How to Choose a Business Name
For me, choosing a business name is extremely difficult and stressful. Then again, I even have trouble choosing names for my pets. It took a long time to choose a business name for my event planning business. It was even more difficult to name Open Prospects. I just have a hard time thinking of good ideas, and an even harder time settling with one.
Brainstorming is honestly the easiest and most efficient way to choose a business name. It might be helpful to sit down with a friend and bounce ideas off of each other. Or you can just try to think of something on your own. I tried the latter method at first, to no avail. Eventually, I asked for help. Because of this, my friend suggested a name that after slight modification, became “Events Everyday.” Being able to discuss possibilities made it a lot easier to choose a business name, at least for me.
When I was choosing a business name for Events Everyday, I began by searching for other event planning businesses. That way I could get an idea of what others in the industry name their companies. Doing this can be helpful especially if your industry does have a typical way of naming their businesses. For instance, they may all be just their owners’ names.
The other benefit for looking at other companies’ names is to see if you get an idea from them. When I did some research, I found a company called Elegant Events. I think this is an amazing name for an event planning business. One of the aspects I particularly liked was the alliteration in the name. That was one of the aspects that I decided to have in my name. It took awhile, but eventually I found a name that had this characteristic.
Check Website Domains and Social Media
Most of the time, you will want to have your business have a web and social media presence. In order to make your online presence more cohesive, it is helpful to have a name that could be utilized as a domain name and a social media username. To check if your name is available as a domain, search for it on a website such as www.domains.com. For a website, most people opt for a .com in their website. Double check that your chosen ending is available for your domain name. You can do the same on social media outlets.
Ensure it is not already taken
Wouldn’t it be terrible if you somehow managed to choose a business name that was the same as another business? You could get into all sorts of issues and confusion. Before you finalize your company name, you should do some investigating. First and most simply, Google your chosen name to make sure nothing else comes up already. Then, do a search in the United States Patent and Trademark Office database. Although you will still have to search in your state, this can find any current trademarks with your name. If there are trademarks, your name will probably be unusable. When you file your name with your state, either the State or you will be required to run a search in the state as well.
The final step to choosing a business name is to make it legal in your state. Your state might have different rules. Check out the post Registering a Business Name for more details on this.