Coming up with a great business name can be a challenging part of starting your new business. Ideally, you will look for a name that reflects your company’s brand, targets your preferred demographic, is distinctive and will promote your image. Review the following dos and don’ts to narrow the field when considering options for naming your company.
Instead of settling on a name right away, choose several alternatives and give further thought to which selection will ultimately work best. Continue to compare impressions and do research on your target market to ensure that you pick an effective name.
Base your name on your goals for your brand and your target demographic. To achieve this, it helps to prioritize which attributes you most want to be associated with your business.
Choose a name that is reflective of the product or services your business will provide. Customers will be more ready to engage with your company if your name tells them what you are actually providing.
Consider how your name will look on business cards, stationery, signing and advertisements. Making a few mockups and experimenting with different fonts and looks on your computer is easy to do and will help you gauge visual appeal.
You want your company’s name to be said out loud – a lot. Choose a name that is easy to pronounce, sounds good and does not lend itself to double entendres or negative interpretations. Do not forget to consider potential nicknames and short forms that are likely to be used.
Remember that abbreviations for business names are common, whether you officially introduce one or not. Make sure that your name’s abbreviation is not likely to spell something silly or derogatory.
Conduct research to make sure that your proposed name is not already in use. Also check for names that are very similar and could lead to potential confusion.
If you foresee that your products or services will be marketed to a foreign-speaking demographic, make sure that your name does not have an unwanted meaning in your market’s language.
Do not use your own name for a very uncertain venture. You do not want to be forever associated with it in the event of spectacular failure.
Do not choose a name based on the latest trend. Chances are, by the time you have heard of it, that trend has already passed and your name will project the image of an out-of-it person trying and failing to keep up. As more time passes, most people will not even understand the meaning of today’s hip terms. Instead, your name should stand the test of time and be accessible to a changing market.
Do not select a name that is substantially similar to that of another person or business. Even if, legally, the other business is so different as to not be problematic from a trademark point of view, you do not want potential customers to be confused. Additionally, a business with a similar name can reflect negatively on you if its bad conduct is mistakenly associated with you due to the resemblance of your names.
Do not use a name that may misrepresent the nature of your business. In addition to alienating your intended customer base, using such a name can lead to legal repercussions and accusations of fraud.
Do not pick a name that implies that your company is affiliated with or endorsed by individuals, companies or government entities unless this is actually the case. Doing so can be considered misrepresentation or even defamation and is likely to cause multiple problems for your business.
Do not be overly specific in tying the name to a specific product or location unless you are completely sure that you will never want to expand your business beyond these parameters.
When you set out to choose a name for your business, you are confronted by many options. Check these guidelines as well as your own common sense to come up with a name that reflects your product and values and attracts customers.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.