The ins and outs of business name registration, trademarking, ABNs, ‘Trading As’ names, company structure and types – it can all be quite confusing when your personal strengths are completely unrelated!
Here are some questions you to ask yourself when making big changes like these to ensure you’re making a well-informed decision:
> Is there an existing business with the name I want, or similar?
You may have come up with an awesome business name, or have been thinking about it for a long time and don’t want anything else. But be warned – the ramifications of having an identical or similar name to another business can be substantial, as well as having a name which doesn’t align with your target audience, or which is very common at present.
> Sole Traders: Did you know your ABN is registered under your personal name, but you can register a business name and trade under that name?
If you choose this option, make sure you quote your ABN on your customer invoices so customers know who exactly they are dealing with. Business name registrations are a cost effective way to protect your business name, but trademarks offer the best protection.
> Is it easy to replicate my business?
If so, it might be worthwhile trademarking your name and/or logo. After months or years of hard work, it can be heartbreaking if another business starts up with an almost identical name or logo, and very difficult to legally force them to change it.
> What’s the best company structure for my lifestyle?
How many business owners are there? Are you starting out doing freelancing type work / as a micro-business, or will you be hiring staff immediately? Would you like to keep your personal assets separate from the business finances should something go wrong? There is lots of choice out there. It’s best to get a clear understanding of the options available, and how they apply to your individual situation.
Take the time to think these questions through – and don’t make changes lightly. If you’re stuck and still need help – we’re here! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will give you a call.