How to Choose a Business Name

how to choose a business name

Starting a small business is an extremely involved process. Once you have your product or service, you will need to write a business plan, select a legal structure for your business, research the competition, choose a location, create a marketing plan and, most likely, apply for business funding.

One critical task in starting a small business is coming up with a name. Naming your business can be a complicated process. It is also very personal because the name you end up using will be the first thing people associate your business with. This Balboa Capital blog post has some tips on how to choose a business name.

Revisit your business plan.

Before writing down potential names for your small business, it is a good idea to revisit your business plan, values, and mission statement. This will help you come up with names that communicate what your business is all about, along with its unique characteristics.

In addition, think of names that have longevity in the marketplace. Picking a business name that lasts will prevent you from having to change it years down the road, which would require a re-branding campaign with a new business card design and signage, among others.

Select something brand-worthy.

As you narrow down your shortlist of potential business names, make sure your favorites are worthy of your brand. The best names are those that are unique and memorable. Small and mid-sized businesses do not have the luxury of large marketing budgets; therefore, it makes sense to avoid acronyms or obscure names.

Typically, these require costly advertising campaigns to create brand awareness. Once you have selected your favorite, check to see if the website domain is available. Additionally, you will want to promote your business via social media, so make sure the business name you want is available for use on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Check for trademarks.

Many business owners run into trouble by launching their companies with a business name that might already be trademarked. You can avoid this by contacting the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or by using their website, to see if your choice has been trademarked.

You can also hire a legal professional to facilitate the business trademarking process for you. Getting a trademark offers ironclad protection for branding and logos that distinguish business services and products.

Register your business name.

The last order of business is to register your business name or file a DBA. This informs your state government that you are running your business with a name other than your personal name. If you are using your personal name for your business name, you will not need to file a DBA in most cases, but contact your state government or consult with a business attorney to make sure.

The information in this blog post has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, investment, or accounting advice. You should consult with your accountant, lawyer, or tax advisor before making any business decisions.