Selecting a Name for your Business should have the desired effect of impact and recognition of your Business product or service from your competitors. Selecting a Name is an individual decision and should be given careful consideration.
You should therefore ensure that nobody else is using the Business Name or has a Business Name similar to yours. Using someone else’s registered Name or similar can have significant legal implications and can be expensive to change or rectify. Lastly, you would also want to make sure your Business Name is original so that you stand out in the market.
Once you have selected a Business Name it would be time to register. There are four types of registration to consider: Business Name, domain Name, trade mark and corporate Name. The registration you choose will depend on your Business structure and what you want your Business to achieve.
What follows is an overview of the steps needed to secure your Business Name, to ensure your Business Name is nobody else’s Business.
Step 1 – Select a Business Name
Your Business Name should distinguish your Business from others. You therefore need to outline to the market what your Business does, that the Name is memorable, easy to spell, and fairly short. You can either use your personal Name, or a descriptive Name.
Using your own Name is the simplest option to choose.
- You could use your full Name, first Name or family Name.
- If you are in a partnership you could use a combination of the partners’ Names.
Utilise the following checklist to select your Business Name and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the proposed Name memorable?
- Is it original? Are there any existing trademarks, Business, company or domain names which are similar to your Name?
- Is it easy to pronounce and spell?
- Does it allow the Business to meet present and future?
- Does it make a statement about where the Business is positioned in the market and the service and/or product offering?
- Does it describe your Business?
- Can the Business Name be protected?
Step 2 – Check and Search a Business Name
Check if the Business Name you want is available. It’s important to Check before registering a Business Name, company Name or domain Name.
Failing to check the availability of your Name could be expensive and you could risk losing any brand recognition you’ve built the Business or product. Hence, if you inadvertently infringe someone’s trade mark, you could be sued, and you could also be required to change your Business Name and remove all traces of the Name from your Business, products, labelling, packaging, vehicles, stationery, advertising material, website and uniforms.
Step 3 – Register a Business Name
Depending on the structure of your Business or Business Name can be registered nationally, or as a corporate Name, domain Name or trademark.
It’s important to understand the differences between each, what they offer in terms of protection or exclusivity and how to register the right type of name. Your Business structure will affect the type of Name you register.
You can register a Business Name with Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Registering a Business Name gives you the rights to use that Name for a nominated period of time. It does NOT give you ownership of that name. If you want exclusive rights over the use of a particular Name, you will need to trade mark it.
You can register a Name with Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) under the federal Corporations Law.
If you choose to trade under a Name that is different from its company Name, the company must register the trading Name as a Business name.
You can register a domain Name with any of the registrars accredited by Australian Domain Names Administrator (auDA).
A domain Name is your unique address on the Internet. Ideally, it should contain the whole or part of your Business Name so your customers can easily find you online.
Trade Mark TM
The registered owner of a trade mark has a right to exclusively use the trade mark for their products and services throughout Australia.
If you have registered a Business Name it may be wise to consider registering it as a trade mark to ensure your Business Name is legally protected.
Commercial Lawyers Sydney at Pavuk Legal can assist you with selecting a Business Name, checking and searching a Business Name and registering your Business Name.
Many other essential hot topics for business owners is all found in the book Nobody Else’s Business. Nobody Else’s Business is about helping business owners live the life they want to live, now and in the future. It is the ultimate guidebook for succession planning of modern Australian businesses.
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