Foreign Investment +/or Doing Business in Australia

What do you recommend we do before doing Business in Australia?

Step 1️⃣: Proactively Protect your IP/Brand

We strongly recommend you take preliminary steps to protect your Intellectual Property/Brand or ensure that the IP/Brand of the business in which you are considering investing has a minimum level of protection.

This will assist you to quickly identify any potentially similar business names which may cause brand confusion, and may afford you the opportunity to reconsider your business name so that it is more unique.

This can include quick inexpensive online tasks via the Australian Securities & Investments Commission's (ASIC) website such as:

Checking the availability of your business name; and

✅ Registering you business name. ; or

✅ Reserving your company name.

Reservation  period:  A company name is reserved for a period of 2 months from the date of ASIC's approval.

Extension of name reservation: An application for an extension of name reservation for a further period of up to 2 months can be lodged with ASIC prior to the reservation expiry date.

Reasons for the extension must be provided in detail on the form or in an annexure.

An application for extension will only be granted if ASIC finds your reasons acceptable.

If insufficient reasons are provided the reservation extension will be rejected by ASIC.

Only in very exceptional/extenuating circumstances will ASIC allow more than 2 extensions to be granted.

Step 2️⃣: Secure your domain/s

We also recommend that as soon as you qualify (refer below) you take additional steps to protect your Intellectual Property/Brand by securing your Australian web domain (as well as similar web domains).

Am I eligible to register and domain names?

Important: The law regulating the right to acquire and renew .au domain names has recently been amended.

Until we can review the changes and update this FAQ to reflect the current legal position, we strongly recommend that you contact our legal team for advice.

“In accordance with (recently amended) Australian Domain Name Policy, to be eligible to register and domain names, registrants must be classified as one of the following:
✅ An Australian registered company;
✅ Trading under a registered business name in any Australian State or Territory;
✅ An Australian partnership or sole trader;
✅ A foreign company licensed to trade in Australia;
✅ Be an owner of an Australian Registered Trademark;
✅ An applicant for an Australian Registered Trademark;
✅ An association incorporated in any Australian State or Territory;
✅ An Australian commercial statutory body”

Step 3️⃣: Start to learn about your options and the Australian Regulatory Regime

We strongly recommend that you commence the process of learning + understanding your options regarding doing business in Australia by using our free resources.

For example:

Foreign Investment +/or Doing Business in Australia ➲ Primer + Quiz*

Intellectual Property [IP] Law ➲ Basic Quiz (Level 1: Australian IP)

Intellectual Property [IP] Law ➲ WIPO Quiz (Level 2: Global IP)

Once you have completed our online Primer + Quizzes, we recommend you contact us with your detailed queries.

Note: Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) Regime has been significantly amended as at 1 January, 2021

*[our Foreign Investment +/or Doing Business in Australia Primer + Quiz has not yet been updated to incorporate these recent FIRB changes].

Step 4️⃣: Consider making an application for an Australian Registered Trademark.

We strongly recommend that you contact us to assist you to engage the services of a registered trademark attorney.


This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.