Over the years, I’ve witnessed this mistake far too many times. We want to start a business. We come up with a name. We start some social media accounts and voila..we’re in business! NEGATIVE! Doing this correctly is going to take more than 5 minutes. It will take some research and a little work.
One of the most important things you can do for your business is choose the right business name. Choosing a name that many others have or is owned by someone else can be detrimental to your business. It’s extremely important to take the necessary steps to select, not only a unique name, but a legal name you can use. I’ve outlined a few steps to take to ensure you choose the perfect name for your business.
Before I outline the steps, here’s a tip… your name does not have to make sense, so HAVE FUN WITH IT! What do I mean by this? Your name does not have to be a word that you find in the dictionary. It can be something unique to you, which is what you want in a name. Make it personally yours. Now let’s get to it.
To select the perfect name, first you want to brainstorm. Come up with several names that you like. Write them down and feel them out. Your name can be unique to you like, I AM JONI, or something that easily rolls off the tongue. Start off with at least 3-5 names. During this time, you may want to get the help of friends, family, or someone you trust. Ask them their opinion. 2 heads is always better than one.
Tip: You don’t want a name that is too complicated, or too long. This gives an opportunity for misspelling when someone tries to search for you online.Although, there are some times where this is acceptable, try your best to avoid it if you can.
Search it Out
Now let’s head to our favorite search engine, mine is Google, and search out your name(s). This step is just as important as step one. This is where you find out if someone else is using the name(s) you have fallen in love with. Why is this step so important? I’m glad you asked.
- Choosing a name that someone else owns can stop you from being legally able to use this name. When you file to use the name with your state’s government, if someone else in your state is using this name, and they are doing something similar to what you are doing, it’s highly possible that your name will be rejected.
- Names can be trademarked. If the name you have selected is trademarked and you commence to using this name, you can face legal action.
- If multiple people are using the same name, this makes it hard for your potential customers to find you. How do I know the difference between you and someone else? Customers should not have to click through multiple searches to find you. If they do, it’s highly likely they will not do this. Don’t make it hard for them to find you!
Register it Legally
Ok now that you have selected your perfect name. It’s time to get legal! DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! I have witnessed so many people start “businesses” and completely skipping this step. Why? If you are a business, you need to run it like a business. Not registering your business as a DBA or LLC with your local government simply means you are illegally doing business. (There are some exceptions here, like if you’re using your legal, government-issued name to do business), but for the most part.. REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS BOSS!
Starting a business can be hard, but taking the necessary steps to ensure you are setup correctly in the beginning is necessary. Researching and doing your homework now will save you the heartache later.
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