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Starting a business

Get help selecting a name when you’re setting up your business

ANZ Financially Ready

2024-02-22 05:30

Key Points:

  • Learn 3 key tips for selecting your business name 
  • How to use the TM checker

If you’re in the early stages of your business, you probably can’t wait to get the word out using a great new name and logo. This article will help you avoid the common risks you might encounter when starting out.

Step 1. Get your branding right from the start

Your brand is your business identity. When you’re choosing a name, logo or other part of your branding, you should first check you’re not infringing on someone else’s intellectual property. You can use the free, online TM Checker tool to find any registered trade marks that are similar to yours. This tool can help you make changes early to avoid having to rebrand down the track or risk legal action from the trade mark owner. 

When choosing a name and logo, try to go for something that is easy to remember, spell and pronounce. You also want a brand that is distinctive, especially in a crowded market. If your name is too common or generic, you may not stand out from your competitors. A generic brand might also prevent you from getting trade mark protection. 

If you’d like to apply for a trade mark, it’s a quick and simple process. You can use the TM Checker tool to get 10-year protection in Australia from $330. There are other IP rights available that might also be relevant to your business. For more information, check out IP Australia’s 5 tips for protecting your IP.

Step 2. Find out what rules apply to your business type

Depending on your business type, you may also need to register your business. A great place to start is this handy ‘help me decide tool’ which guides you through the best business structure for your needs. You can then use the Business Registration Service to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and other required registrations. It’s also worth seeing if you need special licences for the place you’re in or the business activity you're doing. Check out your responsibilities early by using the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS).

Step 3. Register your business name and the domain name for your website

Once you’ve checked your branding is available using TM Checker, register your business name and domain name. Your business name is the name you trade under and, if it’s not your legal name, you must register it with the Australian Government. Your domain name, or web address, should be short, unique and reflect your brand so that customers can easily find you online.

The Business name check tool allows you to search existing business and domain names to see if any of them clash with what you want to use. These name checks are different to the trade mark check in step 1.

If you’d like more information about other aspects of setting up your business, see ANZ’s helpful guide to starting a business.

Next steps

Get help selecting a name when you’re setting up your business
Business specialist
ANZ Financially Ready

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This is general information only, so it doesn’t take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. ANZ is not giving you advice or recommendations (including tax advice), and there may be other ways to manage finances, planning and decisions for your business.

Read the ANZ Financial Services Guide (PDF) and, if applicable, the product Terms and Conditions. Carefully consider what's right for you, and ask your lawyer, accountant or financial planner if you need help. 

Any tools, checklists or calculators produce results based on the limited information you provide so they are an estimate or guide only. As they are incomplete, they are not a substitute for professional advice.

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