Millions of Australians have one or more hobbies that they participate in. These hobbies often result in the creation of valuable products, like clothing, food, or furniture. Some hobbies can even give the hobbyist a marketable skill. A person whose hobby is photography may have the opportunity to sell their photographic services for a profit!

When your hobby begins to involve a certain amount commercial activity, it becomes a business. At this stage, you may need an Australian Business Number (ABN) and you may have to make changes to your taxation arrangements. But how do you know when this point has been reached?

This article will help by explaining how an ABN works. We’ll also help you understand when your hobby has become a business and needs an ABN. Let’s get started!

Think about what you want to convey to consumers

Before you begin brainstorming potential business names, think about the ideas or emotions that your business name should convey to consumers. Here are a few important questions to ask yourself before you begin looking for a business name:

  • What is the primary demographic that your business is targeting?
    Does your primary demographic respond to certain types of names more than others? Would they prefer a modern sounding name or something more traditional?
  • Do you want to convey a message in your business name?
    Do you want your business name to make consumers think your business has a particular attribute? For example, you may want to make consumers think your business is trustworthy, creative, or efficient. You can incorporate terms that emphasise that aspect. That is why B2B companies use names like SalesForce, Gainsight, and QuickBooks. These names emphasise action, speed, and/or efficiency.
  • Why is your business unique?
    Is your business offering a unique product or service? You may wish to emphasise that fact in your business name. If you have a highly unique product or service, you may need to register your business name as a trademark.
  • Do you want to convey a specific emotion with your business name?
    Triggering an emotional response in a consumer can be a very powerful technique for creating a memorable or catchy business name. Even the vowels and consonants that you use in a business name can affect the emotional response that a person has to a name.
  • Will you diversify your business in the future?
    Will your business always sell a particular type of product or service, or will it expand in the future? A name like Jane’s Jewellery may not be appropriate if you intend to sell clothing in the future.

Brainstorm online

There are many tools available online to help you brainstorm business names and develop some interesting ideas. These tools are useful for getting the creative juices flowing!

A few of the best include:

Look for a business name that is unique and unforgettable

It is important to choose a name that clearly differentiates your business from your competitors. If you are operating in a specific market, take some time to research what names other local businesses have used. Avoid names that sound or look like their names. Having a similar name to your competitors may confuse consumers and even make your businesses advertising campaigns benefit your competitors!

Consider localising your business name

If your business is limited to one geographical location, consider localising your name. For example, if you had a plumbing business that is limited to doing business in Port Macquarie, you could use Port Macquarie Plumbing. Using a localised name can make it easier to rank for local searches online and is easy for consumers to remember.

Look for a name that can be branded easily

Consider how each potential business name could be used in promotional material. Will your chosen business name fit into a logo or would you need to use initials? Will it be easy to use the name on posters, t-shirts and other forms of merchandising? Will the business name fit onto the products that you are selling? Will it look good on a 5 metre wide banner?

Avoid unusual spellings or confusing names

Avoid names that are difficult to read, write or pronounce. After all, it’s difficult to promote word-of-mouth for your business if everyone struggles to pronounce its name! Avoid confusing names like Ezclean or Ezi-klean because they may be mistaken with EasyClean — which could cost you business.

Check if the business name is available

As you identify names that you like the look of, check if other companies have already taken them. You are not allowed to register a company name that is similar or identical to a name that is already registered.

Check if a domain is available for that business name

You should also check the availability of the domain that matches your preferred business names. If you are starting a business that will only operate in Australia, look for a domain to match the name. If you are going to operate internationally, look for a .com name.

Can you trademark the name?

If you are developing a unique product or service that will feature your business name, you may be interested in applying for a trademark. Having your business name trade marked prevents other entities from using that name on a product or service.

For more information on register a company and business name registration, contact us today.

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