So you’re going into business for yourself; congratulations! You’ve got your ABN and a brilliant idea and you’re so excited, next comes registering yourself a business name. This can be harder than it sounds because you need to have something individual and different to everyone else but you also want something catchy, appealing and that relates to your product or service. Then you need to consider things like domain names, email addresses, trademarks… the list just goes on!
The best thing to do before considering any of these things is come up with some ideas; make a list of a few names that you like and that relate to what your business is all about. The more good ones you can come up with the better, as you may find several of them are already taken or too close to what someone else has to distinguish yourself as a separate entity, compromise and creativity may be necessary.
Once you have your list it’s time to start searching and there are several searches that are worth doing.
1. Google all of the names you’re thinking of to see if anyone similar pops up, even in other countries as this may affect things like copyrights, trademarks and domain names just to name a few. You may be thinking that you don’t need copyrights and trademarks, but you never know, don’t limit yourself.
2. Check out the ASIC website here search the database of business names in Australia and find out if your favourites are available.
3. Jump on one of the many domain name registry services available and search for domains that will match your business name. It is best to get a .com and a .com.au as this will ensure you get the biggest majority of your potential website traffic. Think how many times you’ve forgotten the .au, if forgetting this sends your potential customers to another website you could be losing out. Depending on what kind of business you are running you can also get .net, .net.au, .org and lots more.
Common Domain Name Businesses include:
4. If your going to use a provider like gmail for email check that out too and make sure you can get addresses you’re happy with that match up with your business, otherwise you can always get email through the provider that hosts your website and have something like [email protected].
5. If you’re planning to start a facebook page for your business (link to article on making business fb page) search for the name you plan to use on Facebook too, just to make sure it’s not already being used by someone. It’s also worth checking out twitter, instagram and any other social media platform you plan on using for advertising and exposure. In such a huge network such as these it is important to be as unique as possible so you’re easy to find and interact with.
Once you’ve done all of these things and have a name that is special to you and your business and unique in all of the above mentioned places then it’s time to jump in with both feet and fill out your registration form to get your very own business name. First you need to sign up for an ASIC account here then you can proceed to register your chosen business name here.
When you pay to register your business name you have a choice of paying for one year or three years. One year will set you back $33 and three years, $76. For more details on paying for you registration look here It is also worth noting that if your registration application is unsuccessful you don’t get your money back.