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Debt Collection

Debt Recovery Tips


Monday, 28 May 2012 17:39


Effective from the 28th May 2012, ASIC will take control of the registration and search provision of all Business Names throughout Australia. These changes will impact on the potential for a successful debt collection. Previously, business names were registered via the relevant state office of Consumer Affairs. The primary purpose of this was to have one body (ASIC) governing the registration of both company and business names and one central register rather than state based registers.

Essentially a “business name” is the name of the business you are dealing with that is not a company (i.e. where no Pty Ltd, Limited, Inc. or Assoc. exists after the name). (Refer to Bulletin #1 for more)

WARNING – From the 28th May 2012, searches conducted on business names will no longer provide you or us with the residential address or DOB of any individuals that may be listed as a proprietor of a business name (until now this information has been available), or branch addresses of the business. The search will only provide the address listed as the principal place of business of the business.

As debt collectors, the difficulty here is that if a business had closed down or “skipped” from the address, access that was previously available to their personal address will now provide an alternative address in the debt collection program. Furthermore, if a name has been registered in different states, confusion may occur regarding whether the correct entity is being searched.

BEST PRACTICE – Score recommends that adjustment be made to your credit applications, terms and conditions, and/or the way you currently open and vet any new customers.

We urge you to ensure that if you are extending credit to a “business name” that you…

  • Check to ensure that the business name is in fact registered (it must also have an ABN effective from 28/5/12).
    A basic free search is available from https://connectonline.asic.gov.au/
  • Check and ensure that the ABN they provide you is valid.
    A free search can be done at http://www.abr.business.gov.au/
  • Collect the FULL name and their residential address, as well as their business addresses, of the individuals conducting the business name. You should also ensure that you gain not only their business landline phone number but also their mobile and residential landline numbers. (Refer to Bulletin #3 for more details)

Wherever possible, always gain your order instructions in writing and keep a copy.

Consider this – John Smith runs a business called Smiths Business from a location in Burwood, Victoria. He closes the business and skips owing money to you. From now on, a search will only give us the Burwood address and the name of John Smith, or if we are lucky, John William Smith. To find his residential address will be extremely difficult.

Score has published a range of Help Bulletins and these can be located on our website at sdc.roinameserver.com.au. Select Help Bulletins from the menu on the left. Feel free to browse them; they are there to assist you. Alternatively, call us at 1300 729 809 for assistance.


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