How to choose the perfect business name

2 min read

Four steps to take you from idea to registration.

If your business is a company, sole trader or partnership, you have the opportunity to register a business name in Australia. Business names used to be known as trading names until 2012.


The process of choosing a name can be daunting. But you can’t have a business without a business name. Here are four steps to help you create a name that stands out from the crowd.


Step One - Brainstorm:


They say creativity is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. So aim for a list of 20 business names. If you're stumped for ideas, try giving your business name a local spin by including your city, country or industry - for example Honcho Sydney, Honcho Australia or Honcho Business. For a helping hand, check out an online name generator like Namelix or Namium.


Step Two - Test:


Take your top five names and test, test, test. Ask friends or family to provide a rationale for their favourite: Is the name catchy? Or does it explain an important component of your business? If you’re confident enough, ask a stranger at the bus stop or coffee line. You may be surprised by the results.


Step Three - Trial:


Before getting a tattoo, they recommend trialling the design with a permanent marker for a few days. The same goes for business names. Once you have your perfect name, see how it looks on a business card, email signature and domain name. Ask yourself if it looks and feels right?


Step Four - Register:


Congratulations. You’re ready to register for a business name with Honcho or from ASIC. If you’re thinking of naming your business after yourself remember your business name is a sellable asset and can make you a lot of money down the track! Consider these three surprising outcomes.


Quickfire Fact Sheet


☑️ Transfer the business name if your company is sold.

☑️ Protect your business name with a trade mark.

☑️ Open a business bank account in your business name.

☑️ Hold your business name for 12 months or up to three years (and renew it thereafter).  

☑️ Register more than one business name - for example, Australian-based clothing brand Cottonon Group has business names for Supre, Typo and Factorie.

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