Home – New Forums Starting your journey Trading names and websites – Bad advice from Gov?

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  • #1041221
    sluik
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    Melinda B, post: 49864 wrote:
    I don’t get this part. I understand why you’d use a subdomain as a sandpit. Why is it important that the guy on the phone understood the difference?

    For the purposes of registering a business name it makes no difference if you have a top level domain or a subdomain. If you are conducting business activities on the domain/subdomain then you should have it registered, yes?

    If you’re not conducting business activities – whether you’re making money from it or not – then the whole question is moot.

    Well, I didn’t have to quote a business name to get the subdomain, I’m not too cluey on the whole business of sub vs domain. I’ve just been told that to get a domain name you have to have a registered business name if you were not using your first/surname.

    My understanding is that my activity is classed on-line publishing and the title of the website is treated the same as if it were a magazine or book title.

    The whole fine-print of running a business is new to me so I’m just following the minimalist KISS principal; if one does not need something, why have it. The business idea might just take off in time.

    Hope I make sense

    Albert

    #1041222
    sluik
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    smallspark, post: 49877 wrote:
    The only reason I have had to register a trading name for a website was for the purposes of setting up an internet merchant facility with the bank for use on that website.

    As far as I know this was a requirement of the bank, not the government.

    I needed to have a trading name that matched the domain name (not necessarily exactly, but close enough) and the name as presented on the website.

    Thanks for that,
    I’m beginning to understand that when giving advice, everyone I have spoken to assumes you will need to work with a bank when starting a business for yourself and so they tell you that you need this and that when actually you don’t.

    Albert

    #1041223
    Melinda B
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    sluik, post: 50067 wrote:
    Well, I didn’t have to quote a business name to get the subdomain, I’m not too cluey on the whole business of sub vs domain. I’ve just been told that to get a domain name you have to have a registered business name if you were not using your first/surname.
    To get a domain name you simply buy it if you’re after a .com. If you want the .com.au then you need an ABN, which you can get as a Sole Trader.

    However you may need to register a business name in order to get the ABN if you’re trading under anything other than your real name.

    So if you got a sub-domain, who owns the main domain that it’s under?

    #1041224
    marketingweb
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    Hi,

    I think this is mostly sorted out now, but all still seems a little vague?

    Based on my experience, I can say with almost 100% certainty the guy is completely and utterly wrong. And besides that, what if I have 1,000,000 database driven pages on my website? What if I change my titles weekly for SEO purposes etc.

    The laws regarding business names vary from state to state, but it’s a big case of the federal government, the state governments and the AUDA (domain name bosses) all not working together at all and each requiring something that the other makes impossible.

    Basically what it comes down to to is the following:
    1) You need an ABN to legally trade. This is free from the federal Government.

    2) GST Registration is optional. When to get/not get beyond this post.

    3) If you trade in “real life” ie transactions are NOT only online, you need a registered business name.

    4) If you want to open a bank account in a name other than your own personal name you need a registered business name.

    5) If you elect NOT to have a registered business name all invoices you send out MUST be in your own name, NOT a made up business name or your domain name. Ie you can’t send an invoice to someone, or a reciept from Fred’s Widgets or Fredswidgets.com.au as the seller – it must be invoiced by “Fred Smith” if the name isn’t registered.

    6) Once you have an ABN, you can register ANY .com.au domain name. It doesn’t have to match your business name at all. All it has to have is a connection to an online business you intend to carry on, and not infringe on anyone else’s trade marks. So for example my business name is long – “Marketing and Website Solutions Australia”. My main website is marketingweb.com.au which is a derivative of the business name. However I can also own brandpolice.com.au which is only loosely related. And I can own domain names like discovertexas.com.au and discoverlasvegas.com.au and a heap of others even though I don’t have a business name to match (i’m putting up some blogs soon related to my upcoming USA trip which i’m excited about).

    Lots of people on here will tell you different about point 6 as they are nervous about registering domain names. However whole forums like http://www.dntrade.com.au exist related to buying multiple domain names. Please note (before anyone gets knickers in a knot) domain name speculation or trading is NOT the same as cybersquatting which is bad and illegal.

    Matt

    #1041225
    Melinda B
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    marketingweb, post: 50200 wrote:
    The laws regarding business names vary from state to state,
    Sometime next year I believe Business Names will be Australia wide rather than state based. It’s going to be interesting….
    #1041226
    Rob T
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    marketingweb, post: 50200 wrote:
    6) Once you have an ABN, you can register ANY .com.au domain name. It doesn’t have to match your business name at all. All it has to have is a connection to an online business you intend to carry on, and not infringe on anyone else’s trade marks. So for example my business name is long – “Marketing and Website Solutions Australia”. My main website is marketingweb.com.au which is a derivative of the business name. However I can also own brandpolice.com.au which is only loosely related. And I can own domain names like discovertexas.com.au and discoverlasvegas.com.au and a heap of others even though I don’t have a business name to match (i’m putting up some blogs soon related to my upcoming USA trip which i’m excited about).

    Hi Matt,

    It’s been a few years since I last purchased a .com.au domain. This is from the auDA policy page, Section C:

    Quote:
    2. Domain names in the com.au 2LD must be:
    a) an exact match, abbreviation or acronym of the registrant’s name or trademark; or
    b) otherwise closely and substantially connected to the registrant.

    Point b) seems a bit vague. From the sound of it they are not very strict about it?

    Cheers,
    Rob

    #1041227
    marketingweb
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    L-plater, post: 50319 wrote:
    Point b) seems a bit vague. From the sound of it they are not very strict about it?

    Point B is very vague and barely enforced. Once upon a time domain names cost $144 per 2 years, had to basically be your business name or a derivitave of, could only be registered through “Melbourne IT” who was a business that started as a project of the IT department at Melbourne uni, and it was basically expensive and difficult to get domain names you want.

    A few years ago they decided to relax it greatly in a number of ways. Clause B was implemented as you noticed, the industry was deregulated resulting in domain names available for as little as $20.95 for two years, and around 18 months ago the restriction on selling domain names was lifted – before this you could only sell a domain name “as part of selling a business”. Now the rules is you just have to hold for 6 months before selling.

    In effect, what point B means is you can now register pretty much ANY domain name you want, provided you have an ABN or meet one of the other criteria, AND you can show if questioned a legitimate interest in the doman name. What this means is that you can’t “cybersquat”, in other words you can’t infringe on someone else’s registered trademark, and you can’t register say the domain name of a competitor. You also have to show you are doing or plan to do something beyond just “holding to sell”.

    I’m not a trademark or domain name lawyer so don’t take this as advice, but in practice basically if you have a genuine business (not breaching trademark) and a plan do to something with the domain thats legit, you can pretty much register nearly anything you want, matching business name or not. The substantial connection doesn’t even have to be to your main business, just one you operate or can show if asked you are working towards operating. If on the other hand the purpose of registration is shown to only be to keep someone else from getting it who does have a valid claim, then you could lose it.

    Hope this helps,
    Matt

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