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Thread: do i need to register a business?

  1. #1
    Member shakes's Avatar
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    do i need to register a business?

    I'd like to start watermarking my images I post online with what I would consider a business name rather than just my nickname (I'm known as shakes in the real world to) I was thinking I should register a name to save possible future issues of someone else using the same name.

    I've googled the name I'd like to use and there is a photography business in Arizona with the same name Being in Melbourne and photography is unlikely to be a commercial venture for me would this be of concern?

    And is it worth my time and money to register the business? Or is there another way to go about it so I don't get possible conflicts in the future if someone else was to use the same name I'm proposing?

    Thanks

    Simon

    (I hope this is in the right forum, sorry if its not)

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    I would register your company name in your State if you intend to trade or undertake a business in that name now or later. It will not matter if theres another company with same name in USA, I'd also grab the website domain name .com and .com.au also

    You can get an Abn too

    There's lots of self-help on the various government websites

    If you just use your name you won't have to worry too much about it too
    Last edited by kiwi; 09-05-2011 at 10:46am.
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    Agree with Kiwi, I would also while grabbing the domain names get the emails as well while you are there.
    Creating a business is hard to start off with but once your over that and are strict enough (disciplined) it lets you to be able to focus on marketing your business.
    ABN, needs to be done.
    If your serious, search for a good accountant and book keeper. BAS statements are the bug bear of most small businesses.
    Company/sole trader etc..... learn what each one is and how you want to trade. (be very careful)
    Here's an oldie but a true statement. 'Fail to plan, Plan to fail'

    Sorry if I sound negative, I got to where I am through sheer passion and determination and no-one giving me advice on what to do. That was nearly 20 years ago now. (my fault though, all I had to do was open my mouth and ask). Trial and error. So if I can be of any assistance I would love to share my knowledge, I'd hate to see others go through the ups and downs of registering a business. Can cost heaps or it can be a lot simpler depending in what direction you want to go.
    If your wanting to earn money from your photography just remember the Taxman will eventually catchup one day.
    Maybe your biggest asset will be going online and spending some time researching. I wish this was all available back in 1992.

    Good luck mate!!
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  4. #4
    Just keep plodding away... Mat's Avatar
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    If you want to trade under a name then register it first then look at the domain name, you don't want to do it reversed incase the domain you have paid for is already a regestered name to someone else. BAS is needed if you are claiming GST (if you turn over $50k per year you need to regester for GST) ABN is a must regardless and can be in your name and you can have more than one name (sole trader registered name) attached to the ABN.
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  5. #5
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    shakes's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply's. I don't ever intend to operate as a photographer. I've a long way to go skills wise and too often I've seen people who turn their hobby into their business no longer enjoying what they do.

    Spending some time in google it's a bit of an ongoing cost which is a pain. Will keep looking into the in's and outs.

    Thanks

    Simon

  6. #6
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    If you never intend to operate as a photographer, just use your name. If you start using a 'business name' and don't have it registered etc, and someone else starts using it, the watermarks on your photos could direct people to them, do you really want that. The person who does register the business name can also force you to stop using it.

    So as you have stated you don't want to operate as a photographer, forget everything above, and just use your name. Whilst the advice above is sound and good, it really doesn't relate to your situation.
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    + 1 what Rick says.

    If anything, particularly if you'll never do 'much' with the business but want it to look a bit more professional, don't bother with a company, just do a business name.

    A company overseas has no bearing on you here, unless they register a worldwide trademark of the name. In fact, you can have the same business name (but not company name) in each state registered to a different person. Isn't always a good thing. I had a couple of guys interstate with the same business name disappear owing money and you can imagine how many calls I got asking if I had anything to do with them. Was even worse that they owned the domain name which I had to wait for it to expire before I registered it. Its calmed down a bit now though!
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  8. #8
    Adventure & Discovery
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    Rick is spot on. Don't bother registering a business name until you/if you start a business. First off there will be fees and returns to do each year. Secondly, if you add websites etc., you'll be up for about $500 p.a. before you do anything. Registering a business name is not foolproof in that I can come along and for $525.00 register a trade mark (pending) which will force you to give up your business name anyway.
    And remember, a business name is only as good as the marketing behind it. Simply look at this forum for example - the name means little but what it does is really important. So, I guess, there is very little in a particular name other than sentiment.
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    If you check out Consumer Affairs' info on registering a business name, specifically their page on responsibilities of business name holders, you will see this:

    Once a business name has been registered, you must start business activities within two months, using the business name.
    So, if you do not intend to trade then you should not register a business name in Victoria.

    There is nothing to stop you using your nickname - it is legal in Victoria to go by whatever name you choose as long as you don't do it for criminal purposes - but you're probably better off just using your own name and a copyright symbol.

  10. #10
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    Handy information. To add to. I'm in the process of registering and what not. Hopefully I'm not throwing good money away. Taking it steady and not rushing into an unreserched business practice I'm there is certainly heaps to know & consider. ASIC has quite a bit to help.

  11. #11
    Never stop learning GerryK's Avatar
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    If you are serious or even just seriously interested "small business Victoria' in exhibition street in Melb are a great place to seek info. They have a neat booklet called "starting & planning your business". It has pointers to all things you need plus the staff are really friendly and helpful.

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