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What’s (not) in a business name?

What’s (not) in a business name?

Why Fuss over a Business Name?

What could you say identifies a business more to it’s customers than its name? Have a think about it. Tough one huh..!

Is it Branding? Yes this is integral to business identity! But it goes without saying that if your business name were to change then your brand would certainly alter with it (would the Golden Arches of McDonalds look right if their business name changed to Harolds?).

What about Product Offering/Services? You’re right, these will stick in the minds of your customers and be the reason why they bring their business back to you, time after time. But a service or product isn’t what your customers think about when they realise they need to book a check-up for their car, that they’d like a coffee or that they require your expert hemming services. No – what they’ll be thinking when this need arises is: ‘I should get over to XYZ because I need another widget!’ Your patrons won’t necessarily recall your product or service, but they will remember that ‘Sammy’s Subs’ make the best sandwiches in town.

Could it be the People running the business? We’d all agree that a business is nothing without it’s people! It’s the efforts of owners, managers and staff that engages with customers and ensures repeat purchases. But despite knowing all of this, if we were recommending said business to our friends and family we would still say to them ‘go to <insert business name>! <Friendly staff member> was really helpful and will definitely sort you out!’. We purchase from the business identity not the people within the business who are responsible for it’s character.

There are many, many factors contributing to the perceived character of your business. Without doubt, your business name will be the first thing customers will associate with whatever makes you special. It’s a lot like an ice berg – your business name is the tip of the iceberg that everyone will come to know and recognize. If the tip of the iceberg were to suddenly change, whatever lies beneath the water (the people, products, services of the business) could become irrelevant and insignificant in the mind of the customer.

So what should I do to protect my Business Name?

While registering a business name with ASIC is an important part of setting up and running your business, many people are surprised to learn registration doesn’t provide exclusive ownership of your business name.

Registering a business name is no more than a legal obligation if you plan to carry on business or trade in Australia using a name other than your own.

So, remember that registering a business name doesn’t mean you own it, or that you are preventing other people from being able to register and use similar names.

Usually, the only way to get exclusive use of a particular business name is to register it as a trade mark. You can find more information about what’s involved – and search for existing trade marks at no cost – by visiting IP Australia.

If you’re concerned that your business name isn’t protected, please contact Tim Garth, the author of this article. You’ll find him at his email address –, or just call the CATS office on (02) 4353 5370 and ask for Tim.

Interested in working with us? Check out some of our client testimonials below!

Ben Dunstan

Master Building Works Pty Ltd

Having met Warren Garth of CATS Accountants some five years ago, I was pleased to achieve a seamless transition from my retiring accountant to his services to look after my accounting and tax work. He’s got a great team behind him, which is most helpful and friendly. All enquiries are answered quickly and comprehensively. I particularly like the use of the wide screen TV to present my figures.

Thanks Warren – Keep up the good work!

Master Building Works Pty Ltd

Glenn Kirkwood

BNI Franchise Owner

The team at CATS have done it again!  Other than your usual friendly and attentive service you now have questionnaires that I can use to prepare my end of financial year information at tax time. Makes things so much easier for me now that I know exactly what you need.

Thanks CATS – you really will get my business purrring!

Ph: 0425 433 603

Daniel Kebriti


CATS Accountants assist me with my accounting and taxation matters for both my business and personal affairs. I strongly recommend them to anyone who is seeking professional advice at an elite level. Warren and his friendly, supportive team always respond promptly to my calls, focus on what my needs are and best of all strive to minimise my tax.

Beverly Bowman

Director - Beautique Beauty Therapy

Warren, Kerry and the Team at CATS Accountants have been taking care of us for our bookkeeping, accounting and taxation needs for 9 years now.   Thanks to their exceptional service and the monthly reports we always know where we are at with our business.  We have always been happy with CATS Accountants and their personal approach and would highly recommend them to other businesses.

Beautique Beauty Therapy

Tony Bourke

Director - AIIB Insurance Brokers

To Warren,

I would like to let you know that we are absolutely happy with the work that has been done for us. The Team are great to work with and it is a pleasure to have CATS as our Accountants. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend CATS to our business associates.

Dr Kenneth Zimmerman

Lecturer in Marine Biology, University of Newcastle

I would like to thank Warren and the Team at CATS Accountants for providing a friendly atmosphere and for being so helpful with my accounts.

I appreciate how you assist me in keeping up to date with my tax and accounting information, and I am grateful for the excellent service that you provide.


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