A strong business brand can:
- capture what your business stands for
- help your potential customers easily identify your business
- create an emotional connection for your customers with your business.
But before you start developing your business’s brand and ordering stationery, it’s a good idea to do some prior research and homework to make sure your preferred business name, domain name and logo is available for use. After all, who wants to spend all that money and then have to change it all?
Read on to find out what you should do before you settle on your brand and order your flashy new business cards!
Registering for an Australian Business Number (ABN)
An ABN is an 11 digit number that’s unique to your business. An ABN identifies your business to the government and community and is used for certain tax and business purposes.
Tip: You’ll need to have an ABN (or have submitted an application for one with) before you can register for a business name. You can also register your business name in your ABN application.
A business name
Choose something unique, which quickly identifies the goods or services your business provides. If the name you choose isn’t your personal name (i.e. you want to trade under something more specific than your own legal name, e.g. Jane’s Flower’s instead of Jane Smith) you’ll need to register your business name with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
Tip: Before you start the business name registration process, do a names search to see if your preferred business name is available.
An eye-catching logo
Employing a graphic design service to create some options for you is a great way to ensure you get a logo that matches the vision you have for your business.
Tip: Whether you design your logo yourself or employ a graphic designer, be sure to check the Australian Trade Mark On-line Search System to make sure what you design is unique and you’re not infringing on anyone else’s brand!
A trade mark
Trade marks ensure that you have exclusive rights in Australia to commercially use your trade mark within the class of goods and services it’s registered under. You can trade mark things like your business name, logo, phrases, sounds and many other products and services.
A domain name
You don’t need to build a website straight away (or at all), but holding a domain name will allow you to create email addresses specific to your business. An email address like email@example.com can be more appealing and professional-looking for your customers than using a free email service.
Tip: If you do plan to have a website, be sure to check if the domain name(s) you prefer are available before you register your business name, as this can impact on the business name you choose.
Work out what you are going to call yourself. Whether it’s owner, coach, entrepreneur, inventor—it’s up to you! It’s a good idea to pick something that aligns with the brand you’re trying to build.
Tip: Not sure where to start? Have a look at what other people call themselves to get some inspiration!