What’s in a name?

Do you operate a business that trades under a business name? If you do and you haven’t registered that name, then the new legislation affects you.

Anyone who operates a business knows how valuable a business name can be. Therefore, it makes sense that you’d want to ensure the name (and the goodwill it includes) is protected.

The recent changes to legislation now requires any business that doesn’t trade as their own name to register that business name with ASIC.

Following are a couple of examples of when you would need to register your business name:

  • Tessa Scott operates as a sole trader and owns a cupcake business and wants to be known as Tessa Scott’s Cupcakes
  • Clare Smith and Jamie Johnson run a plumbing business together (as a partnership). Their partnerships legal name is Clare Smith and Jamie Johnson and they want their business to be known as Clare and Jamie’s Plumbing

As shown from the above examples, the changes now require anyone not trading just as their own name, to register their business name. The registration process is relatively simple and can be undertaken on the ASIC website. The business name can be registered for 1 or 3 years (fees apply).

Once the business name is registered, the registration will be effective nation-wide. This eliminates the need to register the name in each Australian state. Unfortunately, once the name is registered, you are unable to make changes to the name. Instead, you would need to register a new business name.

Just registering a business name doesn’t give you any exclusive trading, branding or ownership rights over the name. If you need to fully protect your business name to stop other businesses operating as a similar name, we’d suggest you consider trade-marking the name. For further information on trade-marking head to ipaustralia.gov.au.

If you’d like any assistance with registering a business name, please contact our office.


Author: Kim Jay