A business name is the name under which an entity trades. This ‘entity’ can be a person, a company, an incorporated association, and more. 

You are required to register a business name as a company. However, sole traders and businesses set up under a partnership structure can simply trade under their own names if they do not wish to have a business name.

So, how does it all work? When do you need to register a business name and how do you go about it? Let’s run through what you need to know. 

Why Do I Need To Register A Business Name?

When running a business, a business name is more than just a formality required by law. It is also the name that will represent you, your brand and your services. It’s what will make you stand out from the crowd. 

That being said, though, a business name is primarily a legal requirement, and it’s something all companies need to have. As such, registering a business name is an important early step for all businesses starting out.

Is A Business Name The Same As A Trade Mark?

There is an important distinction that needs to be made between a business name and a trade mark

A business name does not actually grant any legal protection on its own. You need a trade mark to stop other people from using your business name (or similar names) in a similar area of business. 

Put simply, registering a business name is more of an administrative formality. On the other hand, a trade mark is an extra level of protection that gives you the legal rights to use that name exclusively in Australia.

Often, though, a business name can be used as ‘prior use’ evidence when applying for a trade mark or disputing a trade mark with the same name, so they can work together to protect your business!

Need Help?

Applying for a business name is a very simple process, so often we just recommend our clients head over to the Australian Business Register site, however we’re happy to help with this process if you require assistance or advice!

At Sprintlaw, we focus on providing comprehensive, easy to understand and user-friendly advice for businesses and we would love to help you too! 
Feel free to get in touch with us to get things started with your Business Name Registration or have a chat to one of our lawyers about your business set up. Our friendly team can be reached at 1800 730 617 or at team@sprintlaw.com.au.

About Sprintlaw

Sprintlaw is a new type of law firm that operates completely online and on a fixed-fee basis. We’re on a mission to make quality legal services faster, simpler and more affordable for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

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