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How to register a business name

How to register a business name

Registering your trading name is an important first step in launching your business idea.

Your business name will often be the first thing your customer sees. It reflects who your business is and helps customers distinguish your business from competitors. Think about a name that will suit your business and be memorable. Once you’ve got the name locked down follow these steps to register it.

1. Check if you need it

If you’re trading under your own name, you won’t need to register a business name. You'll need to register with Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) if you plan to trade under a name that is:

  • Different from your own name
  • Includes other words as well as your name
  • Different to your company name – this is only applicable to a registered company.

2. Search your business name

You want to be confident your proposed business name is available and will stand out from your competitors. Searching the ASIC register will show any businesses with similar names. Also consider checking the business name is available to register for a domain name and trade mark.

3. Be aware of costs

Make sure you understand the fees to register a business name. You’ll likely be asked to make a payment before you can complete the registration.

4. Apply

Once you’ve confirmed you are eligible and have decided on a business name, you’re ready to apply. Here is a list of information you’ll often need for your application:

  • Australian Business Number (ABN) or ABN application reference number
  • Proposed business name
  • Registration period
  • Full names and addresses of all business owners
  • Address of your principal place of business and where you want documents delivered.

5. Protect your business name

For exclusive ownership of your business name, you'll need to register it as a trade mark with IP Australia. This will help stop others from trading in the same name in Australia.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. You should consider seeking independent financial advice before making any decision based on this information.