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4 tasks to complete in an SMSF name change

Elizabeth Wang  |  05 Oct 2017Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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Townsends Lawyers often receives enquiries from clients who wish to change the name of their SMSF due to a number of reasons, and are now wondering how to make sure their SMSF documentation reflects this change.


Here is a checklist for SMSF trustees to use in making the name change on their fund:

1) Deed of variation

As the fund's name will usually appear on trust deeds, bank accounts, assets held by the SMSF, and any other documents relevant to the fund, changing the name of the fund will usually require the fund's trust deed to be varied.

Because of this, trustees should make sure they keep relevant documentation on the fund register to explain any changes in the fund's name.

2) Trustee resolutions to change the name of the fund

The trustee should also prepare a resolution noting: the previous name of the fund; the new name of the fund; and the documentation which will be kept on the fund register as evidence of this change of fund name.

While there are no restrictions on what name you can use for an SMSF, it is important to note that names that are misleading, deceptively similar to another fund's name, or identical to an existing company or business name should be avoided.

3) Updating title records of SMSF assets

Fund assets are held in the name of the trustee of the fund. Some public registers make no reference to the fund and so will not need to be advised if the fund's name changes.

Private or public registers which refer to the fund name will, however, require amendment. How that amendment occurs will be subject to the rules and procedures applicable to the relevant register.

4) Other third-party requirements

Trustees should also check with any third parties who deal with their SMSF to ensure they have informed them of the change of name and provide any required documents for the necessary updates to the fund's details.

A relatively straightforward request, like a name change, still has many legal elements to be considered and worked through methodically.

Trustees need to ensure that a new SMSF name is properly established to avoid future concerns.

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Elizabeth Wang is a solicitor with Townsends Business & Corporate Lawyers. This is a financial news article to be used for non-commercial purposes and is not intended to provide financial advice of any kind. Opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to the opinions or recommendations of Morningstar as a result of using different assumptions and criteria.

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