BizSpark, Nudgemoments, Nudge Accounting, startups

Register business trading names

As part of our ongoing support for the Startup community, we blog (and vlog) every second month for Microsoft BizSpark as part of our #nudgemoments initiative. #nudgemoments is all about giving startups the opportunity to ask a finance question and get an answer that helps them grow their startup and make better business decisions.

The #nudgemoments StartUp Question from Emily via the Bizspark Blog in March was: Hi, I have a question for Emma; If you are a sole trader and have multiple blogs/websites, do you have to register each website’s name as a business trading name? And, if you do, do you need to set up separate bank accounts for each website/business trading name, or as a sole trader, can you collect all your income directly into a single bank account under your own name?

In response to this question, there are a few key areas that we have to cover off:

What is a business name?

A business name is the name under which your business trades. It is used to identify your business – think about who your customers think they are doing business with? Registering a business or trading name gives you the right (but not an exclusive right) to use that name.

When do I need to register a business name?

If you are a sole trader, trust or partnership you need to register your business name. However if your business name is your own first name and surname (or your partners), then you do not need to register. If you are a company, you only need to register your business name if it is different to your company name.

Does registering my business name protect my brand?

No, registering your business name does not give you exclusive rights to use to your business name in any way.

How do I register a business name?

You can register your business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Do I need a separate bank account for each business name?

No, you do not need separate bank accounts – all the sales from your different business lines can be paid into the one sole trader bank account. However, it is important to have a way of tracking where the different sources of income are coming from.

For more information about registering different trading names for your business, you can read the full post here on the Microsoft BizSpark blog.