There are many things to consider when choosing a name for your home business. Such as:
Is the name that I want available for me to use?
Many States require businesses to register any name other than your own or any doing business as “dba” to be registered. Often times you can check on the availability of a name over the phone. However, just because a name is available in your state doesn’t necessarily mean that it is available if you choose to do business nationally or internationally. If you plan on working with a nationwide market or if you plan on being successful (and I hope you are!), you may want to check and see if your name is already copyrighted. If it isn’t already copyrighted, then you can copyright your name to protect it. Most of the information you need can be obtained at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site. The site answers your questions and enables you to do an online trademark search. You also can access forms and submit the application online.
What would the initials of my business spell?
Here in Oklahoma I had a friend who was working with a local hospital. When the Children’s Hospital became part of the University System, they were debating on the name. The logical choice was Oklahoma University Children’s Hospital. However, when someone realized that the initials were OUCH – well, that really isn’t the impression that they wanted to leave. (I believe now they call it University Children’s Hospital or some other “OUCH-less” variation.) Some things might be clever, but you have to think about your target audience.
Is my name easy to remember or is it easily confused with someone else?
You may think that the name is different enough from another name, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to defend your choice in court. A small winery in Oklahoma that is owned by three women is called “Girls Gone Wine.” Cute and catchy, but the owner of the “Girls Gone Wild” video series disagrees, and the women are in the midst of a copyright infringement lawsuit. While the court hasn’t reached a decision in this matter, any lawsuit is a very expensive endeavor, and if at all possible, it will likely be in your best interest to avoid one!
What kind of an impression do I want to leave? Clever, Professional, Friendly, Casual?
Keep in mind that your name, like the title of a book, will make an impression in people’s minds, and you want that impression to be in your favor.
Do I want to use part of my name in my business or something that relates to what I do?
I was behind a pick-up truck the other day, that was obviously used for some sort of business. It had their telephone number on the side, but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what the business did. If you choose the name Alpha for your business, you may want to include additional words to help people know what you do, such as Alpha Home Repair, or Alpha Graphic Designs.
The more memorable you can make your name, the more likely people are to think of you when they need your services, and that will lead to more success for your home business! Happy Name Hunting!