A business name is simply a name or title under which a person, or other legal entity, trades. It not only identifies you to your customers, but also allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors and enables your customers to make an emotional connection to your business and brand. For many businesses, the name is often the most valuable asset.
When setting up your business, if you choose to operate as a sole trader, partnership or a trust, and not as a company, then you will have to register your business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). If your business name is your, or your partner’s, first name and surname, then there is no need to register.
Registering a business name does not in itself give you any exclusive rights over the use of that name—only a trade mark can give you that kind of protection. Learn more about the differences between trade marks and business names. Ensure you have exclusive use of your name now and in the future throughout Australia by applying for a trade mark.
New National Business Names Registration System
A new National Business Names Registration System has now commenced, replacing the current state and territory registers.
All business name registrations are now managed by ASIC. All business names registered under state and territory registers have now been transferred to ASIC's national business names register. The date for renewing your business name will remain the same.
For more information on these changes, visit our New National Business Names Registration System page or the ASIC website.
Renewing a business name
If your business name registration expires on or after 28 May 2012, ASIC will issue you a renewal notice. If you have not supplied a business email address to ASIC, your notice will be sent by mail to the address for service of documents. Notices are issued within two months of the due date.
You can find out what the business name payments and fees are for registering or renewing a business name on the ASIC website.
Protecting your brand
Be aware that registration of a business name, company name or domain name does not in itself give you any exclusive rights to its use—only a trade mark can give you that kind of protection.
Find out more about registering your trade mark.
If you want to use your business name as part of your web address, take a look at our Register your domain page.
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