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Do your business a favour: ONECheck it

Now easier to use and with better search results, the new ONECheck has launched. With more than 1.5 million searches on the original tool, this version is even more helpful, allowing you to check business names, trade marks, web domains and social media usernames in one simple search, and guiding you to your next steps.

The benefits of ONECheck

Choosing a name for your business is a big decision, especially if you plan to build a brand around this name. Before you make any decisions it pays to make a few quick checks to see if any other businesses are using similar names, and how easy it will be to protect the name you choose. This also applies to existing businesses – while it’s better to get it right from the start, it is never too late to make a quick check.

That’s why in 2012 business.govt.nz launched ONECheck, a tool designed to make it easier to search for possible business names, associated domain names and trade marks. It’s been hugely successful, with businesses searching it 1.5 million times since launch.

You told us you wanted more – access to more information, like available social media handles, a clear explanation of the difference between registered business name, trading name and trade mark, guidance on how to best protect your brand and information about next steps.

This is what the new look, even easier-to-use ONECheck delivers.

Is your business name available?

Use ONECheck to see if your business name, web domain, trade mark and social media usernames are available — it only takes one search.

The new version of ONECheck provides:

  • Better results: we’ve improved the relevance of trade mark search results, broadened the search net for web domains, and you can now search for usernames across popular social networks.
  • Better user experience: ONECheck looks better, and is fun and easier to use.
  • Information about the importance of trade marks: ONECheck aims to help you understand how to protect your brand using a registered trade mark – and avoid investing in a brand that may be hard to protect or that could infringe an existing trade mark.
  • Information about registered name VS trading name: the name you register for your business (your registered name) can be different to the name you use publicly (your trading name). It’s best to avoid names too similar to ones already in use, and ONECheck helps you scope this.
  • More business structures: ONECheck now has New Zealand Business Number-enabled search capabilities which mean sole traders and partnerships can search for their names.
  • Next steps: ONECheck connects you with the appropriate organisations:
    • the Companies Office, where you can register as a company.
    • the NZBN, where businesses, including sole traders and partnerships, can get their New Zealand Business Number. It links to key information about your business – like your trading name and phone number - and makes it quicker and easier for you to inform, connect and transact with other businesses and with government.
    • the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ), where you can identify which intellectual property (IP) assets are important to your business, and protect your original ideas.
    • domain name register and social media platforms.

Companies Register (external link) — Companies Office

About the NZBN (external link) — New Zealand Business Number

New Zealand Intellectual Property Office (external link) — IPONZ

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