Business Names

Why should I register a business name?

Your business name is your identity, so it is important to establish it early when setting up your business. Most businesses are legally required to register their business name in order to operate in Australia.

You do not need to register your business name if you are:

  • an individual and the business name is your name (first name and surname)
  • a registered company and the business name is the company’s name
  • a partnership and the business name consists of all of the partners’ names.

If the business name uses your name but contains other words in it (such as Tom Jones & Sons or Tom Jones Mechanic), you still need to register the business name.

It’s important to note that registering a business name does not on its own give you exclusive rights over the use of that name. To ‘lock in’ the name for your business, you will need to apply for a trade mark.

In May 2012, a new National Business Names Registration Service was introduced by ASIC. Prior to then, business names could only be registered on a state by state basis. Now, business names are always registered nationally. You can read about those changes here.

A business name vs a company name

A business name (Tom Jones & Sons) is different from a company name (Tom Jones & Sons Pty Ltd). A business name is simply a name or title under which a person or entity conducts a business. A company is a separate legal entity from its directors and shareholders.

Registering a company name prevents an identical business name or company name from being registered by competitors anywhere in Australia. We can assist you with company name registration here.

Overview of requirements for to register a business name

  • The name of your first preference will be registered if it is available. In case it isn’t available, we recommend that you indicate a second preference that you would be happy to use.If your first preference name is your only preference and it is unavailable, please advise if you would like us to conduct a search of the blocking business name/company name to be made.
  • The registered office may be the same as the address of the business – or it may be the address of your accountants or solicitors.
  • There may be more than one business address you use for your business. If so, please provide all addresses on a separate page.
  • A business name is registered for three years. A renewal form will be sent to the registered office of the business name shortly before the expiry date.


Castle Corporate’s business name registration fee is $77 (ASIC registration fees additional – $39 for one year and $92 for three).

In addition, we can assist with a range of business name changes. For a full breakdown of all fees related to business names, see our secretarial price list.

Business Names

What is a Business Name? A registered business name gives the owner the right to trade under that business name and protects the owner’s interest in the intellectual property (and value) which develops in the use of a name. There is … Continued