A business can’t function without a proper business name!
However, the process of choosing an appropriate business name can be extremely challenging. As your name not only voices out the brand’s message but also plays a key role in the branding and marketing of the business. The customers identify with the business through its name. But it’s easier said than done.
Picking up a business name has a lot of research and efforts going behind.
So, in the era of cut-throat competition, here are a few tips to be meticulously followed before committing to a particular business name.
1. Refrain From Choosing A Name That Could Inhibit Business Growth
Always pick a name that leaves room for future growth and expansion.
Limiting the name within geographical boundaries, for instance, Hillary House Cleaning services can have repercussions if someday you decide to expand to other regions.
Similarly, choosing a pick after your product or service could also be limiting your growth if you plan to expand your product range.
By choosing a limiting name, you’re eliminating the chances of expansion. Also, nobody would want to go through the tedious process of renaming the business.
2. A Business Name Should Never Be Too Generic
A business name should represent the working of the business. Choosing a general name will never serve that purpose. Something that not only sounds descriptive but also can be learned and remembered with ease.
For the first-timers, a creative yet easy-to-spell brand name positions itself in the minds of the clients. The rest blur out in anonymity.
3. Check with the Secretary of State + Trademark Database For Name Availability
Immersed in the process of choosing the name, sometimes people miss out on an important step. Before finalizing something, you need to make sure that your chosen name does not resemble any existing business name. To clarify that, you can check with the records of the State of Secretary.
Also, you should search the USPTO’s trademark database (Trademark Electronic Search System, or TESS) to see if any trademark has already been registered or applied for that is similar to your business name. Check other sources, such as state trademark databases and the internet.
This simple step will save you from any legal charges that you could have invited otherwise.
4. Never Use Uncommon Spellings
In the efforts to go creative and unique, we end up using rarely used spellings of commonly used words. This mistake can cost you a lot of business revenue.
For instance, you choose the name “AAR KAY Paintings” instead of “R K Paintings”. This name will be hard to spell or memorize for most clients as this the most unlikely version of spellings alphabets. The result will be lower search rankings or no rankings at all. The client ends up typing “RK Paintings” on the lookout for your brand. Google will either show the brands nearby or will show nothing at all. By doing so, you might end up diverting a lot of your potential clients to other businesses.
5. Always Check For The Availability of Your Domain Name
When you narrow down your name choices, don’t forget to get it checked for domain name availability. Even if you don’t plan on going online for your business or build a website, it’s always best to book your respective domain name for future ease.
Conducting the business both online and offline has its share of enormous benefits. A business tends to have a far reach if it has a user-friendly website. It accentuates the marketing efforts of any business.
6. Restricted Business Categories
Choose a business name that does not include verbiage that puts your business in a high-risk industry. We have curated a list of Industries that faces restrictions when obtaining financing.
Restricted Industries (Automatic Decline) include:
• Ammunition or Weapons Manufacturing; wholesale and retail
• Bail Bonds
• Check Cashing Agencies
• Energy, oil trading, or petroleum extraction or production
• Finance: (Federal Reserve Banks, foreign banks, banks, bank holding companies,
• loan brokers, commodity brokers, security brokers, mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers,
• mortgage companies, bail bond companies, or mutual fund managers)
• Gaming or Gambling Activities
• Loans for the speculative purchases of securities or goods
• Political campaigns, candidates, or committees
• Public administration (e.g., city, county, state, and federal governmental agencies)
• X-rated products or entertainment
High-Risk Industries (Subject to Stricter Underwriting Guidelines):
• Agriculture or forest products
• Auto, recreational vehicle, or boat sales
• Courier services
• Computer and software-related services
• Dry cleaners
• Entertainment (adult entertainment is to be considered restricted)
• General contractors
• Gasoline stations or convenience stores (also known as c-stores)
• Healthcare; specifically nursing homes, assisted living facilities and continuing care
• retirement centers
• Special trade contractors
• Hotels or motels
• Jewelry, precious stones, and metals; wholesale and retail
• Limousine services
• Long-distance or “over-the-road” trucking
• Mobile or manufactured home sales
• Phone sales and direct selling establishments
7. A Little Feedback Can Go A Long Way
While it’s best to do your job on your own, some constructive feedback can sometimes prove very fruitful. If you have shortlisted, let’s say, 10 business name ideas, you can go ahead sharing these with some close people in your network. You might be amazed to see what errors or rectifications they might bring to light. After all, your business name will target a larger audience. So, getting an outside opinion from some people might make it all fuss-free.
8. When Said Aloud, The Name Should Sound Appealing
A name should be catchy that draws the attention of potential customers. Your clients should be able to resonate with the name. If the name piques the interest of the clients, they’ll more likely to reach out and relate to that brand.
The process of picking up the right business name can be extremely daunting. But, adhering to a few of the aforementioned tips can help accelerate this long process.
A lot of how the business performs in the market relies on a good business name. Not only it leaves a lasting impression on the customers, but it also helps invite a lot of success for the business.