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Hi priskin,

Valid question you bring up. I’m no legal expert, however I believe that if you own a domain name – you cannot be stopped from using it. There are people preconceive business names and then purposely buy domain names so that they sell it to those businesses at a premium.

Provided you are the owner of the domain, I don’t see an issue with you using it; especially since your business name is still in the domain. Only issue I foresee is if “example” wants to sue “example co” for infringements against using their brand name in promoting themselves, especially if it is in the same industry. However, to be sure check out http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/ to see whether there are any trademarks on the name or branding. But I will stress that you tread carefully because of copyright laws – if someone else came up with a name that is extremely similar and in the same/similar industry; copyright laws protect them. You might save yourself serious headaches in the long run to just rethink your business name and domain. If you do go down this path, just think of the money you spent on the domain name and business name “example co” as a lesson learnt, and avoidance of a potential lawsuit in the future.