You have decided to start a business, so what is one of the first things you will need? A business name, of course! But choosing the right name can be tricky, legally involved, and sometimes even costly. For more information and tips on choosing the right name for your business, read on.
If you already have a business name in mind, one of the first things you will need to do if verify that the name is not already in use by another business. You will need to contact your business attorney to verify with the office of the Secretary of State that the name is available. But even if your attorney returns with the response that the name appears to be available does not mean that you automatically get to use that name. It could be that the name is already in use by another business that is not organized as a corporation. They could be using the name after filing an assumed name certificate with their county clerk’s office. It is important that you and your business attorney do your due diligence through the process to be certain that the name you want is actually available for you to use.
Another important step in the naming process is making sure that the online domain is available for the business name as well. The name may be available for you to use, but the domain may be taken already. If the .com name is already taken, you can look into other extensions like .net or .org. Some businesses even choose to get creative in the domain choices, using ccTLD (country code Top Level Domains) to spell out the name of the business, such as “del.icio.us. “
Additional Tips For Choosing The Right Name
Allow Room for Growth
When you start your business, you may only be selling one product. It is not a good business decision to name your business after that one product, as later on down the road your business could expand and begin to sell related products. For instance, if you start a business selling books, you could eventually expand to selling stationery, writing utensils, and reading lamps. A name that only refers to book selling will no longer fit your business.
Balance Creativity & Simplicity
You want your business name to be something that people will remember and instantly recognize. But you also want a name that helps to convey what your business is. You do not necessarily need to use SEO keywords in your business name, as that can be a little too on-the-nose. However, the more abstract and catchy the name is, the more work you will have to do toward brand recognition. For instance, everyone knows what Google is now, but when it first launched it was an uphill battle of advertisement and word of mouth to get the general public to associate the name with a search engine.
Use Business Naming Resources
There are several websites available to you to help you brainstorm business names. There are also branding experts who can help you think through naming options. They help businesses strike the balance we talked about before while still being something that you can love and be proud of