You put a lot of thought into naming your children, why wouldn't you spend a considerable amount of time naming your business too? Your business name is the first impression of your business and the products and services you offer. It's important to name it wisely.
Your business name should reflect your product or your target market (niche, which we will cover later) and should be relatively short and easy to remember. You wouldn't want to set up your business with a name like “Joe's washers, dryers, refrigerators and kitchen appliances supermarket" when you can easily adopt a short catchier name like “Joe's Appliance Mart". If you are inclined to merge your slogan in with your business name, you could go with something like “Joe's Affordable Appliances". This defines your business a bit more as to the pricing and products offered.
Select a name that will be easy for the customer to remember and gives a clue as to what product or service you are selling. Flip through a few pages in your phone book and try to relate a product with the business name. This may help you in deciding on what name you choose. It won't hurt to write down several and then narrow down the list over a period of a couple days until you find one that suits your business the best. It also might help if you bounce a few ideas off a friend or associate. Often times you can get a few more ideas using this method.
Doing a search on trademarks is also a good idea as you wouldn't want a conflict in names with someone else already doing business in your area. A good place to start checking trademarks is the US Patent and Trademark Database at http://www.uspto. gov/tmdb or at Name Protect at http://www.idresearch.com. Both of these sites offer free database searching to help you in discovering if your business name is a conflict with preexisting trademarks. The last thing you want to do is infringe on an existing trademark and start off your business with a lawsuit.
Businesses that use a name other than the owner's must register the fictitious name with the county as required by the Trade Name Registration Act. This does not apply to corporations doing business under their corporate name or to those practicing a profession under a partnership name. For more information contact your state or local government.
No matter what you decide to name your business, it will make a big difference in how your company is perceived by others. By taking choosing a name that is unique and easy to remember, you are setting the stage for the success of your business.
Kim Haas is a WAHM and Founder of Womans-Net.com, a popular online networking community focusing on working from home and women in business and owner of Article-Host.com. To learn more about Kim, visit http://kimberlyhaas.com
Copyright 2005 Kim Haas