How do I register a business name?

Registering a business name is one of the fundamental steps in starting a new business. Before you register a business name, you will need to obtain an ABN through the Australian Business Register. Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) also recommends you apply for an AUSkey, as it allows you direct access to ASIC and the Tax Office however, it is not essential to enable you to register a business name.

In order to register the business name, you need to know if your desired name is available. You can find out on the ASIC Connect website by searching the Business Names Register. If your name is already registered, then you will need to come up with a different name that is available. Once you have found a name that is available with ASIC, you should check with IP Australia to ensure that the name is not a trademark.

Registering a business name can take between 15 to 20 minutes. Before you commence ensure you have your ABN and the address of your proposed business. To commence the registration log in or sign up to ASIC Connect.

Once you have logged in, go to the Licences & Registrations tab at the top of the page and select apply for Business Name Registration. You will then need your ABN or ABN reference number to link your business name to the business number. On completion of this step, you will be required to confirm that your business name is available.

ASIC then requires you to provide the addresses for the services of documents, principle place of business address and an email address. It is also mandatory to declare that you are eligible under the Corporations Act 2001 to manage a corporation and eligible under the Business Names Registration Act 2011 to register a business name. You are able to secure your business name in the final step by paying for the registration.

Once your business name appears on the ASIC Business Name Register you will now be ready for trading.

Pro Tips:

  • You can register your business name for either one or three years, please note different fees apply
  • If you choose to trade under your own name as a sole trader e.g. Brianna Barrett, you are not required to register a business name.

Author: Jenny Ridley