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Register a business name

Establish the identity of your business

On this page

  • What's not allowed in your business name
  • Find out if the name you want to use is available
  • Register your business name
  • Protect your business name
Attend Small Business Victoria's Starting Your Business Right workshop to step you through the process of starting a business, help you get set up right the first time and connect you to a range of government resources and free mentoring.
There are certain words that you're unable to use in your business name. View the list of restricted words or expressions on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website

Adam Ferrante, Rose Street Artists' Market Case Study: Get the business basics right

'Make sure you set up systems, particularly financial systems, in the early stages of operating your business. It's not worth it getting caught out.'

Adam Ferrante, Rose St Artists' Market

Read more about: Get the business basics right 

Research your name

Choose an effective business name

Your business name is a major element of your identity and image, and should be:

  • memorable
  • easy to pronounce and spell
  • original and not similar to existing business names, company names or trademarks
  • appropriate, professional and not offensive
  • short
  • descriptive and functional (e.g.Marketing Results) or new and quirky (e.g. Google).

Personal names

You can choose to use your personal name for your business. If you're using your personal name (e.g. Jane Smith) as a business name, there's no need to register it. However, if you want to call your business 'Jane Smith & Co', this would need to be registered, as '& Co' is not part of your personal name.

How do I register a business name?

To register a business name, you'll need to have an ABN. If you haven't already got one, you can register for an ABN and business name at the same time on the Business Registration Service.

To register for a business name:

  1. Decide on a name that's right for your business.
  2. See if the business name you want is available through the check name availability search on the ASIC website. You should also check it’s not already a registered trade mark to avoid infringing on someone else’s legal right through Australian Trade Mark Search.
  3. Apply for a business name and other key business registrations through the Business Registration Service.

Who can use this service?

The Business registration service is currently available for:
  • New businesses starting as a sole trader, joint venture, company, trust, partnership or superannuation fund who can apply for a business name, Australian Business Number (ABN), company and tax registrations. 
  • Existing businesses with an ABN, who can apply for tax registrations or an AUSkey login.

Protect your name

Make sure you protect your business name or idea, including trademarking - registering your business name does not give you full rights over the name. 

Renewing an expired business name?

You will need to apply to renew your business name with ASIC.

Renew your business name

Cancelling a business name?

You will need to apply to cancel your business name with ASIC.

Cancel your business name

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