Branding Advice for Entrepreneurs

Naming a Company

Written by Anna Gaebler for Gaebler Ventures

Naming a company is a critically important task for entrepreneurs. Here's some good branding advice on how to choose a company name.

Every business needs a name.

Naming a Company

It's a first impression to consumers, it identifies your company, and it can envelop the entire environment and style of your business.

Obviously, these qualities in a name can drive customers' opinions toward your business sky high, or your business name can drive them away before they even pass through the company's doors.

A name is one of the most beneficial assets to a company, and careful steps should be taken in order to choose a title that will be sure to influence the success of your business.

How to Choose a Business Name

Before choosing a business name, it is advisable to take a look at the names of businesses that are in a similar market to yours. Lists of business names that are already in use are often located in telephone books, libraries, and trade journals.

These lists can help you choose the right name for your company and prevent accidently choosing the same name as another business. To guarantee the availability of the corporate name you choose, contact your state's corporate division for an application and details.

There are different types of business names. Trade names usually identify a company, such as the "Coca Cola Company." Differing slightly from trade names are trademarks, which are words that identify what the business sells, i.e. "Kleenex."

Last, and for a different purpose, are Service Marks. This type of business name always is used when distinguishing a company that provides services, as opposed to goods. For example, the service mark "TruGreen" describes a service that provides lawn care.

Once you've identified what type of corporate title your thinking of, it's time to brainstorm.

Would an abstract name fit your company? It could be a name that customers could draw on to create an image, or it could instantly be forgettable.

A different option could be a very informative name, so consumers immediately know what your business is all about. This also has its downsides, such as being boring or unattractive. In reality, any type of name could work well, as long as it's backed up with a good strategy that will help to market it.

Put together a few possible candidates and take your time making a final decision. Naming a company should never be a rushed exercise.

Envision each company name on a billboard, in a newspaper advertisement, or even in a radio commercial. How would consumers react?

Put yourself in a customer's shoes and then evaluate the names. This technique is sure to guarantee a legitimate choice.

Subsequent to selecting a business name, it is possible that you might have to file organizational forms with the Secretary of State or file a business certificate with your town hall's municipal clerk. Going through this process would be mandatory if your business is under any name other than the real name of the corporation, person, of partnership. Your company title must be submitted to the Secretary of State if you have a corporation, limited partnership, or a business trust.

Hopefully the name you choose will be ideal for your business and it will stick with you and your customers for a long time.

Remember, a name is the first step toward building a strong company and, along with that, a strong identity in society.

Anna Gaebler is a part-time writer for this site. Outside of writing, her passions include soccer, friends and family.

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