How to Register Your Business Name

What are all the hoops you need to jump through to register a business name, domain name and trademark it if that is neccessary?

You actually have three questions roled into one, so I’ll deal with them one at a time.

Registering a business name
Registering a business name in Australia is really easy. You simply go online to any of the Offices of Fair Trading or Consumer Affairs around the country, or turn up at one of their shopfronts (addresses are online) and complete a fairly simple form, pay a fee of around $80 and voila! I’ve listed the links for all of those offices below so that you don’t have to search for them.

***Since writing the original article this system was updated and became national through the Australia Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) so now you only need register your business name in one place and it is covered nationally – http://asic.gov.au/for-business/registering-a-business-name/

The things you need to do before you fill in an application for registration of a business name are:

  1. Know who the owner will be, whether that is you, a partnership, trust or a company.
  2. Do a business name search on www.asic.gov.au so that you know the name you want to register isn’t already registered to someone else. You used to have to secure the name first, now you don’t, but you do need to list three preferences.

Note, registering a business name is not the same as starting a company and it doesn’t create a separate legal entity. The owner of the business name is the legal entity. You can apply for an ABN for the business name that you register and you can use it on bank accounts.

Registration is renewable every three years.

Tips for registering a business name – be careful if you want to try and play on the name of another business. Crazy John’s (mobile phone company) successfully sued Crazy Ron’s (mobile phone company) for breach of trademark even though there was no problem with registering the business name in the first place.

… more tomorrow ..

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2 Responses to “How to Register Your Business Name”

  1. Jen Kealey October 22, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    THanks Jeanette exactly the kind of detail I needed

  2. Jeanette Jifkins August 29, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    To join the mailing list simply fill in the name capture box at the top of the page with your name and a valid email address. Thanks.

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