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Personal Property Securities Register

Personal Property

Introduction to the Personal Property Securities Register – it’s known simply as the PPSR.

From the PPSR: The One Minute Explanation:

If you’re looking to buy a second-hand car privately – then make sure you check the Personal Property Securities Register first.

Doing a quick check online of the PPSR will tell you four important things:

  1. If there’s money owing on the car
  2. If it’s been reported as stolen
  3. If it’s been reported as written off
  4. If it’s on the Takata airbag recall list

It costs just $2 to search the government’s Personal Property Securities Register – and takes just 2 minutes. Simply go to www.ppsr.gov.au for the $2 PPSR search.

And it’s not just about cars – you can check to see if there’s money owing on all sorts of assets such as trucks, caravans, boats, trailers, yellow goods, machinery, equipment, inventory, livestock, art, jewellery, shares… basically anything that isn’t nailed down!

It also has other benefits for your business:

if you’re selling your goods on credit or delayed payment terms, or if you’re leasing or hiring them out longer term then you can protect your interest in your goods by making a registration on the PPSR to protect yourself if your customer stops paying you, or worse – they go broke.

So importantly, making a registration can mean the difference between being a secured or unsecured creditor if your customer becomes insolvent.

Benefits of the PPSR – Step One

Most people assume that they would only need to search the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) if they bought a second-hand car. But the PPSR is not just about cars.

When you take a closer look, the benefits to small business are a valuable resource and the PPSR can be utilised by businesses in making decisions.

Purchase of Equipment or Machinery

If a business needs to purchase equipment or machinery, a simple search of the PPSR can check to see if the equipment intended for purchase has any finance owing on it and is free from possible repossession.

The register won’t tell you the value of the obligation, but it lets you know there in a debt payable on the equipment or machinery and then a business owner can make an informed decision regarding purchase.

Using the PPSR

To check if there’s money owing on a potential purchase of an asset such as trucks, caravans, boats, trailers, yellow goods, machinery, equipment, inventory, livestock, art, jewellery, shares all a business needs to do is to create a PPSR account and for $2 per search a business can access credit information regarding the purchase.

There are two ways to search the PPSR:

By serial number:

For serial numbered property such as motor vehicles, watercraft, aircraft, and some types on intellectual property (copyright, patents, and designs) but not any other serial numbered goods such as computer or washing machines.

For goods bought for domestic use and valued less than $5,000, you will automatically get them free from security interests. This is known as the low value or garage sale rule. Note: this rule doesn’t apply to serial numbered goods like cars.

For more info see PPSR – How the PPSR protects buyers and lessees

By seller details:

A search can be done using the Australian Company Number (ACN), an Australian Business Number (ABN) or the name and date of birth on an individual’s drivers’ licence.

What Do the Results Mean?

A search of the register will give one of two results. Firstly, there is no security interest on the item searched and it is reliable information that proceeding with the purchase is safe or there are one or more existing registrations on the property.

If this occurs, the result will list details of the secured parties and the dates of registration. Review this information with business owners and decide if they wish to continue with the purchase. Ensure that you download a search certificate to keep on file. Particularly if the business owner needs to have a conversation with the seller, having the certificate handy will make it easier to decline the purchase.

For more information on searching the PPSR see PPSR – Searching the Personal Property Securities Register

Source: Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

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