From start to finish, running your own business takes a certain level of ingenuity and perseverance. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that picking the right name has a significant impact on your overall growth and success. If you are preparing to open a new business, take a moment to consider how the name you choose will affect you both legally and commercially.
Registration, Incorporation and Trademarks
Understanding the legal aspects of your selection is the first step to naming your business. To accomplish this task, it is important to know the difference between registration, incorporation and trademarks. Depending on how you use the name, these three options help you preserve the professional reputation of your business as you strive to develop your brand.
- Register your business name. If you want to conduct business under a name that is different from your own, you must register a DBA statement at the local county clerk’s office. Although not all states require this formality, it is a necessary piece of information on most tax forms and government applications.
- Decide if you want to incorporate. For those who wish to protect their personal assets or qualify for a loan in the future, incorporation identifies your business as a legal entity that is subject to a specific set of standards. You must also check that the name is not already registered or trademarked with another company.
- File an application for a trademark. Once you have determined how you want to represent your business, protecting your name becomes synonymous with protecting your assets. Trademarks can also be used to safeguard slogans, symbols and logos that are directly associated with your brand.
Establishing an Identity for Your Brand
Registering and protecting your business name is only one small part of the equation. Even with these added securities, a name that does not accurately reflect the identity of your brand will be confusing and project an unprofessional image to consumers. To draw positive attention to your business and embody the principles of your brand, try asking yourself this simple series of questions to evaluate the potential of a name.
- How does the name make you feel when you see it or hear it? Does it sound organized and authoritative, or flexible and friendly? Essentially, the connotations associated with a name should mirror the expectations of your target audience and highlight the philosophies of your business. You can even conduct a survey to find out how other people will react to different names.
- How can you use this name to market your business online? The growing popularity of social media presents a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs who want to build a strong internet presence and connect with consumers. Choosing a catchy name will make your profile more memorable, but you don’t want to your business to be confused with unrelated websites or organizations.
- How will this name work from a visual standpoint? Imagine it on your website, as part of a logo or on an advertising brochure. Does your name complement the colors and the composition of the design? In some cases, you might have to rework your original concept to accommodate your final decision, but a recognizable name is well worth the effort to promote a positive image of your brand.
Together, these criteria help to define the identity of your brand and communicate a greater sense of quality and satisfaction. Combined with an official trademark, a distinct public persona allows your business to reach consumers in every corner of the globe. Even a basic DBA statement is enough to get you started with a captivating new title. It all boils down to one critical challenge – choosing a name that that captures the attention of consumers and communicates the core values of your business.
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.