This article is an extension of a previous article in which we took a closer look at understanding your brand and how to protect it with a trademark.

What is a business name?

A business name is a name or title under which a person or entity conducts a business.

You will need to register a business name if you carry on business within Australia and are not trading under your own name.

Exceptions to this include:

  • if you are operating as an individual and your operating name is the same as your first name and surname
  • if you are in a partnership and your operating name is the same as all the partners’ names, or
  • If you are an already registered Australian company and your operating name is the same as your company’s name.

Registering a business name does not provide exclusive ownership of your business name. It also doesn’t prevent other people from being able to register and use similar names. To gain exclusivity over a particular business name, you need to register it as a trademark with IP Australia.

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is an address on the internet.

Your domain name is your website address on the internet and gives you an online identity or brand. It’s a valuable part of your business identity and is an important marketing tool that can help customers find and identify with your business. For example,

Your domain name is unique to you; once you have registered it, nobody else can register the same one for as long as you continue to renew it.

The two uses people will be most familiar with are internet addresses, where the domain name is prefixed by “www” (for example and email addresses, where the domain name follows the @ symbol (for example

You will need to be a commercial entity and have either an A.C.N or ABN

Register your domain name with a registrar or reseller

What is a Patent?

A patent is a legally enforceable right for a device, substance, method or process. For a patent application to be successful, the invention must be new, useful and inventive or innovative.

When granted, a patent will give you exclusive commercial rights to your invention (a monopoly).

The type of patent you hold will determine the duration of your protection.  For example a standard patent lasts for up to 20 years, an innovation patent only lasts for up to eight years and pharmaceutical patents can last up to 25 years.

All Australian patent applications must be filed with IP Australia. A patent will give you the right to stop others from manufacturing, using and/or selling your invention in Australia without your permission

Clint Fraser is a Director in Tax & Business Services at Davidsons Business Advisors based in Torquay with a portfolio of clients building, growing and protecting their brands