There’s a lot which goes into naming a small business. A business name needs to be able to differentiate your business from its competitors. It is unique and original. The business name is also its trademark. This means the owner registers a business name and files for a federal trademark to avoid plagiarism.
Here’s what small business owners need to know about registering a business name.
Tips For Naming a Small Business
How do you come up with a business name? Picking one out requires conducting a bit of research. As you brainstorm ideas, follow these best practices for choosing a business name.
Easy To Spell
If you are having a hard time spelling your business name, your customers will likely face the same problem. Keep it easy to spell. A helpful rule of thumb is picking a business name which is five to letters in length and contains one consonant.
Easy To Pronounce
The name of your business will appear everywhere. It should be easy for anyone to pronounce. Moreover, the name should sound appealing to your target audience.
Try saying the name out loud. Listen to how it sounds. Can you understand what the business does or offers just from hearing its name? Is it meaningful? Ask for a second opinion through a family member, friend, or associate. Take everyone’s feedback into consideration for a business name which makes sense and sounds good.
It might look cool to have a name full of special symbols like dollar signs or numbers. However, this may confuse customers whenever they try to recall the startup. Keep your business name free of clutter. Avoid using hyphens, numbers, and other special symbols.
Don’t Depend on Clichés
Remember to always look at the core of the business. What is its value proposition? What does it do and offer which is unique in its industry? Keep the name of the business as succinct and specific as possible.
Consider Relevant Keywords
Consider using relevant keywords when naming your startup. A bakery which sells cakes, for example, may use the word “cakes” somewhere in its business name.
Keywords allow you to better detail your offerings. This translates well for SEO purposes once you begin choosing a domain name. Customers typing relevant keywords into Google search will be able to better find your business. Using keywords can also help increase your overall site traffic and search engine rank.
Conduct a Name Search
Once you have a few options ready for your small business name, it’s time to conduct a name search. This name search allows you to check on business name availability before you register the business name.
There are a few approaches you may use for conducting a search. Entrepreneurs may decide to search through a trademark database. If you don’t have the bandwidth to conduct a search like this, it’s okay. Third-party incorporation filing organizations which provide trademark search offerings may assist you.
Consider Trademark Monitoring Services
Some third-party incorporation filing organizations may offer trademark monitoring services. This service helps to monitor your trademark application to ensure nobody else attempts to use your unique business name while it is pending registration. If an outside source does attempt to do so, the third-party incorporation service can quickly respond to this attempt.
Using a monitoring service provides entrepreneurs with reports about any new registrations which could involve possible conflicting marks. It gives entrepreneurs peace of mind in knowing their mark, while pending, is protected from possible trademark infringement.
File For Trademark Registration
What are some benefits of trademark registration? Filing for trademark registration allows you to protect your startup’s valuable intellectual property. It gives you exclusive rights to the mark. This means nobody may legally use this trademark without the owner’s permission.
Filing for trademark registration may be done directly with your state of incorporation’s Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will provide you with the necessary trademark application. Upon completing the trademark filing application, you will need to sign and date the document and mail (or email) it to the appropriate Secretary of State’s office address. A filing fee must also be made payable through a check, money order, or credit card. Filing requirements do differ from state to state, so it’s wise to check in with your local Secretary of State before submitting your filing.
If you do not have the bandwidth to complete and file a trademark application, you may also work alongside a third-party trademark filing service. They will ask you a few questions about your business and help prepare your trademark application for you.
It is possible to run a business without registering its trademarks. However, this puts your valuable intellectual property at risk of infringement. Register your trademark and ensure your business has exclusive rights to the mark from day one of starting your business.
Learn more about how to register a business name with MyCorporation. Contact MyCorporation at mycorporation.com or give us a call at 877-692-6772.