Spot the Difference: Business vs. Company Registration

When starting up a business it can be tricky to know what you have to do. You may have heard of business registration and company registration but are unsure of the difference. We give you the lowdown on what you need to know.

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What is Business Registration?

Business registration is the bare minimum that you need to do when doing business that is not in your name. Put simply, you register the name that you wish to do business under and that is it. You will be able to better position yourself to potential clients rather than if you trade under your own name. This is because you will be able to more effectively craft a unique brand that is distinct from your personal brand. Moreover this branding can generate further brand value than if you were operating under your own name.  You should also consider applying for a trademark of your business name if you want further protections for your business’s name.

What is Company Registration?

Depending on your circumstances, you may deem that a company is the best legal structure for your business. Company registration is done when you wish to create a separate legal entity for your business. You will be required to include ‘pty’ or ‘ltd’ in your company name. Company registration expands your options for finance, and excludes you from being personally liable for company debts. There are several terms such as ‘Royal’ that you will not be able to include in your company name. There are several terms such as ‘Royal’ and ‘Government’ that you will not be able to include in your company name so you will not mislead customers.

Can I do Company Registration later?

Yes, if you decide you are running your business as a sole trader or partnership, you do not have to do company registration. You can always change your mind down the track and register your company when you feel ready to.


Now you understand the difference between business and company registration, you are better placed to know what are the next steps for your business. If you are unsure and would like more help, get in touch with a business lawyer today.

Don’t know where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace.

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