What is the difference between a business name and a trademark?

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

What is a business name?

  • A business name is a name or title under which a person or entity conducts a business.

  • You will need to register a business name if you conduct business in Australia and are not trading under your own name.

  • Registering a business name does not provide exclusive ownership of your business name. This means that it does not prevent other people from being able to register and use similar business names.

  • The only way to gain the exclusive right over a particular business name is to register it as a trademark.

What is a trademark?

  • A trademark is a way to identify the goods/products of your business among the other traders.

  • In Australia, trademarks can be word, phrase, letter, number, colour, picture, shape, movement, sound, scent, or combination of the above as long as it differentiates a business’s goods/services from that of another trader.

  • Firstly, a registered trademark is a legal protection for your name and logo because registering business names and company names do not stop others from using the same or similar name as a registered trademark as a registered trademark.

  • Secondly, a registered trademark can give you an immediate exclusive right to use the trade mark to promote your goods/services. Your trademark will last for 10 years from its filing date, and you can renew as many time as you want.

  • Thirdly, it is a deterrence: A registered trademark may prevent any third parties from using the same or similar trademarks in relation to the same or similar goods/services.

  • Next, it is a valuable asset: A registered marks can work as a property that can be sold or licensed. Therefore, it is considered as an asset of your company.

  • Last but not least, the use symbol ®: Only registered trade mark may use the ® symbol. It is an offence to use the symbol ® in relation to an unregistered trade mark.

If you have any questions or concerns about trademark issues, feel free to contact us. MAYGUST TRADEMARKS are happy to assist you!