You will need to register a business name unless you plan on trading solely under your personal name.
For example, the business name "Emma Sternberg" does not need to be registered, however if I was to trade under "Emma Sternberg Kinesiology" or even "Emma Sternberg & Co." - I would need to register it with ASIC.
It will mean that in Australia, you are the only one with that exact business name (it used to be in just each state and territory). However, all it will take is one word to identify a difference and it takes the integrity of each person to ensure that they don't use a name which is similar to another business in their area of trade.
For example, I have “The Practitioner Table" as one of my business names, however if someone were to decide they love that name they could register something like "The Table of Practitioners" or even "The Practitioner Table and Start-Up Guide".
This is why before we decide on a name we check the Business Names Register When you do this, it will also come up with a list of similar names.
For your own marketing and brand, choose one that is different! Be flexible enough to change the idea you had in your mind if it is already too similar - it will save future headaches if you choose to expand your business in any way.
At the moment (2018) it costs $36 for 1 year and $84 for a 3 year registration.
Registering is one of those things that is just going through the red tape.
Here are the steps:
Check the availability of your chosen name on the Business Names Register
Sign up to ASIC Connect (on the bottom right it says "Sign Up" - just follow the steps)
Once you are logged in to ASIC Connect choose the link which says "Register a Business Name" on the right hand side under the box labeled "Do It Now"
Choose "Business name registration" from the drop down box
Click all the boxes and press "Get Started"
Select the relevant ABN option, enter your ABN and select Next. You must enter your ABN without spaces.
Enter the proposed business name exactly as you would like it to appear on the register. Business names are case sensitive.
Select the registration period
Enter your details (the address can be your home address if you do not have a clinic or may be moving around).
Confirm the eligibility to hold the proposed business name.
Review your application. Make sure your business name is spelt correctly.
Complete the last steps - declaration, payment, confirmation.