CHOOSE A BUSINESS NAME
Everything is in the name. You’ll say it hundreds of times, it’ll be imprinted on your mind for the rest of your life. Naming a business has been likened to naming a child. You laugh, though it’ll live within your family and household like a human being, so be kind and considerate for what it will have to endure as it grows up. You’ll yell its name when you’ve had enough, though you’ll also shower it in glory when gloating to your mates at the pub when you’re doing well.
Aim for timelessness and something classic. Know you will want to fall in love with it.
The key is to find out what you’ll need to consider when choosing a name for your business before you get stuck on a name, it’s likely your first choice is taken and your 4th choice too. Once you’ve decided on a name, learn what you need to do to ensure you have exclusive use of your name throughout Australia.
Initially you’ll begin through common tasks like registering for an ABN or a trademark, so once you’ve decided on your business structure and type, you’ll probably want to make a firm choice for a business name. Remember, a business name is the name your business trades under and is likely what will be the first thing your new customers and staff will read when encountering your brand and business – make it memorable!
1. Consider the basics first when choosing your business name.
Choosing the right name will help develop and create the image you want for your business to feel like. Your business name will also come with a logo and graphic design elements, so consider that it’ll be more than just the written word and will come to life which will help to distinguish it from your competition.
When choosing your business name, consider the below factors:
- Is it different? How your business differs from competitors
- How does it look on paper? What visual identity you want to communicate to customers
- Does it already exist? if any businesses already use the name or have a similar business name
- Is it owned? If someone has trademarked the name
- Is there anything online already? if the name is already registered as a domain name
- What does it mean in other languages? If the name could be misunderstood, especially in other languages or if you’re planning to use it in other countries
- Is it offensive? Whether the name could offend people
2. How is it recalled? Make it easy to remember
Consider choosing a name that is:
- easy to remember and recall.
- easy to say out loud quickly, pronounce and spell.
- Short, succinct, simple.
- Be Descriptive – so it means something to your customers
- Be Bold and Different – you don’t want to be confused with your competitors
- You may use your personal name for your business, for example Robin Nicholas.
3. Check business name availability
Once you’ve come up with some options for your business name, you’ll need to check whether any other businesses are already using them.
Check if a business name is available
Use the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to check Business names to see if your proposed name is available to register – either as a business name or a domain name.
4. Check if you need to register your business name
Once you’ve chosen a business name, you’ll need to register it. There’s no need to register if you or your business partner are trading under your first name and surname.
A business name is registered nationally with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) https://connectonline.asic.gov.au/. This allows your business to operate in any state or territory.
Be aware that registering with ASIC doesn’t give you exclusive rights to your business name. If you want to protect your business name from being used by others, you’ll need to register it as a trade mark.
What makes a good brand name?
It’s vital that the name is distinctive, authentic, memorable, enduring, and defensible, so it resonates with your target audience, sticks in their minds, builds and maintains trust with your consumers, and remains relevant as your company evolves. A great brand name should be easy to remember. Have you ever been listening to your favourite podcast, heard an ad for an interesting product, and then couldn’t buy it because you couldn’t remember the website link the host mentioned? Now imagine how difficult it is to stand out if it wasn’t just a non-memorable domain URL, but it was a difficult-to-remember brand name. A tough-to-remember name does a lot more damage. It makes it much harder for people to get to your website and become customers. So, instead of choosing a brand name inspired by your surname mixed with the name of your first pet dog, choose something easy to remember. Simple, catchy names like Yellow Pages, Google, Uber, and Nike are simple, low syllables and of course easy to remember.