What Should I Name My Business?

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Is the name of my business important?

I believe Shakespeare said, “What is in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Translation, it doesn’t matter what name you give to something, because the name doesn’t change the substance/essence of the thing. While this is fundamentally true, the name that you give your business actually does matter. If I am being honest, I didn’t give my company name much thought, but my experience now has shown me why that was a mistake.

What Should I Name My Business?

The main reason it matters what name you give your business is that it needs to be unique. It needs to be unique because, legally, you want to be able to differentiate your business from another one. Below are 4 reasons why you need to take this into consideration.

  1. Registering your Business with the Secretary of State. When you try to register the business with your secretary of state, you might find that certain names are not available because they are already taken. Therefore, when you are in the naming stage of your process, do a quick company search with your secretary of state before you start printing business cards and setting up websites.
  2. Establishing your Website. Speaking of websites, if possible, it is best if your domain name reflects the business name. However, you will also find that some domains are already taken, and therefore, before you start getting logo designs with the company name, do a quick search for the domain you would like to have. Searching for the domain on the internet can also give you a broader search compared to just the Secretary of State. However, I would recommend searching both.
  3. Designing Logos. Branding is a key element of the marketing process. Logos can have the abbreviated business name or, at times, the whole name in it. Therefore, you want to ensure that you have as unique a name as possible to avoid possible trademark issues later on.
  4. Getting Funding. Banks like to have things as clear and as neat as possible when lending funds. If there is any ambiguity with exactly who can be held liable for funding received, that can cause delays or even prevent you from being funded. Potential investors, too, might want to know whether investing money into developing the name and brand won’t come with headaches later down the road.

Another, albeit less important, reason that the name matters, is that you want it to convey as much as possible what the company does without people having to look it up. Suppose someone is new to an area and is driving around looking for a hair salon near to them. If salon or hair is in your company name, and a sign in on the door, then it makes it easier to attract them right on the spot. I think it’s always a good idea to make it easier for people to know upfront what you sell or do.

My recommendation, therefore, is to choose a name that is as unique as possible, has good branding capabilities and can convey as much as possible what you are selling or offering. Once you put in the work on the front end, though, you will have it for life!