Debbie Majella Nolan
Debbie Majella Nolan, Founder at The Door of Youth

Business structure

Does A Small Business Have To Have An ABN Or A Business Name?

Does a small business have to have a company name or trade under BN?

If a business name offers different services it is OK to have 1 name?

Is there a service where people can go to get assistance in setting up a new ventures? 

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5 Answers

Jacqui Pryor

Jacqui Pryor , Director at Mark My Words Trademark Services Pty Ltd

Hi Debbie

I hope this helps:

Does a small business have to have a company name or trade under BN?

If a small business is going to trade by any name other than their own personal name they must, at the very least register a business name. (This is done via asic.gov.au these days). A business name is not a legal entity though - so if operating as a sole trader with a business name, the person remains the legal entity. A company however, is actually its own entity (also registered via ASIC).

If a business name offers different services it is OK to have 1 name?

Yes, so long as the business name is properly registered to the person/company carrying on the business.

Is there a service where people can go to get assistance in setting up a new venture.? As friend has just done BN, flyer etc then has gone to do TM to find out already being used :(

Different places can assist with different parts of a new venture. I would suggest an accountant is best to advise on the right structure (i.e. sole trader with just a business name or registering a company etc). Then, there are companies, like mine, that can assist with trademark matters. I always encourage a trademark search to be done first, for exactly the reason you have described. We offer a free basic check via our website or you can do this yourself. A registered business or company name unfortunately doesn't provide any real right to a name, a trademark will essentially 'trump' other registrations most of the time.

I hope this helps 

Wendy Huang

Wendy Huang , Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Great answer Jacqui :)!
Great answer Jacqui :)!
Debbie Majella Nolan

Debbie Majella Nolan , Founder at The Door of Youth

Hi Jacqui Thank for the detailed information have invited my friend to SavvySME. I did trade mark my name in 2006 when setting up my company, it can be confusi... read more
Hi Jacqui Thank for the detailed information have invited my friend to SavvySME. I did trade mark my name in 2006 when setting up my company, it can be confusing for small business owners when setting up. Have heard to many story's were people invest the $$$ then to find they have to change the name. Have a super day :)
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Linda Reed-Enever

Debbie it depends what you want to do. We offer a range of services under one ABN and ACN from our Parent Company and have trading names in place for our other businesses.

You can have an ABN under the business name or you can be a sole trader and have it under your own name.

Hope I have helped and not confused the ABR site has some great info https://abr.gov.au/ 

Debbie Majella Nolan

Debbie Majella Nolan , Founder at The Door of Youth

Thanks for comment. Linda
Thanks for comment. Linda
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Gosia Slotala

Gosia Slotala , Marketing Manager at Shelcom Corporate Services

Hi Debbie, Jacqui has done a great job answering your question regarding trading names, ABN's and trademarks, so I won't be repetitive. 

If the whole process seems a bit daunting and confusing, you can always contact a corporate service provider such as Shelcom to help you with the process. We file the necessary paperwork and obtain your ABN and Business Name on your behalf so that you don't have to deal with the government. We also refer our clients to Jacqui for TM checks and TM registration. 

Also, in relation to your business structure question, it is always best to speak to an accountant or lawyer. Only they can give you advice on such matters. However, if you need some initial guidance, check out this 60 second Business Structure Tool. Simply answer a few questions and an appropriate structure suggestion will be made. 

You may also find this video helpful: How to start a business in Australia 

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Chelsea Creamer

Chelsea Creamer , Community Manager at SavvySME

Is an ABN compulsory? Well no. Still, Jacqui answered your question fully! :)

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Debbie Majella Nolan

Debbie Majella Nolan , Founder at The Door of Youth

Thanks Linda

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