Choosing a great business name

There are a few things to think about when you want to name your new business ...

Is it obvious what you do?

Both customers and Google like it if the name has words in it that help them understand what you do. Kate's Art Framing explains what the business does.

Does it leave room for business growth?

Kate's Art Framing works well for framing pictures. If Kate wants to branch out into art repair, she might be better to go with Kate's Art and put framing in the tag line. 

Newcastle Art Framing may have trouble growing into Wollongong.

A good combination can be a 'descriptive word' with the name of the service or product - e.g. Amazing Art Framing, and you can add a tag line like "The best picture framers on the Central Coast" to explain better what you do and where you do it.

Can you sell it or move it?

Kate's Art Framing is a bit weird if Sarah buys it. If the personal touch is important or your name is well known, add it to the tag line Amazing Art Framing - your pictures deserve the Kate touch.

Is it early in the Alphabet?

You want to be first on the list if possible. But you need to decide if Aardvark Picture Framing really suits your business.


Is your business name already taken and is it legal?

If you are setting up a business in Australia and plan to use any name but your own, you need to register that business name with ASIC [Australian Securities and Investments Commission]. You need to check the ASIC listing to see if another business in Australia already has the same name, and to make sure your proposed name does not contain restricted words like CHARITY, BANK or ANZAC. You can check ASIC listing here.

In NZ you don't need to register, but it is important to avoid using someone else's name. This great toollets you check for  existing company names, internet domain names and trade marksall in one place

You should also check that the domain name (e.g. or is available and can do so here. It is worth checking for both the and .com version, but if your sales will mainly be in Australia then the is the most important (register the .com if it is available). In NZ you want to get the domain name, and preferably the .com and as well.

If you plan to grow internationally the .com matters and you should choose a name for which you can register both the  and the .com domain.

It is also worth doing a trademark search, just in case someone hasn’t used your name as a business name, but has used / registered it for their brand. You can do a quick search here for Australian trademarks, or here for NZ trademarks.


Check if searching online for your proposed business name finds porn websites. One of our clients decided NOT to use her  name for her business after discovering she shared it with an American porn star. A simple Google search can avoid that particular problem, and it is better to know now rather than after you've printed your business cards.