Your business name is your reputation and hopefully overtime is worth something. The last thing you want is to lose it or find someone else who owns it. This guide will cover the process of register a business name in Australia.
A business name is a name your business operates under. You need to register a name if you conduct business under a name other than your own.
WHY do I need to Register my Business name?
If you do not register your name you may find someone is already using it or someone else could register it. Then you would have to find a new name and waste any effort you have already taken establishing your name. There is also the potential for legal action against you.
WHAT you need to do first – Search business names
After you have chosen a potential name your first port of call should be the Australian Business Name index. https://connectonline.asic.gov.au/RegistrySearch/faces/landing/bn/SearchBnRegisters.jspx?_adf.ctrl-state=q7ueeovpl_45
Here you must select “business names index” then enter your potential name in a search box. You will then be presented with a search result. Here you will see if the name is already taken or available.
Your next step should be a simple search on the internet to see if anyone else is using your name and if so in what way.
Assuming no one has already used it and your name is not close to someone elses you can now apply to register that name. Note some words like “Bank” or “Royal” cannot be used as they might mislead people about your activities.
HOW to register a business name:
- Determine your business structure. Be sure to read our essential guide on choosing a Business structure
- Apply for an ABN (Australian Business Number) https://asic.gov.au/for-business/registering-a-business-name/before-you-register-a-business-name/australian-business-number/
You may have 2 or more business names registered to the same ABN as long as the business structure does not change.
- Sign into ASIC Connect. Steps to register can be found here https://asic.gov.au/online-services/business-names/#steps-to-register
- Once logged in Select ‘Business name’ from the drop-down box
- You will now be required to enter your ABN, the proposed name, how many years you want to register for, and your details
- Review the information you have entered, most importantly did you enter your proposed name correctly?
- Pay for the application and wait for your registration to be processed
Make sure you have the right spelling!
The cost of registering a business name can be found here. https://asic.gov.au/for-business/payments-fees-and-invoices/payment-options/business-name-fees-and-payment-options/
SUMMARY – Your Brand
Selecting a business name gives you an identity. Registering it means you are the sole owner of the name and can also register an Australian internet domain name.