Here are five factors to consider before choosing a business name:
1. Make Sure The Domain Name is Available Before Choosing a Business Name
One of the most important steps in choosing a business name is making sure the domain name is available. Without a domain name, your business will have no presence on the Internet. Without an Internet presence, your business will be severely disadvantaged. Although many different types of domain names endings are becoming available, it is preferable that the domain ends with “.com”.
Unfortunately, many domain names have already been purchased. Accordingly, you might consider purchasing a domain name from a company like Sedo.com. Domain name auctions are also great places to find affordable premium domain names. To avoid choosing a business name that doesn’t have an available domain, your best bet is to come up with a completely unique business name.
2. Trademark The Business Name
Although making your business name official is one of the last steps, before becoming too attached to a business name, you should make sure the name is available for registration. Trademark registration applications must be submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A simple Google search can provide some information on your mark’s availability, but be sure to hire an attorney to conduct a thorough and comprehensive search to ensure the name is available.
Keep in mind that arbitrary and fanciful terms are more likely to be trademarked where generic and merely descriptive words are less likely.
It is important to protect yourself from any possible liability related to your new business by properly forming a business entity with the Secretary of State where the business is located.
3. Choose a Business Name That is Unique But Not Abstract
Branding is very important for the success of a new business. As brand marketers will tell you, it is a way of creating a unique identity and existence for your business. A name using plain letters and initials is not only boring, but detrimental to marketing your business as well. Use a name that is unique and vibrant.
It is important that your business name speaks to your clients and explains what the business does. If a business owner has to constantly remind others of his or her business, the name is not serving its purpose. A business name should convey what is unique and interesting about the business while maintaing a unique and interesting image of its own.
4. Maintain Your Visual Identity
Remember that most people are visual people and long and complicated business names will be hard to remember. People remember companies and brands based on something they have seen, be it a label, logo or even advertising campaign. That being said, it is important to set your business name apart…visually.
Consider the way your business name will appear on your website, logos, business cards or any other place.
5. Avoid The Play On Words
Make sure not to confuse your consumers with the spelling of your business name. Most people cannot remember whether a website is www.help4you.com or www.helpforyou.com. So do not become too obsessed with the word-play.
Ideally, your customers should be able to spell your business name without being told how to spell it when they hear it.
Remember that your name is a very important part of branding and marketing your business. The business name will also be used to help with search engine optimization (SEO) so it is worth investing time and money into choosing the best one.