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Business name - register? trademark? both?

Discussion in 'Small Business' started by Bran, 21st Jul, 2015.

  1. Bran

    Bran Well-Known Member

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    Learned friends,

    I operate my 'business' as an individual providing a service, with an ABN attached to my name.

    I wish to associate a company name with my service, at this stage for no other purpose other than web address/letterhead/business card logo, but a possible expansion later.

    The business name is at risk of being taken by competitors, and i wish to reserve it.

    So whats the minimum I need to do? Do I simply trade mark the name/logo?

    I'm not business minded and have no idea. This is all new to me.
     
  2. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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  3. Bran

    Bran Well-Known Member

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    Thanks DT.

    This was a scary moment, all of a sudden, a search brought up loads of results, whereas a previous ATMOSS search only brought up a few. All good.

    I presume, QLD would not be able to be replaced with Queensland and vice versa.
     
  4. wombat777

    wombat777 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I would also secure relevant .com, .com.au domain names where possible ( and any others you see fit ). Have all the secondary ones redirect to your preferred domain.

    This will reduce the risk of someone stealing your business identify and web traffic with a similarly-named business. This happened to my ex recently. Someone started trading on her small business profile.
     
  5. Bran

    Bran Well-Known Member

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    Hey wombat, I've done this. I have about 6 domains now, with .com and .com.au all redirected.

    Unfortunately I can't work out how to get any of them up there with SEOs etc.

    Is registering a business name something i can just get my accountant to do without any input from me?
     
  6. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Yes, most likely Bran.

    But, why do you operate from your own name as opposed to trust or company anyways?
     
  7. Bran

    Bran Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, I don't know.

    Last time I asked my accountant, he said it was something along the line of me providing a service as an individual, and receiving payment directly for such, and thus difficult to route through any other entity. Does that make sense?
     
  8. wombat777

    wombat777 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    It's over 5 years since I have needed to develop/configure/maintain any sites.

    I'm sure there are other nerds here that are less rusty that can help.
     
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  9. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Atmoss is the trademark register. Different to a business name search on ASIC.

    Before you register a name you should check IP Australia to see if there is a trademark
    http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/get-the-right-ip/trade-marks/search-for-a-trade-mark/
    (atmoss)

    Then you should see if the company or business name is available on ASIC. You can reserve a name. But just having the company name doesn't necessarily stop anyone using the name for other things so you may want to consider trademarking it.

    Also search to see if the domains are available too.
     
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  10. wombat777

    wombat777 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Trademarking is relatively straight-forward. Just watch out for the scammers that send out inflated renewal invoices.

    I registered a trademark 10 years ago, which I haven't used for years. Thankfully it has expired now so hopefully the scam renewal letters will soon stop ( although that may cause them to up their ante ).
     
  11. sanj

    sanj Well-Known Member

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    Have you researched the pros and cons of operating your business as a sole trader vs company? I certainly wouldn't recommend being a sole trader.

    What is it that your business does?
     
  12. mrdobalina

    mrdobalina Well-Known Member

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    Do you have friends or colleagues in the same field that you could team up with? Sounds like you're in the medical industry.

    There are substantial benefits from moving to a sole trader model to operating as a trust with company as trustee. The tax you could save is enormous. Better in your pocket than in the government coffers to fleet away!
     
  13. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Not that simple for doctors - alienation of personal services income rules often mean they will be taxed individually regardless of the structure they operate through. But this doesn't mean it is not a good idea to use a company or trust to operate through as there are other benefits.