Do I need to register a business name?

A business name is a name or title under which someone operates their business. If you're a soletrader or partnership, you aren't required to register a business name unless you plan to trade under a name other than your own.

For example, Mark Jones is a sole trader, so he can trade as Mark Jones without needing to register a business name. But, if he wants to trade as Mark Jones & Co, Mark’s Plumbing or North Rocks Plumbing, he will need to register the name.

If Mark and his wife Mary start a partnership together, they won’t need to register a business name if they plan to trade as Mark and Mary Jones. On the other hand, John and Mary’s Bakery, The Fresh Fruit Shop or J&M Services will need to be registered.

What do I need to register a business name?

  • An available business name. You can check if your name is available for freehere
  • An Australian Business Number (ABN). 
  • Individual details including your name, date and country of birth and email address.
  • Your residential address. This must be a physical street address and not a PO box. 
  • Your service address, which may be a PO box. Note that your service address will be displayed on the public business register.

What rights do I have once I register my business name?

Registering your business name allows you to trade under the name as it is registered. For as long as the name is registered to you, no-one else will be able to register it or trade under that name.

It’s important to note, however, that registering a business name does not mean that you own it. If you want to protect your name, you will need to register it as a trademark under IP Australia.

How long will my registration last?

ASIC offers registration periods of 1 or 3 years. At the end of the registration period, you will need to renew your registration if you want to continue trading under the name. If the registration lapses or you choose not to renew, the name will be made available again for someone else to use.

Can I register multiple names?

You can register as many business names as you like to your ABN. You’ll just need to complete a separate application for each additional name.

How do I know if my business name is available?

You can check what names are available or get suggestions for name for free here

Shaun Meltzer