Home – New Forums Starting your journey Can I have a website with a name apart from my own before registering a business name

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  • #983696
    DonziMonster
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    Hi All!

    I’m a newbie. Lurked around and read some stuff (lots of stuff, actually) over the last couple of months but only joined today. Hoping someone can help me with a question!

    I’ve been doing some freelance work (social media management) for a couple of months. Nothing huge. Few hours a week. I’m trading as a sole trader, just under my own name with an ABN.

    A friend of mine who is a freelance marketing consultant has very kindly gone ahead and set up a website for me (I’d been putting it off til I had a bit more cash on hand). My question is this – he has set it up as a business name (the name I plan to use when I have $$$ to register it). SO now, I’ve got this website with “ABC Freelance” plastered all over it, with an address of http://www.ABCfreelance.com.au and an ‘@abcfreelance’ email address. Awesome. Except I haven’t registered that name yet.

    I’m concerned about legalities of using and promosting this website when I don’t have any right to the ‘ABC Freelance’ name yet?

    Can anyone tell me if I’m right to be worried? If you can make sense of it? :)

    #1143752
    Sydney Business
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    Re: Can I have a website with a name apart from my own before registering a business

    You can and you have – But it may cause issues for marketing in the future if you can’t register the same or similar.

    I would see if you can register the name ASAP

    #1143753
    sunnyfox
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    Re: Can I have a website with a name apart from my own before registering a business

    Hi DonziMonster,

    First off, I’m not a lawyer or anything like that, but this is pretty much the feeling I got when setting up my names and domains:

    GO REGISTER THE NAME NOW!

    If you try to use a name that someone already has, there can be a big issue (for you). Think if you wanted to start a beverage company and bought the domain name “coke.com.au”, did up the site, then tried to go live before registering the business name “coke”. Not gonna happen right?

    I would recommend you go check here now:

    http://abr.business.gov.au/

    and

    http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/get-the-right-ip/trade-marks/search-for-a-trade-mark/

    Then make sure you understand what happens if the name is already taken and you use it:

    http://www.asic.gov.au/asic/ASIC.NSF/byHeadline/Registering%20a%20business%20name

    and

    http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/ip-infringement/

    If I were you, I would spend the couple bucks to register the name right now. If you don’t have it, humble yourself to a parent or friend. It really isn’t that much. $70 for 3 years… just skip out on the beer or eating out for a week or two, you’ll have it in no time

    http://www.asic.gov.au/asic/asic.nsf/byheadline/Business+name+payments+and+fees?openDocument

    Best,

    Travis

    #1143754
    JacquiPryor
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    Re: Can I have a website with a name apart from my own before registering a business

    Hi there,

    To “trade” under any name other than your own you must register the business name at the very least. This is a legal requirement, and as Travis posted can be done through ASIC.

    You cannot promote that you are trading as “ABC Freelance” unless you have registered the business name. If $70 for the 3 years is too much to begin with, you can register for one year at $30.00 to begin with.

    I would be interested to know how your friend actually registered the domain name for your website – if it’s a .com.au then you have to agree that you meet certain eligibility criteria – such as the domain matches or is derived from your company or business name or trademark for example, or, that it is closely matched to what you do… You should double check which your friend went with in order to get the domain registered for you.

    The business name registration though won’t give you rights to the name. Only trademark registration can provide true ownership of the name – but, this is not legally required to do. But, again as Travis pointed out, you should at the very least make sure your chosen name doesn’t infringe the rights of anyone else. It is your responsibility as a business operator to conduct these searches and make sure the name is clear etc.

    All the best

    #1143755
    Past-Member
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    Re: Can I have a website with a name apart from my own before registering a business

    I just did a search on my domain register supplier, and only
    http://www.abcfreelance.com is registered.
    http://www.abcfreelance.com.au is still available, so you do not have it.

    You can use the http://www.abcfreelance.com but any .com.au addresses in Australia require the name to be registered first with an ABN. So it looks like your friend has only registered the .com for you.

    #1143756
    ryanmclean
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    Re: Can I have a website with a name apart from my own before registering a business

    My opinion:

    You are likely going to find it hard to register the business name “ABC Freelance” someone probably already has it.

    But I doubt anyone has registered the business name “ABCFreelance.com.au” which is effectively your business name.

    Think on that.

    #1143757
    DonziMonster
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    Re: Can I have a website with a name apart from my own before registering a business

    Wow, thank you all so much for your responses! What a great community.

    I apologise for the confusion – the name I’m using isn’t actually ABC Freelancing, that was just a generic name I used for the example.

    I think the best thing is for me to scrounge up the $30 and register the name for one year, at least. I’d been putting it off because this was only a small side gig and money is tight while I look for a day job (I was made redundant several weeks ago). This friend is being great and really helpful but has kinda moved a bit further and faster than I was planning to this soon, and is one of those people who will not take no for an answer, so I’m playing catchup to figure out what I need to do to cover off what he’s already done :)

    Again, thank you all so much for your kindness and assistance. I’m amazed at how much help a newbie was offered on day one!

    #1143758
    Anonymous
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    Re: Can I have a website with a name apart from my own before registering a business

    DonziMonster, post: 164565 wrote:
    Wow, thank you all so much for your responses! What a great community.

    …Again, thank you all so much for your kindness and assistance. I’m amazed at how much help a newbie was offered on day one!

    Thanks for your kind words, DonziMonster. We have a fabulous collection of folk around here who are very generous with their assistance, and it’s always lovely for them to receive such heartfelt thanks.

    All the best, and we will look forward to having you around the traps.
    Jayne

    #1143759
    Snakeman
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    Re: Can I have a website with a name apart from my own before registering a business

    All good above, but what has been missed is that getting a trademark does take time – as in 7 months at best and that’s a “clean” registration without hurdles.
    Also check for similar business names, trademarks, etc, to that you intend to use as there is a strong chance you could be liable for “misleading and deceptive conduct” allegations and this can cause you untold business grief.

    All the best

    #1143760
    TheGoldenGoose
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    Re: Can I have a website with a name apart from my own before registering a business

    The gang above seems to have this for you, but I’m seconding – fork out the money and register the name. Also consider trademarking as another form of protection.

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