Naming (or renaming) your business is no easy feat. Behind a boom of start-ups, freelancers, small businesses and micro-businesses, finding a unique moniker is becoming more and more difficult. But once you have found that perfect name that encompasses all that is your brand, what steps do you need to take in order to protect it?
I deliberately mention this first as this will be the longest process. IP Australia is where you need to visit first and foremost, registering both your name and eventually your logo as well. There are a few options available depending on if you want Australian only or International protection as well — if you get lost give the IP Australia team a call — their team are lovely. Be prepared for a wait, with regular applications taking a couple of months to come through, however, you can pay for express service if your launch is time-sensitive. You can launch whilst your name is in the process of being trademarked, however, just know that you aren’t protected during this time and you run the risk of someone else using it as well.
The ™ symbol can be added to your logo at any stage but it won’t have any registered, intellectual property (IP) protection. Only once registered with IP Australia, can the ® symbol be legally added to your brandmark. For additional reading on the difference between these symbols head to IP Australia.
ASIC Registration & ABN Registration
These are two that your accountant can help you with. ABN and ASIC can also take some time so get your applications in as soon as possible. Be aware there are fees involved with ASIC if you choose to register as a Pty Ltd company so include this in your budget.
A clear domain is a key element to your business’s discoverability and success. The clearer, the better! If .com and .com.au are both available — get them. Ensure the language you are using is clear and consistent with your branding (matching your usernames is even better). Avoid hard-to-remember anagrams or long-winded domains that won’t fit on a business card. You can purchase a domain from a variety of platforms — we recommend Newcastle-based Webolution. As a side note, purchase domain privacy to help avoid spam phone calls and a https (secure) domain to keep Google happy.
Social Media Registration
Usernames! Keep them as short as possible and consistent across platforms, and even if you don’t use the platform now, grab it anyway — you may want it in the future. NameChk is a great resource for searching multiple username availability at one time.
Now all the paperwork is complete its time to start the fun part, branding! Brand identity is the visual representation of what your brand stands for. It typically begins with a logo, typefaces, colour palette, and graphic and photography styles. Your brand identity is so important as it reflects how you want consumers to perceive your brand. It is essential to consumer recognition and symbolises your brand’s differences from your competitors. A strong brand identity will positively influence your audience and their purchasing decisions.
If you’re ready to take the next step with your brand — or if you’re having trouble on the naming front, you can email the studio on firstname.lastname@example.org to book a catchup about your project.
To view some of our previous naming projects, check out Everymind, Ritualize and Coassemble.