The right startup name has a significant impact on your success. But new entrepreneurs have one question in their mind before starting a new business, “How Do I Choose a Business Name?” A clear and powerful name can be beneficial in marketing and branding like ways a wrong name can do worse and can fail to connect with the customers. Read the blog to know how to come up with a winning name for your business:
Thinking of a business name?
Start by determining what you want your business name to communicate. It should highlight the key elements of your business. The more your business name communicates to the consumers about your business, the less effort you must exert to explain it. People prefer words that they can relate to and understand well. Also, focus on what the business is about.
Before you begin with the company name search, consider the following questions:
- What image do you want to communicate to your customers about your business?
- How is your business unique from competitors?
- Is your decided name also available to be registered as a domain name for doing business online?
- Are any businesses already using the name you have chosen?
- Is there any chance that your proposed name could be misunderstood?
Follow Your State’s Naming Guidelines
If you are planning to form a business entity such as a limited liability company or corporation, you need to follow the naming guidelines for your business name according to the state you are planning to start your business in. There are different rules for different states.
You cannot use a name that other business entity in your state is using already. In some states, you also can’t use a name that is similar to another business entity’s name. Your state may also have a list of names that you’re not allowed to use.
If you are setting up an LLC or corporation, you may need to place a business name identifier such as “corp.,” “inc.” or “LLC” after your name. You can also find your state’s naming guidelines on the website of the state agency that handles business filings. Many states permit you to search registered business names online to see if the name you want is available.
Things to Consider Before Registering a Business Name
- Choose a name that appeals not just to you, but also to your targeted customers.
- Use resources available for brainstorming names.
- Choose a comforting name that conjures up pleasant memories, so customers respond to your business on
an emotional level.
- Stay away from cute puns that only you can understand.
- Don’t pick a name that can limit your business growth.
- Use a name that conveys some meaning.
- Don’t pick a name that is long or confusing.
- Conduct a Secretary of State search.
- Conduct a trademark search.
- Assess if the name is catchy.
- Get Creative and test your name.
- Don’t use the word “Inc.” after your business name unless your company is actually incorporated.
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Checking the Company Name Availability
It is very important to check your business name availability before registering it in any state. It is quite possible that the name you have decided is already taken by another company. So, check your company name availability on the state of secretary website.
What is a Business name registration?
A business name registration is a filing that can be made by an organization that is authorized to do business in the respective state. A name registration prevents the secretary of state from filing another certificate of formation or application for registration under a name that the secretary of state determines is the same as, or deceptively similar to the registered name.
Should I file a name registration or an application for registration?
Filing a name registration does not give an entity the authority to transact business in a particular state. A valid business name registration prevents another entity from filing under a legal or fictitious name that is the same as or quite similar to the registered name. A business name registration is valid for one year and it can be renewed.
An application for registration, formerly called a certificate of authority, is filed by a limited liability company, foreign corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, professional association, or other foreign entity when the entity will be transacting business in any state. Filing an application for registration gives a foreign filing entity the authorization to transact business in the state. However, the need to file an application for registration depends on the nature and extent of the activities of the entity in the state. In addition, a foreign entity may need to file an application for registration with the secretary of state in order to meet the other state law requirements.
The choices for registering your business name include
- Registering your business structure as Limited Liability or Corporation and directly operating under that name.
- Filing for a DBA: If you have established your business structure at the state level, you can legally do business under the name you registered with your secretary of state’s office. A business owner can get a DBA to avoid doing business with their state registered name. It’s also helpful for sole proprietors who do not wish to use their full name as the name of their business.
- Trademarking your business name: Trademarking your business is another method to register your business name. You can register for both a state and a national trademark. It should be kept in mind that it costs more and takes longer to trademark your business on a national level.
Hence, naming your business involves far more than just thinking of a name that you like. A good business name will reflect your business’s goals and identity. It will help you market your business. And it won’t get you into legal trouble. So, choose your business name wisely.