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The Guinness World Record holder for the pub with the longest name in Britain is the long-winded “The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn”. The sixteen-syllable business name is certainly not something you could say thrice quickly after several pints. As a suggestion, selecting a shorter business name than the aforementioned is probably in your best interests. On the entrepreneurial journey, naming your company is one of the most important decisions business owners must make. There are a number of things to take into account when deciding the best name for your company. In this article, we will discuss 7 things to keep in mind when choosing your business name.
Catchy And Unique
Every business needs a creative name, something that is memorable, catchy, and unique. You want your business name to resonate with the public, and appeal to your target client base. A creative name will help foster word-of-mouth, which is an indispensable marketing tool.
Trademark Your Business Name
Before you can move forward with your company, you first must ensure that the business name is available. Legally trademarking the business name will ensure that you won’t face any potential lawsuits for trademark infringement in the future.
The easiest method of trademarking your business name online is through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). First check the availability of your chosen business name on the agency’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), before moving forward with the online registration process.
Yet, regarding trademark protection for a business name, there is an important component to keep in mind.
“U.S. trademark protection is granted to the first entity to use a particular mark in the geographic area where it operates, regardless of whether the mark is registered. But if your chosen mark is already registered by another company — even if you used it first — your registration will be rejected and you’ll probably want a lawyer to help you proceed,” explained The Wall Street Journal.
Acquire The Domain Rights
Taking into account that the vast majority consumers make purchasing decisions online, acquiring domain rights to your business name is essential for a strong web presence. If possible, try to secure the “.com” rights to your name, as consumers generally perceive “.coms” as more established and legitimate companies. However, ultimately don’t let it deter you if the “.com” specifically isn’t available. As long as you have the business name is trademarked with the USPTO, then you’ve legally covered your bases. You can select other alternate domains like “.org”, or “.net”.
Conversely, domain registrar and web hosting site GoDaddy, gives users the option to discover who owns a domain name through its WHOIS domain lookup portal. If you are set on your chosen business name and it is legally available through USPTO, you may consider purchasing the domain name from the current owner, presuming they are willing to sell.
Choose A Name That Conveys Your Business
Something to keep in mind when picking a business name is whether it conveys something about your business to potential customers. Choose a company name that communicates the essence of what goods or services that your business provides. For instance, a dog-training company that matches people with rescue dogs called Meet Your Mutt is brilliant because it concisely communicates an aspect of the business with the name.
Avoid The Geographical Approach
When coming up with the perfect business name, try to avoid one of the biggest pitfalls new business owners fall into – the geographical approach. Just because your business is based in a specific city or region, does not mean your company name should reflect that fact. Geographically specific names limit growth potential. Few are familiar with the “Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company”, but everyone has heard of the American conglomerate, 3M Company that changed its name in 2002.
If you offer plumbing services and hail from the “City Of Brotherly Love”, naming your business Philly Plumbers could impede company growth. Potential customers who Google the company might presume that it does not service outlying areas, thus hampering the possibility to expand into other markets.
Avoid Current Trends
Phrases and trends are ephemeral and will inevitably pass into obscurity, often in a heartbeat. When choosing a business name, it’s essential to avoid both. As a business owner looking to the future, you do not want to be saddled with a company named after a cultural trend or buzzword from three years ago. The business will seem dated, and moreover, this could potentially be a hindrance to growth.
Embrace Simplicity Like Bill Gates
One of the most recognizable companies in history is Microsoft. It made its co-founder, Bill Gates the wealthiest human being on Earth. In a 1995 interview with Fortune Magazine, Gates explained the brilliant simplicity that birthed the name of the company.
“When we signed that first contract with MITS, we referred to ourselves as ‘Paul Allen and Bill Gates doing business as Micro-Soft.’ I don’t remember why we spelled it with a hyphen and a capital ‘S.’ We put a credit line in the source code of our first product that said, ‘Micro-Soft BASIC: Bill Gates wrote a lot of stuff; Paul Allen wrote some other stuff. We also had mentioned names like Outcorporated Inc. and Unlimited Ltd., but we were, you know, joking around. We talked a lot about whether we should call it Allen & Gates, but decided that was not a good idea…and it seemed like a law firm or like a consulting company to call it Allen & Gates. So we picked Microsoft even before we had a company to name.”
This anecdote emphasizes how simplicity is key when choosing your business name. Creatively encompassing what goods or services you provide, is an excellent option to adopt when naming your company.
There are several things to take into account when choosing your business name. Keep in mind the things we’ve discussed in this article, and you will be well on your way to a successful business launch. To see examples of good business names, have a look at these top companies for offshore gold investment, or these top 5 Crypto IRA companies.