How the PPSR searches the database

If you're searching for an individual or organisation on the PPSR, learn more about how the PPSR treats certain text such as punctuation, noise words and abbreviations.

On this page

This page gives you some details about how the PPSR searches for individual and organisation details on the database. This may help if you're worried about what to include when you’re entering your search criteria for these search types.

Exact match searching

The PPSR uses ‘exact match searching’ for individual and organisation grantor searches. That means it will give you results based on exactly what you type in for your search. You should pay careful attention to the spelling of an individual's name as well as organisation identifiers.

The PPSR won't correct any spelling mistakes besides the details listed on this page. For more information about the type of identifiers you can use or how you can make sure the details are correct before searching see Do an individual search or Do an organisation search.

There are some specific rules about how it treats some types of text to make it easier to find results.

What the PPSR ignores

When entering your search terms, the PPSR ignores:

This means it doesn't matter if you enter these details or not when searching, the PPSR will look for all variations.

Short form and abbreviations

In organisation names, it treats some short forms of words as if they are full words (for example, WA will search for Western Australia and vise versa). See the table below for a full list of these words.


It doesn’t matter whether you enter something in upper case (capital letters) or lower case. For example:

  • abC123 matches abc123 and ABC123
  • BHP Australia matches Bhp Australia and BHP AUSTRALIA.

White space

All white space is ignored. White space is any space or spaces before, after or in the middle of other characters. For example:

  • Jo Anne Smith matches JOANNESMITH
  • King S Land matches KINGSLAND
  • 67 340 179 184 matches 67340179184.

Punctuation in names

All punctuation in names is ignored. Punctuation is any character that’s not a number or a letter. For example:

  • J.O. Brien matches JOBRIEN
  • J O’Brien matches JOBRIEN
  • A-BC Const. matches ABCCONST
  • @Home Design matches HOMEDESIGN.

Leading zeros in organisation identifiers

All leading zeros are ignored when you enter an organisation’s:

  • Australian Company Number (ACN)
  • Australian Registered Scheme Number (ARSN)
  • Australian Registered Fund Number (ARFN)
  • Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) or
  • Australian Business Number (ABN) although an ABN won't usually start with zeros.

This means it won’t matter if you include zeros that are at the start of the number. For example:

  • 012 610 487 matches 12610487
  • 008630243 matches 8 630 243.

Noise words in organisation names

Noise words are ignored when searching for an organisation name. Noise words are words like ‘the’ and ‘and’. The PPSR only ignores them if they’re whole words – not if they’re part of a word. For example:

  • The Smiths: ‘The’ is ignored
  • Smith and Sons: ‘and’ is ignored
  • Jacaranda: ‘and’ is not ignored.

The full list of noise words is:

  • a
  • an
  • and
  • as
  • Dr
  • Esq
  • for
  • in
  • Jnr
  • Miss
  • Mr
  • Mrs
  • Ms
  • of
  • Prof
  • the

Short forms and abbreviations

There are a few short forms of words that the PPSR treats as being the full word and vise versa. The table below shows these short forms and some common abbreviations.

Full name Short form
assoc assn
association assn
assocn assn
Australia aust
Australian aust
Australian Capital Territory ACT
co op coop
co operative coop
company co
cooperative coop
corporation corp
coy co
incorporated inc
limited L
ltd L
New South Wales NSW
New Zealand NZ
Northern Territory NT
number no
proprietary P
pty P
Queensland QLD
registered regd
saint st
South Australia SA
Tasmania TAS
trading T
Victoria VIC
Western Australia WA
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