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 'C'

Cancel – application for consent to transfer a business name

A business name holder may apply to cancel a business name and for consent for another holder to register the business name. A consent to transfer number will be provided by ASIC. See also: Consent to transfer number.

Cancellation (Business names)

Cancellation of the registration of a business name. Cancellation can occur upon application by a business name holder, action initiated by ASIC or where ASIC is ordered to do so by a court. Cancelled business names appear on the public Business Names Register with a cancelled status.


Information recorded on ASIC registers that ASIC provides in the form of a certificate.

Certified document

A copy of a document from the ASIC register that ASIC has certified in writing to be a true copy of that document from the ASIC register.


An agreement or mortgage taken over a company's assets.


Check name availability

A series of tests that will be applied to determine whether a proposed business name is available to register. See also: Business name availability tests.

Commonwealth of Australia ASIC Gazette

A publication containing notices required to be published under the Corporations Act 2001, including instruments, notices of variation, changes of company type, company reinstatements and company and scheme deregistrations.

Commonwealth of Australia Business Gazette

A publication which contains private notices advertised by companies under the Corporations Act 2001.


A body corporate registered in Australia under the Corporations Act 2001.

Company alert

A service which allows you to register to receive an email alert whenever a specific type of document is lodged with ASIC by a specified company.

Company annual return

A document that all companies were required to lodge with ASIC by 31 January each year, containing the details held about that company. The obligation to lodge a company annual return ceased on 1 July 2003.

Competency examination (SMSF auditors)

An examination conducted by or on behalf of ASIC to determine the competency of a person to conduct audits on self-managed superannuation funds.

Competency standards (SMSF auditors)

A set of specific competencies that an approved SMSF auditor is required to have in order to be registered with ASIC.

Consent to transfer number (Business names)

A unique identifying number issued by ASIC when a business name holder has consented for a potential business name holder to register a business name. The consent number will never be more than 15 alphanumeric characters. The new business name holder must provide this number to ASIC when applying to register the business name. See also: Transfer number.

Corporate key

A unique 8-digit identifier ASIC issues to every company, used to keep company information secure. The corporate key is not needed for any business name transactions.


Under the Corporations Act 2001, a corporation can be:

  • a company 
  • any body corporate (whether incorporated in this jurisdiction or elsewhere), and 
  • an unincorporated body that under law of its place of origin, may sue or be sued, or may hold property in the name of its secretary or of an officeholder of the body duly appointed for that purpose.

Correspondence (Business names)

Communications between ASIC and business name holders or their agents. For example, these can be through letters, notices, emails and telephone calls.

Credit licence

A licence that authorises the licensee to engage in particular credit activities.

Credit licensee

A holder of an Australian credit licence.

Credit registered person

A person registered as a credit provider in 2010 in the transition period before the commencement of the national credit licensing scheme.

Credit representative

A person who is authorised in writing to engage in specific credit activities on behalf of a credit licensee.

Current charge

A registered charge that has not been satisfied.