Once you've decided on your business structure and type, you'll probably want to choose a business name. A business name is the name your business trades under.

1. What to consider when choosing a business name

Choosing the right name will help create the image you want for your business. It'll also help to distinguish it from your competitors.

When choosing your business name, consider:

  • how your business differs from competitors
  • what image you want to communicate to customers
  • if any businesses already use the name or have a similar business name
  • if someone has trade marked the name
  • if the name is already registered as a domain name
  • if the name could be misunderstood, especially in other languages or if you’re planning to use it in other countries
  • whether the name could offend people

2. Make it easy to remember

Consider choosing a name that is:

  • easy to remember
  • easy to pronounce and spell
  • short and simple
  • descriptive – so it means something to your customers
  • different – you don’t want to be confused with your competitors

You may use your personal name for your business, for example Jane Smith.

3. Check business name availability

Once you’ve come up with some options for your business name, you’ll need to check whether any other businesses are already using them.

Check if a business name is available

Use our Business name check tool to check if your proposed name is available to register – either as a business name or a domain name.

Note: This tool is only an indication that a business name is available. It does not guarantee that you can register the business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Check your business name

4. Check if you need to register your business name

Once you’ve chosen a business name, you’ll need to register it. There’s no need to register if you or your business partner are trading under your first name and surname.

A business name is registered nationally with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This allows your business to operate in any state or territory.

Be aware that registering with ASIC doesn’t give you exclusive rights to your business name. If you want to protect your business name from being used by others, you’ll need to register it as a trade mark.

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