The first consideration when you are starting a new business is usually what to name it. Sometimes a great name just jumps out at you and begs you to start a business with it, and sometimes it’s hard to find a name that really fits. Either way, choosing a business name is one of the most important steps when starting a new company. Not only should you pick a name that reflects your brand identity, but you need to make sure it’s properly registered and protected. You should also make sure it’s web-ready. Is the domain name even available? Also, remember: Once you start doing business with a company name, there could be negative effects if you to have to change it down the line. If you’re not sure of the steps to take in choosing and protecting your business name, here are a few tips to help you get started.
When you begin considering a name for your new business, think about how it will look on a web page, incorporated into a logo, and on social media. Many sites limit character counts or restrict name length in other ways, so try not to pick a name that’s too long. Many businesses start out as private projects, solo operations, or partnerships. In these cases, it’s easy to fall back on your own name as your company name. Sometimes this can make it tougher to present a professional image, build brand awareness, and connect your products with your target market’s demand. Pick a name that hasn’t been claimed by others, online or offline. It should be rich in key words that reflect what your business does. A quick web search and domain name search will let you know if your desired name is already in use. You can do this using the WHOIS database of domain names. Also remember, trademark infringement can carry a high cost for your business. Before you pick a name, use the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search tool to see if a similar name is trademarked.
If you have checked and your business name is not in use, be sure to claim it immediately. To get started registering your domain name there are several sites available to choose from. Internic.net/regist.html is one of the most used.
The next step is registering your business name. This involves a process known as registering a “Doing Business As (DBA)” name. Registering your “Doing Business As” name is the process of letting your state government know that you are doing business as a name other than your personal name or the legal name of your partnership or corporation. If you are operating under your own name, then you can skip the process.
Appling for a trademark is another essential step when starting your new business. A trademark protects words, names, symbols, and logos that distinguish goods and services. Your name is one of your most valuable business assets, so it’s worth protecting.
Your business’s name is the face and personality of your company that may last a hundred years! It should reflect your business plan objectives and give your customers and clients a strong indication of your product lines.
There are many things that have to be considered when opening your own business, but few of them will reflect in a strongly negative or positive way as much as the name of that business. Take the time to find and secure the name that is right for you.