Business Name vs Legal Name vs Trading Name

Business Name vs Legal Name vs Trading Name

Discover the Difference Between Your Business Name, Legal Name and the Trading Name
Have you ever wondered, what exactly could be the difference between the legal, trading and the business names? Well, then you are certainly not alone. Many people wonder how different these names are and most of them often tend to get confused with these names. In addition, most of the business owners also assume that once they finish choosing a name for their business and get them registered, they will have unlimited rights on the name, which is in conjunction with their organization. However, the reality is different. The following guide has laid out all the facts you always wanted to know.

Evaluating the Difference between a Trading Name and a Business Name
Well, there is absolutely no difference between these two. Trading name is an older version of the business. Today, ‘business name’ and ‘trading name’ can be interchangeably used. However, ‘business name’ is the newer and more correct term. Therefore, this is the term, which we will be using throughout this article.
Business name actually refers to the title under which your business operates. Your business name is the major factor, which helps you in finding new customers as well as identifying and connecting with your business. In addition, you can have numerous business names linked to an Australian Business Number (ABN).

What Exactly is a Legal Name?
A Legal name often refers to the name of that entity, which gets mentioned in all your legal documents or official papers. It might not be same as your business name. However, if you are the sole trader, then your legal name only is likely to be your own name. In other cases, the legal name might include the proprietary limited firm’s name, the name of an incorporated association or the name of your partnership.

Should the Business Name be Registered?
If you are planning your business to carry out trading under a name, which is different from the legal name of your business, then you will have to get the business name registered with Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Can the Business Name be Updated After it Gets Registered?
Once the business name gets registered it cannot be updated. Even slight modification cannot be done to it after it gets registered. However, if you still want to continue trading under a new slightly different business name, then you must get that new name registered. After getting the new name registered you can either get the existing business name canceled (only when you do not want to use that anymore) or Just retain your existing business name (this can be done when you want to use this name at a later point or save it for another part of your business)

Should the Business Name be Registered in Every Territory and State?
There is no need to get your business name registered in every territory and state. The business name should be registered only once. After this, your business name gets registered nationally.

Is the Registered Business Name Protected by a Trademark?
As getting your business name does not give you any exclusive branding, ownership or trading rights on that name, your registered business name is not protected by any trademark. Only an actual trademark will be able to provide such protection. Besides, once you register your business name, it simply does not mean that no other business can operate with a similar name. However, if you are looking out for some exclusive branding or trading rights, then there are other procedures for availing them.

When is a ‘Trade Name’ considered to Infringe a Trademark?
If a trade name is extremely similar to the trademark of a different business that it might create confusion in the mind of the purchaser, then it is known to infringe the trademark of that business. This often proves to an extremely expensive mistake.

Summing Up
Understanding the terms such as ‘trademark’, ‘trade name’ as well as ‘business name’ can be highly confusing. Although they sound similar, each of these names have completely different meaning. With certain gray areas here and there, it is easier to view trade names and legal names with respect to entities or businesses and trademarks with respect to services or products offered by a business.



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