How To Pick a Business Name – Legal Considerations
A business name can be a huge factor in the ultimate success or failure of the entity.
Unfortunately, many people fail to give a lot of thought to it prior to moving forward.
There are many factors to consider. You need to choose something unique and memorable. A name related to your area of work. Something which is available as an intenet domain name.
It’s like Getting Married
Picking a business name is like getting married. For better or worse, you are going to have to stick with the name till the bitter end.
Experts say a prospect will need to see your advertisement and business brand name at least 22 times before doing business with you.
Once clients associate your business with a certain name, making a change can be catastrophic and expensive.
So, once you have picked a name, stick with it.
Naming Your Business
If you are going to be married to your business name, you need to make sure the bride isn’t already taken by another suitor.
There are four significant issues to consider.
Initially, you must determine whether the name is already being used in your state or country.
A government body normally controls the names of all corporations, companys and partnerships in your area.
Most also have a web site where you can conduct name searches.
Even if you are a sole proprietor, you should check the name against those already registered in the government database.
If the name is being used, you will need to consider an alternative.
Once you can prove your desired name is unique on the government company database, you also need to check if it is an existing trademark filed with the Patent and Trademark Office.
The PTO also maintains an online database where can conduct a search to make sure no other business is using it.
Your business will also need a web site so you need to check to see if the business name is available as a domain.
If it is available, you should register it immediately.
If not, you can either change your business name again or focus on a domain name incorporating your service or product instead of the business name.
Your business could be devastated if you do not take these precautionary steps.
Imagine the negative impact on your business if the name has to be changed three years down the line.
Take a breath before you select a business name.
Like a spouse, it can be either a good or bad choice.