Home – New Forums Starting your journey Can you ‘hold’ a business name in case you want it later?

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  • #987825
    SuMo
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    I’ve just bought a couple of domains for a client, so he can park them and not let competitors buy them.

    But can you do the same with Business Name registrations?

    He’s been in business for years and recently wondered about shortening his business name from (for example) ‘One Two Business’ to just ‘One Two’.

    However this is not a snap decision. But can he register ‘One Two’ in addition to his current reg. or should he only do that once he definitely decides to switch names?

    I can’t seem to find advice on the gov websites on such a thing!
    Thanks very much.

    #1164466
    MissSassy
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    Sure can – no trouble at all

    #1164467
    Carl Desacola
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    Hi SuMo,

    There are probably two aspects to your question:

    1. Firstly, the way to “hold” a business name is simply to register it with ASIC. This is an easy enough process: go to
    http://www.asic.gov.au/asic/ASIC.NSF/byHeadline/Registering%20a%20business%20name

    There is no actual process in Australia for “reserving” a business name for later use, in the same way you can reserve a name while you’re going through an application to incorporate a company. You will just need to apply to register the business name.

    Once the business name is registered, however, there is no legal obligation to trade under that business name immediately. Therefore, in practice, this takes effect as a reservation (although you will be required to pay renewal fees like any other fully operating business).

    2. Secondly, it is important to be aware that merely registering a business name will not give your clients exclusive rights to that name. Other people can actually also use that same business name (subject only to the laws relating to “passing off”, “misrepresentation” and “misleading and deceptive conduct”). If your clients want exclusive use of a particular name (ie. ownership), then they will need to register it as a trade mark (which is a different process altogether).

    I hope this has been helpful.

    Kind Regards,

    Carl Desacola, Lawyer & Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1461661)
    Winthrop Mason | Business Lawyers & Migration Agents
    http://www.winthropmason.com.au

    #1164468
    SuMo
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    Thank you Carl,
    I was talking to my client about trademarking too, I definitely think that is something he should consider.
    I guess it should be fine to register the possible second name. All I could find out on the official website is that to change a name you have to register the new one and cancel the old one you’ll no longer use; but not anything about having a new one that you are not using!
    Thanks again for your advice.

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