The government is soon due to launch a new national business name registration system. The new system will mean that there will be one national business name register, and businesses will no longer need to register their name on a state by state basis.
But this change could have major implications in situations where there is a double up of the same trading name (because it has been registered in multiple states by different people), and we suspect will cause a bit of movement in the trade mark registration area as businesses start to recognise the importance to them of their brand!
The benefits and the process
The new system is expected to save business start-ups time and money, with confirmation of registration to be received immediately in most cases when completed online, and the fee to be around $70 for 3 years. There will also be a joint online application for Australian Business Numbers (ABN) to further streamline the process of starting up a business.
Existing business name registrations will be automatically migrated over to the new register, and the new business name fee will apply when it comes time to renewal.
What happens with multiple registrations of the same name?
This is an interesting question. If the same trader currently has multiple registrations in various states, these will be consolidated to a single registration.
However if the same business name is registered to different traders in various states, then the new registration will be marked with a state identifier, eg (NSW), (TAS) etc.
Trademark registrations set to become more important than ever
This new system places even greater importance of obtaining trademark protection. In fact one of the objectives intended to be delivered through this new system is an improved awareness about the differences between business names and trademarks.
A business name registration will not automatically provide you with trademark protection, nor guarantee that you will be able to register your name as a trademark. In fact, it will not even provide you with the peace of mind that you are not infringing someone else’s trademark, and without doing the proper trademark searches first, you risk having to potentially change your business name.
Click here to read our previous article on the differences between company names, business names, domain names and trademarks.
We envisage a rush to obtain trademark registrations, particularly for those traders who currently coexist on the current state business name registration system with other traders in different states for the same name. As the system migrates to a national registration, who will be able to claim legal ownership of your name? Having a trademark registration is the only way to be certain that you OWN the name! As the trademark system is on a first-come-first-served basis, we cannot emphasise enough how important it is for businesses to start looking at trademark protection for their business name now.
Contact us by email at [email protected] or phone us on 02 8006 0830 if you would like more information, we are more than happy to help you get this sorted before the new system starts.
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