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Do an organisation search

Doing a $2 PPSR search on an organisation can show you whether it has any security interests registered against its assets. This can help protect you if you are looking at lending the organisation money or doing business with it.

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Why do a PPSR organisation search?

There are many reasons to use the PPSR to search against an organisation. However, there are two common reasons you might want to do this:

  1. You are buying valuable second hand goods (such as a coffee maker, photocopier or machinery) from an organisation and want to check the goods are debt free. 
     
  2. You are entering an agreement to lend money or extend credit to an organisation and want to secure repayment using their personal property. This is because you want to see who else might have used their property to secure debts to see if you are first in line if they cannot repay. 

 

By doing a PPSR organisation search, (also known as an organisation grantor search), you can find out if anybody else has registered an interest in the organisation’s assets.

A PPSR search won't tell you the value of any interests or assets. 

At the end of your search you’ll get a PPSR search certificate. This is your legal record of the search.

What we mean by 'organisation'

Organisations include:

  • companies
  • bodies corporate
  • a partner in a partnership with an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • bodies politic and
  • a trustee of a trust with an ABN.
Note

Organisations do not include individuals such as:

  • a sole trader with an ABN
  • a partner in a partnership that does not have an ABN and
  • a trustee of a trust that does not have an ABN.

You will need to do an individual search to find out if there are security interests registered against these. 

What a PPSR organisation search costs

A search can be done two ways:

  • Online self-service: $2.00
  • Assisted phone service: $7.00

You can pay using a credit card or debit card.

What you need to do a search

The PPSR searches organisations using their identifiers - the unique name or set of numbers that helps identify them. Most commonly, organisation searches on the PPSR are done using a company ACN.

As organisations often have more than one identifier (such as an ACN as well as an ABN), the PPSR uses a particular order that people need to follow when they make a registration against the organisation. The identifier the organisation has that is highest in this order is the one you need to use to do your search.

The order is as follows:

  1. ARSN (Australian Registered Scheme Number)

  2. ACN (Australian Company Number)

  3. ARBN (Australian Registered Body Number

  4. ABN (Australian Business Number)

  5. Organisation name

When you start your search the PPSR helps you understand which type of identifier you should use by asking some questions. If the organisation doesn't have an ARSN, ACN or ARBN, the PPSR will ask about the type of organisation entity you're searching on to help you know what identifier you should use. This is broken down into partnerships, body politics, trusts and any other types of organisations. 

Note

It's important to know that when doing a PPSR organisation search, it only searches against the identifier you enter. If a secured party has registered a security interest against the organisation using a different identifier than what you've searched on, it won't return in your search results. This could mean their registration is ineffective.

For more information see When you might need to do more than one search below.

How to do a PPSR organisation search

If you have a PPSR account, you may want to log in to this first, then:

  1. Go to PPSR Search by organisation grantor
     
  2. We'll ask you some questions about the organisation you're searching on. Select either Yes or No. Depending on the type of identifier you use, you may need to select what type of entity the organisation is. 
     
  3. Enter the organisation identifier and select the Verify button. This matches the identifier with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) or the Australian Business Register (ABR) to make sure it's correct - check the name of the organisation to make sure it's the one you want to search on. 
     
  4. You can choose to search by collateral class to only see certain types of security interests. To see all security interests, select No
     
  5. If you'd like to include a reference number for your own records, enter this in the Client billing reference field.
     
  6. Review your search criteria and if it's correct select Next
     
  7. Enter your payment details.  You can pay by credit or debit card.
     
  8. Enter your email address to be sent the tax invoice. Select Next.
     
  9. You'll now see a Search result summary. Select View certificate to open your search certificate and find your detailed search results. You can also select Email certificate to have the search results emailed to you. 
     
  10. Save your search certificate somewhere safe. This is your legal record of your search. 

When you might need to do more than one search

In some situations you might need to do some extra searching.

These include if the organisation you're searching on:

  • Has more than one identifier (e.g. an ABN and ACN). This is because secured parties may have registered their interest against one identifier and not the other. Even though registrations made against the wrong identifier will be defective and have no legal effect, you may want to consider searching on them to avoid potential future disputes.
     
  • Is a partnership or trust without an ABN. You might need to search each partner or the trustee using an Individual search as well as the partnership and trust.
     
  • Is a sole trader with an ABN. Security interests for sole traders with ABNs should be registered against the individual. Even though registrations made against the wrong identifier will be defective and have no legal effect, you may want to consider searching on them to avoid potential future disputes.
     
  • Has changed its name if you’re searching using only the organisation’s name. If they've changed their name, you can ask the business for documentation so you can search the previous name. 

How to understand your search results

When you’ve done your search, you’ll get a PPSR search certificate. This will show you all the security interests registered on the PPSR against the identifier you’ve searched for. The PPSR search certificate is a legal record.

The certificate can be emailed to you or viewed on screen and saved as a PDF. You can get a copy of your search certificate at a later date at no additional cost.

Sample organisation grantor search certificate with no PPSR registrations
No PPSR registrations

Look at your search certificate under the heading ‘PPSR Registration Details’:

If your certificate says:

‘There is no security interest or other registration kind registered on the PPSR against the organisation grantor identifier in the search criteria details.' 

This means no one has a current registered security interest on the PPSR against the organisation's identifier (ABN, ACN, etc).

Download a sample search certificate:

Sample organisation grantor search with PPSR registrations
PPSR registrations

If your certificate shows any ‘PPSR registration’ details, this means someone has registered their security interest on the PPSR. This means someone claims to have an interest in the property of the organisation, e.g. the company has used their property as collateral for a secured loan. 

The details of the person who has registered the interest (the secured party) will appear here.

If you'd like more information about the interest, you can contact the organisation directly or the secured party using the address details provided on the certificate.

Download a sample search certificate:

Multiple registrations

If your search returned multiple registrations, you can filter the results to help you find just the ones you are interested in. You can do this on your search result summary page under filter search or by downloading the results as a CSV file (which generally displays as a spreadsheet).

A search certificate will only display individual registrations, so if your result has multiple registrations you'll need to issue a search certificate for each one. To do this, select each registration number and then select email certificate or view certificate and save each of them. 

Unknown results and migrated registrations

Your search result may return registrations that have fields marked as ‘unknown’. This is because they migrated from different registers to the PPSR in 2012 and may not have had enough information to match the search criteria you’ve used.

For more information see Migrated security interests.

More information about organisations

For more information about an organisation (like company registration details and history), you can also search the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) registers at ASIC Connect.

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