Registering a business name

As seen in Woopi News July 2024

Starting a new business can be both exciting and nerve racking at the same time but too often people forget a few important steps. If you wish to trade under a business name, it’s a requirement that it be registered with ASIC. Too often I see people paying excessive amounts to register or renew business names. There are many businesses that spam business owners via email or post, offering to renew their business names, when it’s quick and easy to do it yourself at via business.gov.au. You will need to setup a login, but this just makes it easier to renew your business name or edit your details. The cost from 1st July has gone up slightly to $44 for one year or $102 for three years.

When picking a business name, don’t do anything until you have checked the name is truly available and registered it. I’ve seen people pay for things like logos, business cards and signage, only to find someone else is using that name. Before registering the business name, check a few things are available like the domain name you might want to use for a website. Check the name isn’t being used on someone else’s social media. Just because it’s available on ASIC doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t setup profiles under that name or is even trading under that name without registering it against their ABN.

You can search to find if a business name is available via the ASIC website. If you’d like to search the Australian Business Register (ABR) you can do this via the ABN lookup tool at abr.business.gov.au. You can search by ABN, legal name or business name and refine the search by state or post code.

We haven’t been able to register a Trading Name for quite a few years now, these are being phased out and replaced with business names. Trading names will no longer be visible on the ABR from 1st November 2025.

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