Home – New Forums Starting your journey How much can I do without a business name?

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  • #981388
    asap2004
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    Hi everyone. I’m yet to think of a business name for my new business but I’d like to start talking to potential suppliers and web designers anyway to get things rolling until I do come up with something. Will anyone listen to me if I haven’t registered anything yet? Should I register a company under any name (my own name maybe) and then use my eventual business name as a “trading as”? How does everyone else deal with this?

    TIA!
    Adele

    #1130015
    AgentMail
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    Hi Adele,

    If you are going to be structured as a sole trader, you will essentially by Adele … T/As anyway. The main thing will be that most suppliers etc. may want your bank details, and if you are going to be working from a business bank account (advisable), you will need to have your business name registered and attached (when people pay bills down the line, they will generally use your business name)

    Other people do simply use their name as their trading name, but this does limit you, as you cannot use other names you haven’t registered as a business name (for example for a website)

    Hope this helps

    #1130016
    Kennethti
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    asap2004, post: 147347 wrote:
    Hi everyone. I’m yet to think of a business name for my new business but I’d like to start talking to potential suppliers and web designers anyway to get things rolling until I do come up with something. Will anyone listen to me if I haven’t registered anything yet? Should I register a company under any name (my own name maybe) and then use my eventual business name as a “trading as”? How does everyone else deal with this?

    TIA!
    Adele

    Hello Adele,

    You cannot take operate a business if you do not have an ABN. If you do have an ABN (whether as a sole trader or a company), you cannot operate using a business name other than the business name that you have registered with ASIC.

    You probably also have some questions about business structures and what’s the most appropriate structure for your business. Put it this way – your business is one matter, and your business’s branding, or name, is a different matter (although both are related).

    My suggestion to you is that you should have a look at some of the other threads on this forum or on the website, particularly around company structure and business names.

    Long story short – you should have a business entity set up and registered before commencing trade.

    #1130017
    asap2004
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    Thanks for the replies. I already know I will probably be trading as a company and not a sole trader and I have a meeting set up with an accountant to discuss what this would involve. I understand that branding is probably not essential to be thinking about at this point but my questions remains, I can’t register a company without a business name. Therefore I’d be speaking to potential suppliers as “just someone with an idea” and may have difficulty in getting them to take me seriously?

    Do I need to put everything on hold until I come up with a business name?

    #1130018
    JacquiPryor
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    I can’t register a company without a business name.

    This is not correct. You can register a company without a business name. A company and a business name are two different things. You could register your company (e.g. a Pty Ltd) and then use that to conduct any earlier business dealings, including speaking to and arranging suppliers etc. Your Pty Ltd would obtain its own ABN, which would carry through to the business name if/when registered and all would be linked together then.

    Your company name could be your name or whatever you like really. If you stick with that particular name and are happy to use it moving forwards you might not even need to register the business name separately.

    #1130019
    asap2004
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    Aha, perfect! Thank you Jacqui, that’s what I was wondering.

    I know it probably doesn’t matter but could I later change my company name to reflect my eventual business name or would that be too much hassle for something that is probably unnecessary?

    #1130020
    Avatar Consulting
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    Changing business names

    Hi

    Is is not easy to just change a company name. Most owners just change their TAs name instead and keep the same company name.

    This is becuase it is not just the name, it is the company legal identity that you will be trying to change. This will cause some problems in areas like:

    • Changing contracts to include new name
    • Whether the new name will be approved before you can change anything
    • The paperwork and cost needed to change a company name
    • Whether you have to get approval from the shareholders
    • Whether you have to wind up or not to make the change

    I am not sure why you think you need to change the company name so soon after creating it?

    #1130021
    asap2004
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    I don’t think I’ll need to change it, I might only want to so that the business name and company name are uniform (perfectionism rears its ugly head!). It’s obviously a bigger issue than just changing the name so I think I’ll just set up the company with something generic like with my initials or something.

    Thanks everyone for your help!

    #1130022
    TheGoldenGoose
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    asap2004, post: 147394 wrote:
    understand that branding is probably not essential to be thinking about at this point

    Hi Adele

    Welcome to the forum! :)

    I would disagree with the above statement – and would say it’s probably why naming is so difficult for you at this point. You need to know who you are, who you’re targeting and how you want to be perceived in order to start spreading the word/engaging suppliers.

    If you need some help with feedback on names, ideas of how to go about brand naming.. you might find a Mini Brand Consult helpful.

    You simply fill out the questionnaire, book a Skype time and we can chat through your brand in more detail.

