I recently received an email from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment about their new One Check service – a quick an efficient way to find out if you can use a business name.

As I deal with a lot of startups I have come across the situation where people have failed to realise that their great new business name is just too close to one that’s already in use – which means they risk the situation of confusion in the marketplace, not being able to register their domain names, and never being able to trademark the business name. It is certainly getting harder and harder to find a novel name – but with this One Check service, you can quickly eliminate ones that are not going to work for you.

The ONE Check service allows you to enter a business name into a search box and find out:

  1. If you can use it as a business name (searches the company registrar)
  2. If you might be able to use it as a Trade Mark – it shows how original the name is and suggests you do an IPONZ search – see https://www.iponz.govt.nz/about-ip/trade-marks/apply/ for information on how to apply for a trademark or download their PDF at https://www.iponz.govt.nz/assets/pdf/Trade-marks/guide-to-applying-for-a-trade-mark.pdf
  3. If the web domain names are available (searches .com, .co.nz and .nz)
  4. If you can use the name on social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

As you can see, choosing a business name is a lot more complicated than it used to be – with a lot of ‘ducks in a row’, but with this service, you can quickly eliminate names that are not going to work out in the long run.

Check out the business name search at https://www.business.govt.nz/onecheck/

If you’d like to receive news and updates from MBIE – you can sign up online for their newsletter at https://www.business.govt.nz/join-us/subscribe-to-our-newsletter/

And, as a general side note, the https://www.business.govt.nz website is chock full of very useful information – so be sure to check it out, I’d suggest we are probably very fortunate in having such a good resource for New Zealand businesses.