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  • #986286
    roddy000
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    • Total posts: 13
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    Hi folks!

    We are a health & lifestyle start-up. I need your advice regarding Business Name, Trading Name and Brand. We are confused…

    Some facts:

    1. I am a sole trader registered for ABN – My name is Roddy Smith. I registered a trading name called “Roddy Administration Services” 4 years ago that is still associated with my ABN.

    2. Now, we are launching a new business called ABC Lifestyle Co. – primary business is e-commerce. We have registered ABC Lifestyle Co. with ASIC (again under my ABN). We have a website with the domain http://www.abclifestlye.com.au

    3. Our first product-brand under this company is XYZ Brand. We have a website with the domain http://www.XYZBrand.com.au. There is no common name between our company name and brand name. We intend to use http://www.XYZBrand.com.au to sell our products.

    4. Our bank account is in the name of ABC Lifestyle Co.

    5. When we do an ABN lookup it shows business name as ABC Lifestyle Co. and trading name as Roddy Administration Services.

    Here are the issues:

    1. Do we need to align the company name and brand name? If so, how?
    I was negotiating with a Big 4 bank today and they said that the domain name should in some way match the registered company name, else when people see their credit cards they wouldn’t recognise the company name on their cc statements.

    2. ASIC website says that they are doing away with trading names and there will only be business names in the future. It also says “From 1 July 2014 it is expected that the ABN Lookup will stop displaying all trading names that are not registered business names.”. Question is – can we/ do we have to update the trading name against my ABN to ABC Lifestyle Co.? We want to get rid of the old trading name “Roddy Administration Services”.

    3. Is it ok for the bank account to be in the business name and not have the brand name?

    4. We have applied for a trademark with IP Australia for the words “XYZ Brand”. Question here is – should we have applied for 2 separate trademarks, one as “XYZ” and other as “Brand” as we intend to use these 2 words together and separately both.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Roddy/Richa


    #1157122
    JacquiPryor
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    Hi Roddy & Richa,

    It can be a little bit difficult to advise without knowing the exact name (or is it actually XYZ Brand?) but I hope this helps.

    3. Our first product-brand under this company is XYZ Brand. We have a website with the domain http://www.XYZBrand.com.au. There is no common name between our company name and brand name. We intend to use http://www.XYZBrand.com.au to sell our products.

    To be eligible to hold the .com.au there must be some connection between the domain and your business – so, if you have filed a trademark application for XYZ BRAND then this would allow you to hold the domain. You would most likely have given your domain Registrar your trademark number for this?

    1. Do we need to align the company name and brand name? If so, how?
    I was negotiating with a Big 4 bank today and they said that the domain name should in some way match the registered company name, else when people see their credit cards they wouldn’t recognise the company name on their cc statements.

    You don’t have to do that, no.
    However, if it would appear to customers that you are trading as “XYZ Brand” as well as ABC Lifestyle Co. then you should also registered XYZ Brand as a business name. If it is clear to people when they get to your website that you are trading as “ABC Lifestyle Co” then perhaps the banks can organise your merchant account in the name of the company t/as ABC Lifestyle Co and then people would recognise it on their statements? (on that note – at the start of your post you say you are a sole trader, but then later reference a company?)

    You could always just mention somewhere in the payment processing that the name that will appear on the statement will be ABC Lifestyle Co or company name etc rather than XYZ Brand. This happens a bit – for example, when I have purchased something from eBay quite often the PayPal payment receipt will advise me of the name that will appear on my statement.

    2. ASIC website says that they are doing away with trading names and there will only be business names in the future. It also says “From 1 July 2014 it is expected that the ABN Lookup will stop displaying all trading names that are not registered business names.”. Question is – can we/ do we have to update the trading name against my ABN to ABC Lifestyle Co.? We want to get rid of the old trading name “Roddy Administration Services”.

    If you have already registered ABC LIFESTYLE CO as a business name with ASIC then you don’t need to do anything else. I have looked up this name as a business name and can’t see it on the database so not sure if you are just using it as an example name? Anyway… once you register your business name you don’t have to update a trading name.

    3. Is it ok for the bank account to be in the business name and not have the brand name?

    Yes. In fact, this is what would normally happen. The banks, generally, wouldn’t have an account under a brand name. The account will be held by the entity. So, if you are a sole trader the account would actually be Roddy Smith T/as ABC Lifestyle Co. If you have a company and the company owns the business then it might be XYZ Pty Ltd t/as ABC Lifestyle Co.

    4. We have applied for a trademark with IP Australia for the words “XYZ Brand”. Question here is – should we have applied for 2 separate trademarks, one as “XYZ” and other as “Brand” as we intend to use these 2 words together and separately both.

    This is very hard to answer with out knowing the words in question. If the actual name is XYZ BRAND then it would be close to impossible to gain registration of these separately. A trademark has to distinguish your particular product or service from others; so the word BRAND has no capacity of distinguishing so would be very difficult to gain an exclusive right to.

    If we assume that XYZ BRAND is an example, and each of the two words are actually capable of distinguishing your particular goods/services from others, and you intend to use them separately then yes you should register them as separate trademarks. Registration of the full name will only provide you rights to that full name, not the individual words.

    If you would like to send me a PM with the actual brand name in question I am happy to look it at further for you and make suggestions about the trademark.

    I hope this assists :)

    #1157123
    roddy000
    Member
    • Total posts: 13
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    Thanks very much Jacqui – we have sent you a PM with some more details..

    cheers
    R&R

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