What’s in a Name?

Soapranos laundry shop; Wok This Way noodle restaurant; Ones & Twos plumbing; Shot, Framed and Hung photography; Mid-Life Cycles motorcycle repairs; and Curl up n Dye hairdresser. These are just a few business names around town that reflect how truly creative, funny and inventive Australians can be. It seems that there is no limit on what Australians can choose to call their business.

However, if you have not examined Part 1 of Schedule 2 of the Business Names Registration (Availability of Names) Determination 2015 (Cth) in great depth, you could be in trouble. A close analysis will reveal that, amongst other words, ‘charity’ and ‘charitable’ are restricted and cannot be used by business in their company or business names if they are not actually ‘charities’ or ‘charitable’.

The Charities Act 2013 (Cth) discusses the meaning of a charity; an organization can be charitable if it is a not-for-profit entity and its purpose are charitable and for the public benefit.

A charitable purpose is further defined to mean any of the following: advancing health, advancing education, advancing social or public welfare, advancing religion, advancing culture, promoting reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance between groups of individuals that are in Australia, promoting or protecting human rights, advancing the security or safety of Australia or the Australian public, preventing or relieving the suffering of animals, and advancing the natural environment.

Companies that are seeking to use ‘charity’ or ‘charitable’ in their company or business name must be able to demonstrate that they are charities in the legal sense. The safest way of doing so is via registration with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

There can be serious consequences for a non-charitable company if it includes ‘charity’ or ‘charitable’ in its company or business name. Consequences can include ministerial sanction or ASIC deregistration. It can even include civil actions under consumer protection law for matters such as misleading and deceptive conduct, misleading representations or unconscionable conduct.

If you are a business owner or someone who is interested in running a charity or performing charitable activities, it is imperative that you think carefully about your activities and purposes before you choose a business or company name. If you are running a charity, the best way to protect yourself is to register as a charity with the ACNC.

Warlows lawyers are experts in registering charities with the ACNC and offering advice to charities, not-for-profits and all types of businesses. Contact us to enquire about how one of our charity lawyers can help.

You may also be interested in

    Fixed Pricing Agreement

    The initial consultation is FREE, discussing the scope of services and outcome. You will be provided with the total agreed cost in our pricing proposal, no estimates, hourly rates or ranges – just a FIXED PRICE AGREEMENT.

    Because we believe in certainty.

    If you have a question or a query you can email us using the contact form or call us on +61 3 9212 0238

    CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

    Cameron Deane

    “The assistance provided by Harriet with reviewing and negotiating the terms of our building contract, which encompassed both a significant financial commitment and extensive amount of renovation work, was essential to providing us with peace of mind that our interests were covered legally at all times. Harriet's professionalism, attention to details and expertise in this field were beyond reproach and I highly recommend her services to anyone considering any building related work.”

    Cameron Deane

    Construction Client

    “Harriet, can I just thank you for being so incredibly kind to us. Sean was right – you are amazing.  I wanted to try and express that in person during our meeting but it’s been such a difficult week I knew I would blub all over you if I started.  Never a good look – especially when you’re on the other end trying to juggle London and Kyrgyzstan! We really appreciate everything you have done (and are doing for us).  Without you, all we would have is a slowly imploding bathroom with a loadbearing wall that could collapse without warning. Gives me anxiety every time I think about it!”

    Construction Client

    Chanoch Serebryanski

    “Very professional and easy to deal with. A real pleasure to use at a great value.”

    Chanoch Serebryanski

    David Cherny

    “Highly recommend Warlows Legal. Harriet and her team were professional and supportive throughout, couldn't have asked for a better service.”

    David Cherny

    Chaim Korik

    “Harriet and team took the time to listen to our needs and ensure we had all the contracts in a timely manner. Felt like working as a team!”

    Chaim Korik

    Sarah Chanah Sufrin

    “Harriet really cares for her clients and works tirelessly to achieve the best result for them every time.”

    Sarah Chanah Sufrin

    Chaya Wolf

    “Excellent experience with Warlows Legal. Harriet is personable, professional and of a very high standard. Would recommend to everyone seeking legal advice.”

    Chaya Wolf

    Avi Kluwgant

    “My experience with this company has been an absolute breath of fresh air. I cannot recommend the legal services offered here enough. Thank you!”

    Avi Kluwgant

    MySmallHelp Australia

    "I'm Matt from MySmallHelp Australia. I was looking for a friendly, trustworthy legal firm to set up the charity.  After talking with Harriet for a short time I found her to be knowledgeable and able to communicate fairly complex legal terms simple manner. Harriet and her team delivered exactly what they said they would in a very timely fashion. Warlows Legal team achieved these deliverable above my expectations. I can t recommend them enough. Thanks you so much for your help and guidance."

    Matt Rai