How to protect your business name

Business name – are you protected?

Posted on Posted in ASIC, Small Business

What is a Business Name?

A business name does not give you exclusive trading rights over that name. Many individuals when starting a business are under the assumption that their intellectual property rights are protected.  The cost of registering a business named is very affordable compared to the cost of registering a trademark.

There are differences between business names, trademarks, company name and domain names which can be very confusing.

The new business names laws have not changed any of the existing laws relating to trademarks or to intellectual property in a name. Be aware that registering your business name does not give you ownership of that name.

Registering a business name does not stop another person from registering a similar name nor does it give you the exclusive right to use the name or part of the name. Also, registering a business name will not prevent the name being used by somebody who has registered it as a trademark. This is an important point – and one that every business owner should be aware of.


A Trademark will override any business and company name. It is so important for all business owners to understand this difference.

To assist new business start-ups, IP Australia has developed a new simplified online trademark search, called TM Check where you can search for existing trademarks to ensure your business name does not infringe on an existing registered trademark.

The most common iconic brand sayings like “Just do It” would be trademarked empowering business owners to know that any business or company names registered will not create any intellectual property and be an infringement on your rights.

Always check with IP Australia before you start or register your new business or company name as the costs to change down the road can be very expensive and potentially contribute to the loss of your business with customer dissatisfaction.

For more information visit:-

Australian securities and investment commission

Business guide