Coming up with a business name is not exactly the easiest part of setting up your company.
There’s the process of brainstorming a unique yet reasonable name but, even if you already some fantastic idea(s) in mind, you still have to contend with the factors of legality and availability.
However, Nellie Akalp has come up with some effective steps that are practical enough to implement when naming your business; check them out below.
1. Identify Your Brand’s Essence
You may think that having a quirky name will make your business memorable (and it will, to a certain extent), but ideally it should relate to the products/services that you offer. This is not as limiting as it seems, as you can draw from any or all concepts that are linked to what you do:
- Your company’s personality or the emotions that it wants to convey
- The connotations of your business and how potential customers could perceive it
- A specific and positive characteristic that can be used to describe all your products
2. Balance Creativity and Practicality
As tempting as it is to go with something unusual, remember that your business name still has to be practical. It should be as short as possible, simple to spell and pronounce, and ultimately easy to remember.
Nellie recommends sticking to one or two syllables and a maximum of seven letters (assuming that the name consist of just one word). Avoid anything too specific, as this creates a hurdle for any expansion plans you might have in future.
3. Do a URL Search
If you’ve found the perfect name but its URL is already taken, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to change your name. Consider looking for a URL that’s an abbreviated version of the name (like an acronym or the first few letters of each word in the name), or else a variation of your business name that still makes sense. Try any of the following domain name search tools:
4. Check the Name’s Legal Availability
The trademark check process is not as simple as a domain name check. As you cannot use a business name if another company has the same or a similar name, you need to check whether your desired name is already in use or trademarked. You can do this by using the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s search tool. Legal firms can also assist you to conduct complete searches.
5. Register Your New Business Name
To ensure that your name has the strongest protection possible, you need to register for a federal trademark. Plus, when you register with the Patent and Trademark Office, your name will appear in trademark searches that other people conduct.
If your business is still in development, but you’ve already settled on a name, you can fill out an Intent to Use form, which will allow you to “reserve” the name.
Still struggling to come up with something suitable? Check out the dos and don’ts of choosing a business name.