Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to Choose Your Business Name

Tips for Creating a Unique Name for Your Business

name your business, small business
What would you name your business?
Creating and implementing a business name is an important step in the business planning process. It is important to make sure that the name is unique, reflects the business’s branding and purpose, and is not already being used by another company. It is also important to register and protect the business’s name long-term in order to keep the business’s branding high-level and recognizable. Additionally, business owners should consider how their business’s name will look on the web and in social media – having a business name be Web-ready is crucially important if the business chooses to use this type of platform.

What to Consider When Naming a Business

Many businesses start out as one individual freelancing or working solo. In these cases, using the owner’s name as the business name is acceptable but, once this small operation blooms into a business, it may be time to consider another name. Having a professional name will help the business portray a professional image. But, it is also important to note that throwing any old name out there as a business name is probably not the best course of action. There are some items that all business owners should consider when they are choosing a new business name. 

How the name will look aesthetically, both in print and on the Web? What feelings or connotations does the name evoke in others, either positive or negative? Is the name unique and unclaimed by another business? Answering these questions will help owners create the best possible name for their business and enable them to brand the business properly. Creating a unique name is very important – when considering a name, check into any trademarking associated with it. Violating trademarks can have huge financial consequences and this can even apply to variations of a trademarked name. 

Make Sure Your Business Name is Web and Social Media Ready

One aspect of business name branding that many owners do not consider is making sure the name is Web-ready. This means that the business’s unique URL and domain name is available for use as well as being search engine friendly. There are hundreds of thousands of websites, so it is important to make sure the business’s name can be used online. Along this same line is social media – claim your business’s social media names early in planning process to ensure they are available when the name is finalized. Facebook, for example, allows businesses to set-up and later change their pages and even allows business pages to have vanity URLs.

Registering Your Business Name and Apply for Trademarking

Once a name has been created, it is time to register and trademark the businesses name. Registering the business name tells the state government that you are doing business under the name of the company. In most cases, the business will use its own name as the business. However, if you decide to use a name for legal purposes and another name as the business name, both have to be registered with your state agency. For instance, you would have company Joe Smith, LLC as the legal name as well as Joe's Steak's as your DBA (Doing Business As).

Once this is complete, business owners can also trademark their business name. Trademarking protects the business name, symbols and logos from being used by other business. This will help not only protect the business’s image but also ensure that your business’s name does not get confused with another, unrelated company.

Do you have an idea that you would like to turn into your own work at home business? If so, you may want to consider using a business mentor to help you get started. Stacy O'Quinn has helped dozens of people not only start a business, but also create a six figure income. For more information on how Stacy can help you, click here.

*Photo Courtesy of Ken Zirkel via Creative Commons License

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