Nothing would frustrate you more than if you began registering a business name only to find out that another person beat you to it.
A common example of this is Amart Sports and Super Amart. How many of you have gotten the two brand names confused at one point? Maybe you’re even reading this struggling to remember the difference between the two now.
Super Amart ended up changing its name after 47 years to make it clear that they sold 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 the money that these two brands had to invest to rebrand their stores?!
While this is a worst case scenario, it is critical you register a business name that separates your company from others in your local market. Depending on the industry you operate in and your positioning (being a challenger or disruptor), the name you choose will influence how your audience resonates with your brand.
So, what searches should you do to ensure your name is original?
- Go to the Business Names Register on the ASIC website and type in the name you are thinking of registering. The report will show you whether there is something identical in the same state or any other state in Australia.
- Next go to Google and type in your business name and see whether there are existing brands in Australia or overseas. If there are, you need to ensure they’re not already stealing your thunder – remember you need to aim to be on page one of Google.
- Next go to a website domain registrar (we recommend Melbourne IT) 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.
By going through these three main checking points you will have an idea early on if your business 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 one on Google, or launch a massive advertising campaign, then we advise that being unique as the best way to engage and build a long-standing relationship with your customer base.
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