Choosing a Business Name
In a recent article I wrote for Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp, I covered how to choose a business name that’s effective and legal. Did you know that a poorly chosen company name can end up costing you clients, cash and credibility?
Hard to imagine that just by selecting the wrong business name can potentially wind you up in court or cause you problems obtaining credit and/or customers.
Now if you’re thinking what’s in a name anyway, I’m sure after reading this post you’ll get the big picture and take some cautionary steps in order to protect yourself.
First things first, from a business credit building perspective it’s important to pick a name that does not automatically trigger a red flag with certain creditors and lenders. Avoid a company name associated with a high risk industry such as real estate.
Now it’s essential for you to understand that the name you select for your business has numerous branding, marketing, funding, and web implications so you need to choose wisely. Even if you already have an existing business this post applies to you as well.
The last thing you want to have happen is find out later on that your company violates someone else’s trademark rights and you wind up in court. It’s all about doing the right due diligence and research.
So in order to help you, in the article I put together some key steps you can take to avoid choosing a business name that can cost you clients, cash, and credibility.
The first step is conducting trademark research so you can find out if the business name you want or already have is either federally or state registered or has a pending application. The whole purpose of doing this is to find any potential risks that may happen by using the name you chosen.
In the second step I go over searching Dun & Bradstreet’s Credibility Corp’s database for any businesses that may have a name that conflicts with yours. You’re probably wondering why this search is necessary.
Basically you want to avoid having a company name that can be easily confused with another business name. Since Dun & Bradstreet has the world’s largest database of over 225 million businesses it’s pretty much the best place to conduct this search.
Finally, in the third step it’s all about conducting a domain name search for your chosen business name. Securing a .com is ideal from both a marketing and credibility perspective. This ultimately can help your company acquire more customers since .coms are very popular.
If you find that your chosen business name is free from any potential issues after doing some due diligence and research you may want to consider filing a trademark for your business name. Since this is a very complex process you may want to consider hiring an attorney.
Now I know picking a great business name can be tough so if you’re having trouble picking a brand able, marketable and web friendly business name you may want to check out Name Mesh.
This is a free tool that allows you to search and create domain names based on a number of categories. You’ll get a wide range of results after submitting your keyword that should help you get some business name ideas flowing.
Check out my entire article How to Choose a Business Name That’s Effective and Legal
Until next time…
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About the author
Marco Carbajo is a business credit expert, author, speaker, and founder of the Business Credit Insiders Circle. He is a business credit blogger for Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp, the SBA.gov Community, About.com and All Business.com. His articles and blog; Business Credit Blogger.com, have been featured in ‘Fox Small Business’,’American Express Small Business’, ‘Business Week’, ‘The Washington Post’, ‘The New York Times’, ‘The San Francisco Tribune’,‘Alltop’, and ‘Entrepreneur Connect’.