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Is it a requirement for a company to include 'Pty Ltd' on business cards?

Our view is that there is no legal requirement for “Pty Ltd” to appear on business cards.

We note that S.153(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 provides that “A company must set out its name on all public documents and negotiable instruments.”

However, our view is that business cards are not “public documents” or negotiable instruments.  ASIC states that “public documents” and “eligible negotiable instruments” include “all documents that are lodged with ASIC, orders for goods and services, business letterheads, cheques, and written advertisements making a specific offer capable of being accepted.”  We note that the above does not include business cards (although it does include business letterheads).

 Also, ASIC states that a company’s ACN is not required on business cards.  This indicates to us that “Pty Ltd” also would not be required on business cards.   

However, the above is only intended as preliminary advice, and we cannot confirm that “Pty Ltd” does not have to appear on business cards.  Also note that penalties apply if a company’s full name and ACN is not set out when required – refer in particular to S.153(3) of the Corporations Act.  It may be appropriate to obtain independent legal advice in this regard.