How do I choose a business name
A business name is the name under which your business trades. Once you've decided on your business structure and type, it is likely you'll want to choose a business name.
A business name is registered nationally with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), meaning that your business can operate in any state or territory. If you're trading under your own name, there's no requirement to register a separate business name.
Deciding on a business name
Choosing the right name will help ensure you're creating the right image for your business. It'll also help to distinguish it from your competitors. Before deciding on your business name, consider:
- How is your business unique from competitors?
- What image do you want to communicate to customers?
- Are any businesses already using the name you have in mind?
- Is your proposed name also available to be registered as a domain name for doing business online?
- Is there any chance that your proposed name could be misunderstood?
It's important to understand the difference between a trade mark and a business name before making your decision.
Registration of a business, company or domain name does not in itself give you any proprietary rights - only a trade mark can give you that kind of protection. Once you've decided on a name, ensure you have exclusive use of your name throughout Australia by registering your business name as a trade mark.
A company name must be registered with ASIC. But if you want your company to trade under a different name, then you're also required to register the trading name as a business name.
What to do...
- See our topics on Registration and licences to Start a business and Register your company.
- Read about registering a business name as a trade mark with IP Australia.
- Search IP Australia's trade marks databases to ensure your proposed business name isn't already being used as a trade mark.
- Read our Intellectual property topic for more info on registering and protecting your IP.