Naming Your Small Business

What’s in a name? Simply put: everything. What you call your small business is what people will know you as. The name should be memorable, unique and relevant to your business. Coming up with a name might seem simple, but it can be a lengthy process – just like a child, the name you give to your entrepreneurial venture is, with little exception, for life.

 

Brainstorm Names

 

Come up with a list of possible names. Keep a notebook nearby and jot down your thoughts as they occur, even if they aren’t ideal. Eventually you’ll have a lengthy list of potential names and ideas to choose from.  If you’re having trouble seeking inspiration, look at the words your competitors use to describe their products and businesses. Think about the image you’d like to project to the world and center your list of potential names on that.

 

Test It

 

Narrow down your list of names to just one or two possibilities and test them out by asking friends, family and members of your target market for their opinion on your potential name. You might find that the name is perfect, or you may see that the name you’ve picked for your small business doesn’t quite fit or isn’t something you can stand hearing all day long. Look back to your list of ideas and potential names to perfect your moniker. You’ll also want to consider domain name availability when choosing your  business name, as people will need to be able to easily find you on the Internet.

 

Make it Official

 

Once you have your ideal name, it’s time to make it official by filing a DBA form, or “doing business as” form. While the process varies from location to location, generally you’ll fill out paperwork and pay a small filing fee so that local, regional and national government agencies know who owns the business and what its purpose is. Although it can be tempting to skip this step, it’s a vital part of naming your small business.

 

Use Your Name

 

Once you’ve filed the appropriate paperwork to do business under your chosen name, you’re free to start using that name on everything. It’s time to get to work branding your business with the name you’ve chosen, and making up business cards, promotional materials, updating your web presence and making sure customers can find your newly christened venture. Come up with a logo and a slogan harmonious with your name and mission, and you’re on your way to getting your small business up and running.

 

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