territory or Commonwealth Government; or
  3. the proposed body corporate name suggests a connection with one or more police forces, and the relevant police forces, and also the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department, have been consulted.

Consultative procedure

Where an applicant purports to rely upon paragraph (c) of the criteria, by stating that it has a connection with one or more police forces, or where the use of the name could suggest such a connection, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission will consult with the relevant State, Territory or Commonwealth police force, or police forces, and with the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department.

The Minister's delegate is not obliged to accept the advice provided by any State, Territory or Commonwealth police force.

In order to avoid delays in processing applications, the police force or police forces, from which comments are sought, and the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department, will be requested to provide any comments within 14 days. Any comments received within that timeframe will be taken into account by the Minister's delegate.