What’s in a Name?

There are so many things to consider when naming your business that it can make your head spin. If you use Google and search “how to pick a name for your business” you will see hundreds of websites as well as lists suggesting related searches.

I have searched a number of small business websites and finally found one that explains the process simply so it makes sense. Darrell Zahorsky writes for About.com – Small Business Information and he wrote an article entitled, “The 10 Commandments of a Great Business Name.” Be sure to read the entire article but for now here is the list:

1. Take Naming Seriously.
2. Avoid Word Play Dangers.
3. Don’t be an IBM.
4. Be Focused. 
5. Stay Out of Court.
6. Think Beyond Local.
7. Avoid ME Inc.
8. Ask Others to Spell it.
9. Be Web Friendly.
10. Check Availability.

Once you have decided on the name of your business you will have to register it with local, state, or federal government — especially if it’s considered fictitious. NOLO – Law for all has a good article on “How to Register Your Business Name.”

If your business doesn’t use your legal name as part of its business name you must comply with fictitious or assumed business name requirements in most states.

States like to keep track of fictitious business names in order to prevent confusion between businesses that use the same name and to give customers a quick way to determine the owner of a company. This allows customers to easily contact the owners with a complaint, etc.

If you are interested in following along with me on my journey, please subscribe to my posts. Next, we’ll talk more about the steps necessary to register your business.

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