Naming your business is an important decision- it’s the first step in branding and marketing your company. You want to choose a name that is unique, memorable, and meaningful. But you also want to make sure that no one else is using the same name- otherwise, you could run into legal trouble down the road. So how do you find the perfect balance?
Here are a few tips to help you select a name for your business that you can protect:
- Brainstorm potential names and list them in order of preference. This is a great way to get started, and it can help you narrow down your options.
- Remember that the more descriptive a name is for the goods or services you plan to sell, the more likely others will be using it and that, if registered, it will be a weaker trademark. This is something to keep in mind as you brainstorm and narrow down your list.
- Do a web search for potential names. This is an important step to make sure that no one else is already using the same name. We suggest you conduct Google, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, Yelp, Open Table, Resy, and any other industry-specific searches on your own and also use a tool like Google AdWords’ Keyword Tool to get additional ideas and help determine whether people are searching for your potential names.
- Check the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) database of federally registered trademarks. If someone has already registered the name you want to use for similar or related goods and services that you provide, you may be out of luck. Speak to an IP attorney if you have any concerns at all that your desired name is confusingly similar to one that’s already registered.
- Once you’ve selected a name, you may want to consider filing a trademark application with the USPTO to protect it. If you’ve not officially done business yet, you may need to file an Intent to Use application, which your attorney will walk you through during your initial meeting.
The process of naming your business can be daunting, but following these tips can help you find a unique and protectable name for your company. Working closely with an intellectual property attorney can also ensure that you are taking advantage of every opportunity to protect the brand that you are working hard to build.
If you have questions or need assistance getting started, we are here to guide you through your options. You can schedule a discovery session with our intellectual property attorneys by calling 888-666-0062 or by clicking here to use our online scheduling tool.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.