How do I check if my business name is already taken?

A quick step by step guide that could save you a headache!

Nothing would frustrate you more if you began setting up and building your business to find out that another person beat you to the post. The damage it would do to your potential growth and earnings is massive to say the least.

A good example is very close to home for our team at next Thursday. How many of you out there reading this got the two brand names Amart Sports and Super Amart confused? Our client Super Amart ended up changing its name after 47 years to make it clear what they sold – only Furniture, not football boots! In fact, Amart Sports ended up changing their brand name to Rebel Sports following the acquisition by Super Retail Group in order to further remove any confusion between the brands. Imagine what these two brands had to invest to rebrand their stores?

 

So, it’s critically important you have a brand name that gives you a place at the conversation table. Depending on the category you operate in, your positioning e.g. being a challenger, or disruptor, will influence what name you choose that resonates with your audience. But firstly, what searches should you do to ensure your name is original?

 

  1. Go to ASIC and type in the name you are thinking of registering. The report will show you whether there is something identical in the same or other state in Australia. This is a good place to start – below is the link: https://connectonline.asic.gov.au/RegistrySearch/faces/landing/bn/SearchBnRegisters.jspx?_adf.ctrl-state=6fhnqcmdm_4

 

  1. Next go to google and type in your business name and see whether there are existing brands in Australia or OS, if there are, you need to ensure they’re not already stealing your thunder – remember you need to be on page one of google or you’re nowhere.

 

  1. Next go to a website domain registrar, we recommend Melbourne IT https://www.melbourneit.com.au , and type in the website address that matches your business name. Ideally in Australia the .com.au and .com are the URL formats you want to secure. Sure, these days you can be tricky and register .tv or other formats, but you risk the everyday punter getting confused and frustrated by your URL not conforming to the normal format, and they may give up trying to find you online – the result is business lost.

 

These are the three main things to do and the signs will show up early if the idea you have for your name is already taken. Yes, you can be creative and use acronyms for your business name, or add numerals to make it GR8T, but unless you’re going to spend big bucks to make your business name number 1 on google, or top of mind with your audience, then we would always advise being unique and stake your claim as the best way to engage and build a long standing relationship with your customer base.

 

The team at next Thursday have created and launched numerous brands, including Amart Furniture, so if you need some advice in this space, feel free to contact me and we’ll help your business get off to a prosperous start in life.

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