Before you register a business name

Before you register a business name with us, there are some things to consider. Here we explain what to do before starting your business name application. has a great 'Help me decide' tool that can help you work out the business structure that will best suit your needs and what registrations you should consider.

Once you're ready, you can apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and register your business name online using the Business Registration Service.

What is a business name

A business name is a name or title under which a person or entity conducts a business.

Find out more about what a business name is.

Australian Business Number

To register a business name, you will need to have:

  • an Australian Business Number (ABN), or
  • be in the process of applying for one with the Australian Business Register (ABR).

You can apply for an ABN, as well as register a business name, using the Australian Government's Business Registration Service.

Find out more about the Australian Business Number.

Business name availability

Check to see if a business name is available by using our business name availability search.

Find out more about business name availability.

Business name registration fees and payment methods

Find out more about business name registration fees and payment options.

How to protect your business name

Registering a business name does not protect you against third party claims for trade mark infringement.

To ensure your proposed business name doesn't infringe on an existing registered trade mark, you should use IP Australia’s Australian Trade Mark Search to search for existing trademarks.

For more information, see 'how to protect your business name'.

Trading names

Before 28 May 2012, the Australian Business Register (ABR) collected names used by entities to carry out their business activities. The ABR displays these names as trading names, but trading name records have not been updated since the national business name register commenced on 28 May 2012.

Trading names do not meet the requirements of a registered business name.

If you want to trade under a specific name, you need to register it as a business name.

Private service providers

You can choose to register or renew your business name with a private service provider (PSP). This could be your accountant, your solicitor, or another business that provides online services with ASIC.

Find out more about private service providers.

Related links

Search our registers

Use our online services

Find a form

Last updated: 15/04/2014 12:00