Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Disclaimer: Terms in this glossary are provided for general information only and should not be taken as constituting professional advice from the website owner – the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).


The words in brackets do not form part of the term. Where 'Business names' and/or 'SMSF auditors' appears in brackets alongside a term, this denotes the definition is only to be used in reference to the relevant register. These terms do not apply to any other ASIC services.

Viewing entries beginning with 'A'

ABN application reference number

A unique 13-digit identifying number issued by the Australian Business Register when applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Address in Australia for service of documents (Business names)

This must be a physical street address or postal address in Australia. It is used by ASIC to send official notices to the business name holder. It will appear on the Business Names Register.


Stands for Australian financial services.

AFS banned/disqualified person

A person who has been banned by ASIC from providing financial services.

AFS licence

A licence granted by ASIC to authorise a person to provide financial services in Australia.

AFS licensee

A holder of an AFS licence.

Agent (Business names)

An agent for business names is any person(s) authorised by a business name holder to act on their behalf. This might include an accountant, a lawyer, a corporate services provider or even a relative or friend. A business name holder may nominate more than one agent. Agents must be authorised, sign up for an ASIC Connect account, and link business names to their account using the ASIC key.

Alternative registration period (Business names)

The ability to choose an alternative date for the expiration of a registration period, under the Business Names Registration Act 2011, that aligns with the expiration of the registration period of another business name registered by the business name holder, or review date of a company under the Corporations Act 2001, if the business holder is a company.

Annual statement (SMSF auditors)

A transaction an SMSF auditor must complete within 30 days of the anniversary of their registration in which the SMSF auditor must review their details and declare they meet the eligibility criteria for continuing their registration.


An individual or organisation who makes an application to ASIC (e.g. an application to register a business name).

Approved SMSF auditor

An individual that has been approved by ASIC on or after 31 January 2013 to conduct audits on self-managed superannuation funds.

ASIC Connect

Online service available at that ASIC customers may use to search ASIC registers and conduct business name  and self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) auditor transactions.

ASIC Electronic Lodgement Protocol (ELP)

ASIC’s terms and conditions of use for access to ASIC’s electronic systems.

ASIC key (Business names/SMSF auditors)

A unique security number which ASIC issues for each registered business name. Customers need the ASIC key to conduct most transactions with ASIC in relation to a business name. The ASIC key is used to link a business name to a user account on ASIC Connect.

ASIC Training Register

A list of training courses and individual assessment services approved by ASIC authorised assessors that meet ASIC training requirements for financial product advisers.


A body corporate registered as an association under relevant Australian state or territory legislation.


A registered company auditor or an authorised audit company.

Australian Business Accounts (ABA)

An online service the Australian Government provides to help you set up, expand and manage your business. For further details refer to the Australian Business Accounts website.

Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS)

An online service that provides tailored information about government-related licences, registrations and permits. Check the Australian Business License and Information Service (ABLIS) in your Australian state or territory for the licences, permits and other registrations that apply to you.

Australian Business Register (ABR)

The Australian Business Register. For further details refer to the Australian Business Register (ABR) website. 

Australian Company Number (ACN)

A unique 9 digit identifying number ASIC issues to a company on registration under the Corporations Act 2001.

Australian Registered Body

A body corporate that is formed or incorporated in Australia and registered by ASIC enabling it to carry on business in one or more Australian states or territories, other than its home jurisdiction. It is not a company.

Registrable Australian bodies 

Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN)

A unique 9-digit identifying number issued to every registered Australian body upon registration.

Registrable Australian bodies

Australian Resident (SMSF auditors)

A person who is a resident of Australia for the purposes of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

Authorisation (Business names)

The authority to conduct a transaction on behalf of a registered entity in respect of the entity's business name. Persons authorised to transact with ASIC in relation to the business name includes business name holders, their representatives and agents. For example, a business name holder may authorise their agent, such as an Accountant or Solicitor, to lodge and manage their business name registration on their behalf. In contrast, a Nominated Manager has authority only to manage the day to day activities of the business where a debtor representative is appointed. This excludes the authority to engage in any way with the Business Name Register on behalf of the entity.

Authorised audit company

A company registered with ASIC to conduct company audits. See also: Registered company auditor

Authorised lodger

An individual who is authorised to complete and submit transactions on behalf of a registration holder. This includes officeholders and agents acting on behalf of a company.

Authorised representative

A person authorised by an AFS licensee to provide particular financial services or products on their behalf.