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Thread: Creating a 'name'

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    Creating a 'name'

    It's quite a way off, but I eventually plan to run a small photog business and of course all businesses need a name!

    I've been doing the odd TFP (or a small travel/processing fee .. around $50), and while I'm not ready to officially 'launch', I still would like to have a business name to print onto cards that my portfolio-building clients can pass to their friends and family if they so desire.

    Trouble is that I'm having some dramas coming up with something that I like! I think I'd like to have something more than just my name, and I've *maybe* got one option to go with, but what I'm curious about is how other togs here came up with their business name?

    Any fun stories to share?

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    You can use your name, the law lets you do that quite readily. Creating a 'name' means you need to find one that has not already been taken, anywhere in Australia, or even registered already in Australia. You then have to register the name and pay an annual fee to retain the use of it. Note that this can also differ from state to state.

    You need a name that reflects you and your photography. No use calling yourself "Brute Force" if what you take are delicate boudoir style photos, and contra, no use calling yourself 'pretty in pink' if you photograph muscle cars. Think about what you want your business to be, and your name needs to reflect that. It can also be location based 'Brisbane Boudoir Photography' or 'Queensland Children's Portraits', but always think about the future, What if you moved from Brisbane to Perth? Your name needs to be portable. A name is a very personal choice and I do not think someone on the net (on AP) can really help, it needs to be about you and your photography, it needs to reflect what and who you are, but at the same time be a name people can easily remember if they are told it at a party etc.
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    I've been trying to think of a name for years. Literally. And I can't use my own name because SOMEONE ELSE already is! Argh. Who knew that "Erin King" would be so popular. Same goes with my jewellery-design, there's another Erin King floating around the markets I was planning on selling at as well. LOL I get confused for a certain pet photographer all the time. Many of my friends have liked her on FB thinking it's me.

    Now I'm planning on using a derivative of my nickname and will be registering that. Such a pain in the bum, though.
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    Ausphotography Regular JimD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    You can use your name, the law lets you do that quite readily. Creating a 'name' means you need to find one that has not already been taken, anywhere in Australia, or even registered already in Australia. You then have to register the name and pay an annual fee to retain the use of it. Note that this can also differ from state to state.
    Rick thats not exactly 100% correct.

    Registering a business name does not give a person any exclusive rights over the use of that name. The only way to protect a business name for exclusivity is by trademarking it.
    Last edited by JimD; 08-03-2013 at 9:12pm.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    Rick thats not exactly 100% correct.

    Registering a business name does not give a person any exclusive rights over the use of that name. The only way to protect a business name for exclusivity is by trademarking it.
    As I said, it varies from State to State. In Tasmania, if I register a business name, no one else can use that name..anywhere in the State, for a business.

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    Ausphotography Regular JimD's Avatar
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    I think this is something that needs to be cleared up so that future readers of this thread get the correct rub.

    I'm not saying that your right and I'm wrong or vice versa, it's just an interesting subject and we should quantify it, I'm happy to be proved wrong.

    From my understanding ASIC and the Australian Business Register (and hence the Australian Taxation Office) is not a state based register, it's a national register.

    Now also from my understanding Rick you could be trading (and have registered the name and hold an ABN) under the business name of PurplePumkinEatersFabulousPhotography and I could (if you haven't) Trademark that name and ask you to cease trading under that name.

    As mentioned before - My understanding is that simply registering a business name does not give a person any exclusive rights over the use of that name. The only way to protect a business name for exclusivity is by trademarking it.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    But as I said Jim, it varies from State to State. If I register the business name "PurplePumkinEatersFabulousPhotography" in Tasmania and someone else starts to use that name in this State, even if they trademark it, if it can be shown I registered the business name and have been trading using that name longer than the date they trademarked it, they will be asked to cease using it and have their trademark revoked.

    My point was that the law can differ from state to state, and as all AP members do not live in NSW, they need to find out what the Laws are for their state. Just applying the Law as seen from a NSW perspective to another State could be wrong.

    We have quite a famous case down here, where the Myer owned Target chain tried to take on a local department store that had been trading for decades called Targetts. Myer lost, and were told by the presiding judge to not push it further or he would force Myer to stop using the Target name in this State. We also have a petting zoo that has been trading for decades called 'Old McDonald's Farm'. McDonalds of the fast food game tried to take them on..and lost as well.

    So I stand by my comments. Members should investigate the Law surrounding business names in their State, as what applies to one state may not apply to another. If in doubt, seek legal advice.
    Last edited by ricktas; 09-03-2013 at 8:57am.

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    Ausphotography Regular JimD's Avatar
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    Rick, the way you describe any person would think that would be correct (and it should be correct and I hope it is correct because it's a nonsense if someone can trademark out from underneath someone else a registered name).


    Have a read of this ASIC webpage -

    http://www.asic.gov.au/asic/ASIC.NSF...usiness%20name



    See the ambiguity especially under - Choose your name carefully> Find out more about business name availability >

    Having a registered business name does not give you ownership of the name or the exclusive right to use the name. Registering a business name:
    does not stop another person from registering a similar name
    will not prevent the name being registered as a trademark
    will not prevent the name being used by someone that has already registered it as a trademark, and
    does not protect you from legal action if the name of your business infringes the intellectual property rights of another (for example, a name which is a registered trademark).

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    Going Cold Blooded outstar79's Avatar
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    And as I found out recently the same applies in Western Australia, we have to make sure our name isn't being used by any other business within the state - luckily there aren't too many people named Adam J Brice!
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    As Jim said, the registration of business names went National in 2012 and is no longer a responsibility of the State. All business name functions are now the responsibility of ASIC, save Incorporated Associations.
    A couple of good things came out of this. 1. Registration can now be longer than one year and 2. the fees are about one third of the State fee (Queensland comparison).
    Back to the original question. By creating a business name you are taking the first step in "branding". Two things you need to be careful of is that the "brand" name suitably represents the product and secondly, it can be sold. Whilst names like "Dick Smith Electronics" can be onsold (when you retire or make too much money) and understood by the public, the name "Dick Smith Photography" may be more difficult as it implies singularity.
    Also, be careful if you diversify your business. One name may not suit all as a branding tool. Several names may be appropriate.
    And if this is all too hard then creating a business name and associated costs should not be a priority because it won't serve a purpose. Being recognised by your own name and skill is far more valuable, ie. Julie Gillard, Tony Abbot, you get the picture.
    (Now, there's a good business name - "You get the Picture") Might register that today!
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