Some of the best and well-known companies have the best memorable names. Choosing a name for a business is one of the most important steps an entrepreneur will take on the path to success. The brand of a business determines quite a lot, it sets the tone of the business, it determines if the company is memorable and it plays a big role in marketing. The business name is the first impression to customers, potential investors and vendors.
Many entrepreneurs struggle with naming their businesses. In this article we will list the important steps on how to name a business and give some ideas that entrepreneurs and business owners can use when choosing a name.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Getting the best brand name for a business
Let’s get creative. Think and come up with at least 5 different names for the business. Relax, take some time and get those creative juices flowing. A few techniques to try when brainstorming is visualization, word association, freewriting and rhyming.
One can also try a few acronyms,synonyms or try to get personal and think of memories or places that are important to you. It might be a good idea to draw up a mind map with all the ideas and names thought out. After setting out the name ideas visit TRUiC’s website, they provides 12 questions to ask when choosing a brand name that will make the final choice for the business name easier.
Now that you have a name in mind, start thinking about if the business name would be the branding mane of the business. Most business owners choose to use their legal business name as their branding name. There are three different options of branding strategies. The first is to use the legal business name as the branding name. The second would be to choose a different branding name, this name would have to be registered by the DBA. The third option would be to have multiple brand names under one business name, these names should also be registered at the DBA.
Step 2: Make sure the name is aligned with the naming rules
Now, let’s choose the entity the business would be trading in. Most business owners or entrepreneurs would already have an entity in mind. Knowing which type of entity will be used will determine what the rules of the name of the business will be. Will the business trade as an LLC, C Corporation, Partnership or Sole Proprietorship? Before we mention each of the rules for different types of entities, it is important to note that each state has its own rules and should be researched when choosing a name. Herewith the following rules for each type of entity.
The name has to include LLC, L.L.C. or Limited Liability Company. The name may not confuse anyone of state owned entities like FBI or CIA. Professional or special names like attorneys, bank or university will have to be supported with more paperwork before it is approved.
The name has to include the word company, corporation, incorporated or limited. It may have any abbreviation of these words as well. The name should be separable from any other business in the state. The name may not include anything that might confuse people like CIA or FBI.
The partnership name has to include the surnames of the partners, should the partners decide to use another name for the partnership the name should be registered at the DBA.
The sole proprietorship should contain the business owners surname. Should the owner trade under a different name the name has to be registered by the DBA.
Step 3: Check if the name is available
The last step would be to see if the chosen name is available. There are three important places the name should be available, in the specific state where the business will be trading, in federal trademarks and as a domain name. All these platforms can be searched.