How to register your business

Learn how to register your business in the time that it takes to check the mailbox.

From registering your business name to getting an ABN and understanding trademarking, this article will show you how registering your business can be as simple as going to check the mailbox.

We’ve compiled all the important stuff in this three-minute read so you don’t have to waste time sorting out the junk mail.

Registering your business means completing a few quick application processes. This lets the government know that you’re operating a legal business in the country.

One of the first things you’ll need to do when starting a new business is registering for your Australian Business Number (ABN).

An ABN helps the government and community identify your business. It is required to process all sorts of taxes, including payroll tax and GST.


Getting an ABN


The process of getting an ABN is very simple. You can do it online through the Australian Business Register (ABR), which should only take about 10 minutes.

You can also apply for an AUSkey through the ABR, which is a secure login that allows you to interact with the government online on matters affecting your business.


Registering your business name


Once you’ve got your ABN, the next thing to do is register your business name.

Registering a business name means you let the government know the name you will trade under.

You can register your business name through the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) website. However, you do not need to register a business name if you are trading under your personal name.

Registering a business name does not mean you own that name. In fact, on the Australian Business Registry you will find that there may be many businesses that exist with similar names to your own.

If you wish to exclusively own your business’ name, you must register it as a trademark with IP Australia.


Trademarking and business IP


Trademarking is about registering your brand to protect your business’ identity.

This usually comes in the form of a brand name, but can also include other unique brand elements, such as logos and slogans.

Trademarking is just one type of intellectual property that you are able to protect through IP Australia. Other common forms are patents and copywriting. You can find more information on all three forms of IP here.

There are several benefits to trademarking your brand, one of which is legal security. For example, if copycat businesses negatively affect your business’ reputation or income, you’ll have some options to pursue to protect your business.

Before you decide whether trademarking is right for you and your business, read the five common mistakes people make when trademarking.

Top 3 takeaways

  1. Registering your business is about making your business identifiable to the government and the community.
  2. Registering a business involves applying for an ABN, an AUSkey and registering a business name.
  3. Consider trademarking your brand or applying for patents or copyright, if they are relevant to your business.

 

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