How to Name Your Business
A business name is important, it says a lot about the business owner like what he stands for or represents. It’s a way to identify and market a business. That is why choosing a business name should not be done lightly but with great thought it could very well be the one thing that draws people to want to know more.
Most people do the easy thing when choosing a name and they would either use their names or some other word that describes the product or service. Getting a business name is nothing like choosing a name for your child, to be unique and to create a brand that is uniquely yours so you need to be a little more creative in making up a name that hasn’t existed anywhere else. A business name should be everything you want your business to be.
Your business name is the first thing that you need to brand your business. Before you think of logos and marketing plans or even writing the initial business plan, you need to come up with a name for your business. It has to be easily recognizable and should have some way of showing what the business is about.
To come up with a name, here are a few tips you can follow:
Keep it short and simple and easy to remember
It should be memorable and catchy
Avoid names that are linked to a location. It could be a limitation in the event that you should change venues or expand to other places or even after a couple of years you realize that there is going to be another name change of the province, town or street you’ve decided to attach to your business name.
Avoid using your own name; it could be a limitation if at some point you need to involve partners into the business or if you ever wanted to sell. Linking your own name to a business could be tricky in the long run, it’s better to avoid doing that altogether.
If anything, your business name should reflect the work you do, service you provide or the products you sell. It should not be vague or obscure like Joe’s Trading Company. A business name gives the impression that you aren’t quite sure about your specialty. It is too generic and forgettable. You want people to know what you are about without too much hassle. If Joe’s trading sells computer parts, rather call it Joe’s computer consumables. Be clear, be obvious.
Then there’s the question of choosing either a formal or a casual sounding name. It matters in the getting the kind of audience that best serves your company and business.
Once you have decided on a name that works for you, make sure that you follow all the legal procedures you need to follow. Register the business name with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission so that you own it and avoid infringement issues. The easiest way to go about registering a name is to find a company that offers services that deal with company registrations.
It’s easier and faster than having to stand in queues and then having to wait for months for the process to be finalized. What they usually do is check if the name you want to use has not been registered and if it is available they will reserve it for you. Name reservation can be done online but the actual formal registration can take up to a week if you use a company registration service instead of the two months that it would take if you went to CIPC office.