I know it isn't the most fun part of setting up a business, but at least grab a piece of paper and jot down the follow:
There are a few things to think about
Both buyers and Google like it if your business name shows what you do and sell. Jessica’s Maternity Boutique clearly explains what the business sells.
You need to strike a balance between leaving room for growth, and being too fuzzy in your description.
Jessica’s Maternity Boutiqueis perfect for selling maternity clothes. If Jessica wants to branch out selling baby and children's toys and clothes later, she might need to consider a broader name like Jessica’s Maternity & Baby.
Gawler Maternity Boutique has trouble growing into Mount Gambier.
A good combination can be a descriptive word and product name - e.g. Expectations Maternity & Kids, and you can add a tag line like - The best mum and baby gear in Adelaide to explain better what you do and where you do it. It is easier to change the tag line on your logo or business card than the whole registered business name.
Jessica’s Maternity Boutique sounds a bit weird if Melissa buys the business. If the personal touch is important or your name is well known, add it to the tag line e.g. Expectations Maternity & Kids – Jessica only stocks the best.
If you are setting up a business in Australia and plan to use any name but your own, you need to check the ASIC listing to see if another business already has the same name, and to make sure your proposed name does not contain restricted words like CHARITY or TRUST. You can search for ASIC listings here.
You should also check that the www address (aka domain name) e.g. www.AdelaideMaternity.com.au) is available and can do so here. Check to see if both the .com.au and .com ending are available. If your sales will mainly be in Australia then the .com.au is the most important (register the .com if it is available ). Avoid using domain names with a "-" in them - e.g. avoid a domain name like www.adelaide-baby-clothes.com.au.
It is also wise to do a trademark search, in case someone has used your proposed name as a brand name. You can do a quick search here: https://search.ipaustralia.gov.au/trademarks/search/quick
If you plan to grow overseas the .com matters (particularly for America) and you should choose a name for which you can register both the .com.au and the .com domain. You can also register names for specific countries if you plan to sell there - e.g. NZ is .co.nz, UK is .co.uk.
Humans have a habit of listing things in alphabetic order. Adelaide Maternity Boutique will show up on lists before Ziggi's Baby Gear.
You can do this yourself directly at the ASIC website - register your business name page. Note that there are websites that will charge you for doing it for you. Check that you are on the .gov.au site where you can do it yourself for just the cost of the government registration fee!
A "domain name" is just the www address where your website will live. e.g. www.AdelaideBabySupplies.com.au.
As mentioned above, ideally you'd register your .com.au and .com name, and the .co.nz and .co.uk if you plan to sell there.
You can do this using pretty much any domain provider, but crazydomains.com.au have given us consistent results.
Suppliers, retailers, staff and banks won’t take you seriously if you don't have a website. We'd be happy to have a chat and offer advice (just use the contact form on this page to get in touch or call us). There are a lot of different packages and methods for creating a website, and but as a rule of thumb:
WordPress is a great option if you don't want to sell things, and just want to show information about your business like your services, contact information, opening hours, and before and after pictures. You can host it yourself or use WordPress's own hosting depending on how much you want to customize the website.
Shopify works well if you want to sell things on line. Their monthly fee covers your hosting, free phone support and a security certificate.
The easiest way to find any Australian, state, and local government licensing information is to go to the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS).
If you don't get the right licenses and permits you can be subject to penalties. Depending on the type of business you're in, if you have staff, your business structure and where it is you may need certain registrations, licences or permits.