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Companies now register electronically

COMPANIES can now be registered in just minutes via the Internet thanks to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s new Electronic Company Registration service.

The new system enables the entire process of registering a company to be conducted online using smart cards and public key encryption to generate and authenticate digital signatures with access to an electronic payment facility.

ASIC commissioner Jillian Segal said electronic lodgement reduced administrative costs for company registrations – both for ASIC and ultimately companies being registered.

“These cost savings will be passed on to business by intermediaries, who are primarily specialists in company registrations and to a lesser extent accountants and solicitors,” Ms Segal said.

“Instead of having to physically attend busy ASIC business centres to register a company over the counter, the entire process can now be conducted via the Internet.

“Having successfully demonstrated the use of digital signatures to authenticate documents and to enable secure trading, we will apply the technology to other areas and for other documents lodged with the ASIC.”

The ECR system is the first fully operational system in Australia to use digital signatures generated by smart cards.

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