What’s In a Name?

Business Entrepreneur Law Stacie Townsend

Picking a name for a business is an important task. Sometimes, a name can make or break a business, as a name is key in how you present your business and your brand to the world. When brainstorming for a business name, keep in mind that a name should convey the value, purpose or some other meaning of your business. What should your audience know about your business just by knowing the name? 

With that said, the name of your business should also be available and protectable. In other words: 

  1. Does another business already use the name? Scour the Internet and see if you can find anyone or any business using your desired name. To what extent are others using your desired name? 
  1. Is the business name available to be registered in your state? To check this, visit your state’s Secretary of State website and do some searches for business names. Are any similar to your desired name? 
  1. Is the business name available as a domain name? To check this, visit a domain website like GoDaddy.com and do some searches for your business name. Is your desired domain name available for purchase? 
  1. Is the business name available as a trademark? To check this, visit the USPTO website at uspto.gov and do some trademark searches for your business name. Is your business name already trademarked? 

To many business owners pick a business name, spend time and money to develop their brand, and then are not able to protect it properly down the road because the name was not originally available or protectable. Consider these issues up front. Also, once you have decided on your business name, consider taking steps to protect it by securing the domain name and/or filing for a trademark. Someday your domain name and/or trademark may be your most valuable asset.

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