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Choosing a name

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Before finalising your society's name you need to be sure that the name you choose will be allowed to be used by your society.

Although you don't reserve the name (as you must do for a company) you should conduct some searches to make sure the name is available.

The name you choose for your society cannot be identical or deceptively similar to that of another incorporated society or other body corporate. 

If you do choose a name that is identical to the name used by another body corporate (for example, a company, incorporated society, charitable trust) it can only be used if the other organisation gives its written consent to the Registrar.


How can you check that the name is available to use?

[internal link] Search the register. Search the register on this website

Using the search options provided on this website you can search for an incorporated society or a charitable trust. Conduct a free online search for incorporated societies and charitable trusts.

You can also search for company names, domains, and trademarks using ONECheck on the business.govt website.


Search the Companies Register

Using the search options on the Companies Office website you are able to complete a much broader search by checking for possible matches with a wide range of body corporates or entity types, not just for existing incorporated societies or charitable trusts.

Learn about searching the Companies Register or

Search the Companies Register now


Other restrictions on names

The name can't contain certain words

  • The Registrar may also decline names that are in his opinion undesirable.


Last updated 24 October 2017