How to protect your business name

A business name does not give you exclusive trading rights or ownership over that name.

Registering a particular 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.

The obligation to register a business name is entirely separate to protecting any intellectual property rights in a name or brand, such as registering a trademark.


You should check for any state or territory business licenses that may be required. The Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) has information about government-related licenses, registration and permits.


To ensure your business name does not infringe on an existing registered trademark, use IP Australia's TM Check. This allows you to search for existing trademarks.

Domain name

A domain name gives online businesses a unique electronic address. You can arrange to buy a domain name yourself or through an internet service provider (ISP).

To purchase a or, you must be a commercial entity and possess either an Australian Company Number (ACN) or Australian Business Number (ABN).

You can check the availability of your domain name registration at .au Domain Administration.

Related links

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Last updated: 10/05/2016 09:22