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    Maybe I’m not searching correctly, but what’s the effect of having an apostrophe in a business name vs not? We want to register a business name that is rather generic like “take away” but including the person’s name (for example, but not) “john” such that we want to register “john’s take away“.

    Should the registration be:
    John’s take away” or
    Johns take away“?

    Does capitalisation and grammar make a difference? ie is
    John’s take away” any different to
    John’s Take Away” and/or
    John’s Take-away” (including a hyphenated word) and/or
    johns take away” (no capitalisation) and/or
    john take away” (removing everything including the ‘s’)

    We won’t be including any “quotes” or hyphens even for that matter, and our business IS take away focused, but will be named something a little more specific but still reasonably generic, ie a specific cuisine like: John’s French Kitchen (again, just another example).

    I do realise business name registration is not a trademark and offers no protection as such but in any or all of the above scenarios, can someone register the same name by simply removing (or adding) an apostrophe, hyphen, quote or some other grammatical “trick”?

    I have done a search and our specific name is NOT even similarly registered. This is more about should or could we use my wife’s name in the shop name or SHOULD we consider a completely unique name that frankly we are not fans of as most in this field revolve around puns.

    We can reserve trademark discussion for a later thread. :)

    Cheers, Dave

    • Total posts: 2,344

    Hi again Dave,

    If you – hypothetically – registered “John’s Take Away” as your business name, then very unlikely ASIC would let a version such as Johns Take Away (no apostrophe) through. ASIC is not concerned with whether names are confusingly similar – that is the trademark discussion, but, for business names they need to be identifiable on the register.

    I suggest registering the version you intend to use as your business name, as you are expected to make it reasonably clear to consumers/others what your business name is (in case they ever need to identify you on the database and obtain details).

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