    Let me know if I can help :D

    #1130023
    Eng UNG
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    Hi Adele,

    I don’t think you’ll have much trouble with designers if you already have an idea about your product or service – at least not with me anyway : )

    To start out, a website is a must, it’s the simplest form of marketing your business even if you are just approaching potential suppliers at this stage. It helps to set you up as a bona fide business and establish your reputation. Most people simply like to go back after talking to you and find out more about your product or service is about through your website. The good thing is that most graphic/web designers can provide you a draft design based on a concept of your business idea.

    The other thing you might want to consider is to try and get a domain name that matches your business name. You don’t want to want to get a business name like “Fish’n’Chips R Us” only to find out that the domain name (fishnchipsrus.com.au) for that business has already been taken.

    Unless you’re a techie, I would suggest that you seek professional help from a designer you feel comfortable working with. Take the time now to think about what you want to say, and who you want to say it to before you jump into the nitty gritty of the design phase.

    If you like, shoot me an email or give me a call and I’d be happy to help give you some advise and feedback.

    Cheers,
    Eng

    #1130024
    asap2004
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    Eng UNG, post: 147588 wrote:
    To start out, a website is a must, it’s the simplest form of marketing your business even if you are just approaching potential suppliers at this stage.

    try and get a domain name that matches your business name.

    This is what is confusing me. I understand how important a website is but if I don’t have a business name yet, I can’t get a domain to match! So once again I’d be stuck with moving forward without the business name.

    Truthfully I’m not that worried about getting a website up before talking to suppliers. Although mine will be an online business, I think suppliers will understand that I’m starting out and so I don’t have a website set up yet. I would like to have a draft website, so to speak, to show them (not live) so they can see the type of image and market I’ll be targeting.

    I think I’ll be setting up a Pty Ltd company under my name or something along the lines of what I’ll be doing and using that to deal with people until I have my trading as name.

    Thanks again for your advice. Everyone here is so helpful :)

    Adele

    #1130025
    Eng UNG
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    Hi Adele,

    asap2004, post: 147671 wrote:
    … I would like to have a draft website, so to speak, to show them (not live) so they can see the type of image and market I’ll be targeting.

    If you’ve thought through what platform you want to run your website on i.e. Joomla, Magento etc. then you can get a template to play with. Generally, the really good templates that are built on these platforms will allow you to change the theme, colour, background etc. So one template could easily have 20+ variations and styles.

    You can also get a domain name – any name – so that you can host your draft website. That way you can change your draft website to your hearts content. You can always change your domain name later once you decide on what it is.

    If you’re going to go this route, think through the type of platform you want first.

    Good luck,

    Cheers,
    Eng

    #1130026
    Shelcom
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    Adele, you can use your company name as a trading name without registering the trading name separately.

    So, if you register Adele Pty Ltd, you don’t need to register the business name Adele. There is no need or sense in doing that. Now, if you want to register Adele Pty Ltd but trade as Adele’s Amazing Products, that’s when you’ll need to register the trading name.

    Also, if you want something just for now, it is legal to use your own name as a trading name without having it registered. You will however have to obtain an ABN as a sole trader. This could be a short term solution for now, until you incorporate your company, or settle on the right structure.

    Check out this free Business Structure Wizard, it may give you some guidance on which business structure is right for you.

    #1130027
    victorng
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    Re: Changing business names

    Avatar Consulting, post: 147415 wrote:
    Hi

    Is is not easy to just change a company name. Most owners just change their TAs name instead and keep the same company name.

    This is becuase it is not just the name, it is the company legal identity that you will be trying to change. This will cause some problems in areas like:

    • Changing contracts to include new name
    • Whether the new name will be approved before you can change anything
    • The paperwork and cost needed to change a company name
    • Whether you have to get approval from the shareholders
    • Whether you have to wind up or not to make the change

    I am not sure why you think you need to change the company name so soon after creating it?

    The above is not correct. A company is identified by its ACN. Changing a company name does not affect its legal identity.

    It’s like changing your name by deed poll. Your name changes but you’re still you.

    So changing a company name shouldn’t affect contracts already entered into. And you certainly don’t need to wind up a company just to change its name!

    It is easy to change your company name – you need a special resolution passed by the company. There is a cost of course – around $350 for the ASIC fee and whatever your accountant or professional advisor (if you use one) charges for the resolution, lodgement, etc. it’s a hassle though – business cards, stationery, website, etc all have to change.

    Cheers,
    Victor

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