Registering Your Business

What’s the difference between Company vs. Business names?

In the case of a Company

A Company is a separate legal entity (think of it almost as a person), so when you register a Company with ASIC, you will automatically be given a Company Name of your own choosing. As this Company Name identifies the Company as a Legal Entity, it must include the legal terms/abbreviations ‘Pty Ltd’ or ‘Pty Limited’ etc (you are free to choose the spelling of the legal terms). 

A Business Name is different to a Company Name in that it is registered after the Company Name (at an additional cost). Business names

  • Do not need to contain the legal terms/abbreviations ‘Pty Ltd’ or ‘Ltd’ etc.
  • Do not need to resemble your Company Name

The two reasons for registering a Business Name are:

  • Dropping the legal terms/abbreviations ‘Pty Ltd’ or ‘Ltd’ etc
  • Using a Business Name completely different to your Company Name


Description Company Name Business Name
Company with Business Name (dropped abbreviation) Tip Top Pty Ltd Tip Top 
Company with Business Name (different Business Name) Bookshelf Pty Ltd Books and Shelves
Company without Business Name Tabletop Pty Ltd Tabletop Pty Ltd


In the case of a Sole Trader or Partnership

A similar logic is used here. Sole Traders and Partnerships are automatically given names upon registration according to their Legal (Personal) Names. They can then choose to register a Business Name if they wish to trade under a Name that is different to their Legal (Personal) Names. 


Description Legal Name Business Name
Sole Trader with Business Name Alan Briggs Alan Brigg’s Plumbing
Sole Trader without Business Name Alan Briggs Alan Briggs
Partnership with Business Name Alan Briggs and Autumn Spencer Alan and Autumn’s Plumbing 
Partnership without Business Name Alan Briggs and Autumn Spencer Alan Briggs and Autumn Spencer 




July 08, 2016 10:54