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Can you afford to lose your name?

New laws replacing the existing state based business name register with a national register are scheduled to be introduced in 2011.

All businesses that trade under a state registered business name should prepare for the introduction of the national register or risk losing their trading name to a competitor.

A situation arose recently when a client contacted me regarding her strategy to update her website.  We discussed her branding, domain name and business name in the context of the federal government’s proposed national business name register.  As her business name is only registered in NSW and a competitor has a similar name in another state, she could be at risk of losing her name to a competitor if her name was not registered as a Trade Mark.  The result was that she has registered her business name as a Trade Mark.  This will ensure that her brand is protected with respect to specific services in Australia.   Any competitor attempting to use this brand will be infringing her Trade Marks rights and can be defended accordingly.

The introduction of the national business name register will affect a number of Australian businesses and in some situations it may be easier for businesses to re-brand.

This is possibly the best time to register your business name and brands as Trade Marks.  Will this affect your business?  Share your experiences here.