Step 3

A new national business names registration service has replaced the state/territory systems, so that businesses only need to register their name with the single register nationally.

The national business names registration service started on 28 May 2012 and is administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

How do I register a:

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.

Before deciding on which type of registration you will use, think about your business structure.

Business name

You can register a business name with Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

On 28 May 2012, a new online national business registration service replaced separate state and territory services so businesses only need to register or renew a business name nationally and pay a single fee.

  • $30 for 1 year
  • $70 for 3 years

For more information on how to register or renew a business name, visit ASIC's new online registry service ASIC Connect.

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.

NOTE: The WA Department of Commerce no longer has the responsibility for administering business names in Western Australia.

Company name

You can register a company name with Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) under the federal Corporations Law.

If your company chooses to trade under a name that is different from its company name, the company must register the trading name as a business name.

For more information about the legal implications and protection offered by a company name and structure go to business structures.

Domain 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 ™

You can register a trade mark with Intellectual Property Australia (IP Australia).

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.

For more information about trade marks and other forms of intellectual property protection go to intellectual property. IP Australia provide a free online trade mark search tool ™ Check.

What's next...

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Related Information

Business Brief to view:
Name of the Game

Checklist to view:
Business Starters Checklist


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