Claim money from shares and investments

Shares and other investments

If you have found a name on ASIC's Unclaimed Money Online Search that is relevant to you and the money is listed as 'Company money' or 'Company gazette', here's how to claim it. 

How to claim money from lost shares and investments

Who holds the money changes the way you claim it.

ASIC holds most of the unclaimed money from shares and other investments that people have not collected from companies. This is listed in our unclaimed money search as 'Company money'.

A small amount of unclaimed money is held by the companies themselves. This is listed in our unclaimed money search as 'Company gazette'.

The reason you claim this cash or shares in a different way is because the company have only sent details of the unclaimed money to ASIC (the name and the amount of unclaimed cash and/or shares), but not the cash or shares themselves. This type of unclaimed money is usually the result of a takeover and may include cash and/or shares, depending on the takeover offer.

How to claim lost shares and investments held by ASIC

This is how you would claim money listed in ASIC's unclaimed money search as 'Company money' if you are claiming as:

  • An individual
  • A joint shareholder
  • An executor of a deceased estate
  • A director, secretary or liquidator of a registered company
  • A proprietor of a registered business
  • A trustee of a superannuation fund or trust fund
  • A parent or guardian of a minor or person holding power of attorney

How long will your claim take?

It takes ASIC 28 days to process your claim from the date we receive your request. If you are outside Australia the process will be longer as we will have to mail the cheque to you.

Step 1

Record your Original Transaction Number (OTN)

Note down the Original Transaction Number (OTN) you found when you used our unclaimed money search. You will need to quote your OTN on the claim form in Step 2

The OTN will be located here on the Search page.

Step 2

Fill out the How to claim your money form

Supply the requested documents listed in the form. 

Step 3

Send the claim form and documents to us

Scan and email a clear completed copy of this form along with all accompanying certified documents as one scanned PDF (not multiple files) in the order set out below to unclaimed.money@asic.gov.au.

  1. Statutory Declaration (excluding pages 1, 6 & 7)
  2. Certified Primary & Secondary Identification Documents
  3. Certified proof of address or connection to original company funds held under
  4. Any other supporting documents that support your claim (e.g. trust deed, name change documents etc.)
  5. You should also use the naming conventions in the subject line of your email shown in the following example <SURNAME><First name> - <Related Company Name> as per listed record being claimed.

Or post your completed claim along with all accompanying certified copies of documents to:

ASIC
Unclaimed Money Unit
GPO Box 9827
Brisbane QLD 4001 AU

How to claim lost shares and investments held by the company 

This is how you would claim money or shares listed in our unclaimed money search as 'Company Gazette'.

The reason you claim this money in a different way is because the company have sent details of the money to ASIC (name and the unclaimed amount), but not the money itself. This could include money or shares from a takeover.  

Step 1

Search the ASIC gazette 

You need to do this to get contact information for the company that originally held the shares. 

Step 2

Contact the company

The company can tell you how to claim the money or shares. Companies will often use a 'share registry' to do this.

If you can't find the company's contact details, visit ASIC: do you have a question to send us a message. Then we will send the company's details to you. 

 

Statutory declaration and claim forms

If you need the statutory declaration or claim form sent to you by post please email us: unclaimed.money@asic.gov.au

How to claim money owed to a deregistered company

If you have found a record on our unclaimed money search in the name of a deregistered company and you are a former shareholder or officeholder, you may have a claim to the money. 

If the company was deregistered in the last few years and you were an officeholder when this happened, you should consider reinstating the company as this may allow the funds to be claimed.

If the costs of reinstatement are more than the funds ASIC holds or if the amount held is of low value, ASIC may approve a claim if the company was solvent at the time of deregistration. The claim may be approved if the company did not owe any creditors, did not have any security interests registered on the Personal Property and Securities Register and you are the owner of the shares. However, ASIC assesses claims on a case-by-case basis.

To make a claim please fill out this Statutory declaration for claims by shareholders of deregistered companies.

Do not complete this statutory declaration if the company was in a court ordered or creditor's voluntary liquidation before it was deregistered.  To be able to claim the funds, you will need to arrange for the company to be reinstated and a liquidator appointed to distribute the funds.

Need guidance on what to do next?

If you are unsure whether to complete the statutory declaration or reinstate the company please email or write to ASIC:

Unclaimed Money Unit
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
GPO Box 9827, Brisbane QLD 4001
Email: unclaimed.money@asic.gov.au

Please give us the following details:

  • name of the deregistered company and the ACN
  • Original Transaction Number (OTN) from our unclaimed money search
  • name and contact information for former members (current address details). 
  • reasons why you think you don't need to reinstate your company.

How to claim money owed to a deregistered business

If you have found a record on our unclaimed money search in the name of a deregistered business, the former proprietors of the business at the time of deregistration may be entitled to claim.

Please email unclaimed.money@asic.gov.au providing the following information:

  1. Details of the record being claimed, including the OTN (original transaction number)
  2. Verification of former proprietors of the deregistered business e.g. business name extract at the time of deregistration

How to claim money for someone who died without a will

If the record you have located on our unclaimed money search is owed to someone who died without a will or probate it is considered that they died intestate

To claim money on behalf of someone in this situation you need to confirm the following information:

  • There was no will - State succession laws will apply if there was no will and beneficiaries of the estate may be entitled to the funds. 
  • No probate was granted - Contact the probate registry in the state the deceased died to confirm this. 

In some cases you may also need to apply to court to have an administrator appointed to deal with the deceased estate property. 

To make an initial claim you will need to provide the following information to ASIC:

  • Names of the beneficiaries (children and spouse/defacto of the deceased)
  • The value of the estate
  • The place and date of death
  • The deceased's usual place of residence

Please email this information to: unclaimed.money@asic.gov.au 

After we have received your email, we will advise you of our requirements to make a claim.

Having trouble finding proof of address

To make a claim you will need to provide a certified copy of an official notice addressed to you at the postal address that appears on the unclaimed money record, whether that is your current or a former address. This proof helps ASIC determine if you are the rightful owner. 

Here are some examples of an official notice that ASIC will accept:

  • Dividend advice or takeover notice (from any company)
  • Bank statement
  • Council rates notice 
  • Government correspondence
  • Utilities bill
  • Birth, marriage or death certificate of a relative (as long as you can prove kinship)
  • Certificates or academic results

ASIC reserves the right to request original documentation.Please retain any original proof of address documents until your claim has been processed.

ASIC will also accept official documents that you can request from other organisations, as long as the document includes the date of birth and address as it appears on the unclaimed money record: 

  • Electoral roll confirmation letter - Contact the Australian Electoral Commission (Note: If you ask the AEC for this information about another person they will not give it to you. They will only give you this information if it is about yourself.)
  • Transport authority confirmation letter - Contact the Department of Transport in your state or territory
  • Centrelink confirmation letter 
  • Bank or financial institution confirmation letter

Alternatively, if the address on your unclaimed money record was for a business or company, you can provide ASIC with a document from that business (showing the address as it appears on the unclaimed money record). 

infographic thumbnail

Australia's unclaimed money

Our unclaimed money infographic explains how people lose track of their money and how much is out there to be claimed in each state and capital city in 2016.


Last updated: 09 Aug 2016