// How to choose a business name
Can you secure the appropriate license for the name?
This is really important! It’s not a good start to your business if you’re doing something illegal. I am certain you would be surprised how many people overlook this. It’s easy to get caught up in it all when you have finally discovered ‘the one’ after days of brainstorming.
The best way to choose your name is to have the computer in front of you. Once you have chosen a name you like - look to see if the name is available for registration in your state and/or country (depending where your business will be operating). I know it can be heartbreaking, but if it’s not available…move on and choose something else! Not only is it illegal to use a name if you haven’t registered it, but it’s also very unprofessional and your customers will more than likely confuse you with another brand.
To see if the name you are after is available check with your State Government Fair Trading body. IF you live in Australia, you can do this online http://business.abr.gov.au. The website will return same and like matches. Remember a like match (close to your name) is just as bad as a same match.
*tip – once registered, set yourself a reminder for when the business name is due for renewal.
Can you register the domain names - .com AND .com.au?
In a world that is moving online this is imperative to the process. Most people will type your business name into a search engine before they do anything else. It is important you secure both, as people will often type one or the other into the browser. Also keep in mind…THINK BIG! You should secure both domains for future use, even if you’re not planning on launching a website straight away.
If you’re not sure how to register a domain we can take the hassle out of it for you, just contact us and we will arrange your new domains to be registered in your name. It is important when registering domain name that they are registered to the company/business/person that will be using it, so your business has the control.
Is it easy to recognise on the phone?
I guess this isn’t a deal breaker, but it is something you should consider if you want to build a recognisable brand. If you can easily hear a business name over the phone, it generally means it will stick in people’s minds. This is a general rule of thumb and definitely something to consider throughout the process.
Are there competitors with a similar name?
THINK BIG! I think it’s really important to consider if there are any other businesses in the same industry with a similar name. If you want your brand to be a recognisable market leader you can’t have customers confusing you with competitors. It may seem relatively insignificant now, but you need to think about the BIG PICTURE.
There is also the issue of trademarks, in particularly if you have a name to close to your competitors you may not be able to register a trademark and may have stop trading altogether under your name … but that’s a whole other story.
I hope you now have a few helpful tips for selecting your business name. If it still all seems a bit confusing, you can speak to one of our consultants to help you through this process.
I would also love you to share your comments and stories about how hard (or easy) it was to choose your business name.