In this series of posts we’re looking at common questions that arise regarding when it’s appropriate to register for an ABN. If you are conducting a business activity and decide that you want to register a business name, you will need to have it registered.

Do You Need an ABN to Register a Business Name?

A business name is a name or title under which a person or entity conducts a business. In Australia, unless you fall within an exemption, you must register your business name.

Exemptions include:

  • If you are operating as an individual and your operating name is the same as your first name and surname;
  • If you are in a partnership and your operating name is the same as all of the partners’ names; or
  • If you are an already registered Australian company and your operating name is the same as your company’s name.


To register your business name, you need to have an Australian Business Number (ABN), or be in the process of applying for an ABN and not have been refused. Once you have an ABN, only then you can register a business name.

Unsure where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

Dominic Woolrych

Dominic is the CEO of LawPath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.