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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

Words you can't use in your business name

There are certain words that you can't use in your business name. View the list of restricted words or expressions on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) website.

Research your name

Choose an effective business name

Your business name is a major element of your identity, image and brand, 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 (e.g. Jane Smith).

If you're using your personal name 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 want to apply for the following government business and tax registrations:

  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Business name
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Australian company
  • Pay as You Go (PAYG) withholding
  • Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)
  • Luxury Car Tax (LCT)
  • Fuel Tax Credits (FTC)
  • Wine Equalisation Tax (WET)
  • Administrator AUSkey.

In addition, existing businesses with an ABN can apply for tax registrations.

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

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

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