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Glossary of terms - P

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 appears in brackets alongside a term, this denotes the definition is only to be used in reference to the Business Name Register. These terms do not apply to any other ASIC services.


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Partnership (business names)

A set of individuals and/or incorporated entities that have a business arrangement together and an Australian business number (ABN) with a view of making profit.


Stands for portable document format. Files in this format can be viewed in freely available Acrobat Reader software.


Includes an individual, body corporate, partnership, and multiple trustees.

Principal contact

A person nominated to receive copies of correspondence. Principal contacts can be appointed by:

  • a partnership;
  • an unincorporated body or association;
  • a trust; or 
  • a joint venture.

The principal contact will appear on the public register.

Principal place of business (business names)

A physical address that is the principal or main location at which a business name holder carries on business in Australia. This address appears on the public register, unless the principal place of business is the same as the business name holder's residential address. In that case, ASIC will only display the suburb, postcode and Australian state or territory on the public register.

Product disclosure statement (PDS)

A disclosure document that must be provided to a retail client for the offer or issue of a financial product.

Professional roles register

A series of registers that contain details of professional roles, including:

  • Australian financial services licensees and authorised representatives 
  • auditors 
  • liquidators 
  • Australian credit licensee and representatives, and 
  • other roles that existed before the introduction of Australian financial services licences.

Proposed business name

This is the name that is proposed for registration and is subject to the names availability rules.

Public Register (business names)

This is the entries in the Business Names Register, which are available for searching by the public. Extract of these entries can be searched online.