#search business names

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Is the proposed business name available to be registered?

(Please note that the Business Name Search tool immediately below is for searching whether or not a business name is already registered and whether or not the business name is available to be registered. It is not a tool for searching who ‘owns’ – or, more accurately, who is registered as trading under/ as – the Business Name.)

Is it a good idea to register the proposed business name?

Even though the proposed business name may be available to be registered, it may not be a good idea to register the business name for a whole range of reasons including for the following (non-exhaustive) list of reasons –

1. The proposed business name may be deceptively similar to another business or company name.

If the proposed business name is deceptively similar to another business or company name, you may be subject to legal and other action by the owners of the other name. They may allege that your business name is illegally misleading and deceptive and/or that you/your business are engaging in the tort of ‘passing off’.

2. The proposed business name may be inherently (and illegally) misleading and deceptive.

If the proposed business name is misleading and deceptive in itself, there is likely to be a breach of various Commonwealth, State and Territory laws prohibiting misleading and deceptive conduct.

3. Even if the proposed business name is not, loosely speaking, ‘illegally too similar to another business name’, it still may be bad business to register and use it. For example, if your business name is somewhat similar to a competitor’s business name, and your business ends up being far more successful than the competitor’s business, you might find that potential customers intending to purchase from your business end up ‘mistakenly’ purchasing instead from your competitor’s business.

4. The website domain name you want (or may in the future want) for your proposed business name may already be registered by someone else

5. The proposed business name may be in breach of a registered Australian Trade Mark


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