At The Lakeside Park, we’ve worked with many small businesses and startups. In fact, many of those small businesses and startups continue to grow and thrive right here in our Boston area office park.
When an entrepreneur comes to us to discuss renting office space, one of the first things we learn about their business is its name. Over the years, as we’ve gotten to know many businesses, we’ve also learned a thing or two about business names.
Choosing a Company Name: 5 Things to Consider
Looking for some tips when it comes to choosing a company name for your new organization? Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind as you’re brainstorming in search of the perfect label for your new business.
1. Be Specific – But Not Too Specific
As you’re getting started with the brainstorming process, keep in mind that you’ll want to be specific – but not too specific – when it comes to naming your business. Ideally, the name will describe (or at least refer to) what your business has to offer, but you don’t want to be so specific with the title that it could limit you down the road.
For instance, if you include a specific geographic location in your business name, that could be an added challenge if you end up moving your business or expanding in the future. If you decide to mention a specific type of product in your company name but later decide to expand your offerings, that might confuse customers as well.
2. Choose Something That’s Easy to Spell and Pronounce
Once you’ve come up with a few options for company names, try spelling them and saying them out loud. You want to be sure that people won’t have a hard time communicating about your company, so your business name should ideally be easy to say and write.
Remember, in terms of spelling and pronouncing a business name, what might seem obvious to you as the creator of the business’ name might not be as obvious to other people and potential customers. Be sure to try the names you are considering out on friends, relatives and other people you trust – and listen to the feedback they provide! If they spell it or pronounce it incorrectly, it might not be your best option.
3. Search the Internet
Do some searches on the web to make sure any names you’re considering aren’t already taken. You don’t want to cause confusion for potential customers if there’s another business similar to yours that has a similar name – especially if it’s in a nearby geographic area.
You’ll want to make sure the web address you’re hoping for isn’t already claimed as well. Plus, you should make sure that there’s room on the web for you to establish a unique social media presence for your new organization – one that won’t be easily confused with another business. Take the time to really do your online research before making a final decision.
4. Ask for Feedback
As mentioned above, getting feedback on the names you are considering can be hugely helpful when it comes to deciding on a title for your organization. You may have your heart set on a name that means one thing to you, but it could represent something entirely different to your potential audience.
While it may be tempting to keep your business’ name a secret until it’s been finalized, it’s actually a better idea to solicit feedback from a handful of people you trust before you go through the process of establishing your business name.
5. Consider Your Branding Options
Sometimes thinking about the promotion of your business can help when it comes to deciding on a name for your organization. Even though you won’t begin promoting your company until after you’ve named it, imagining how you’d like to market your business can sometimes help you narrow down your name options.
Think about your logo and your marketing materials. What do you want them to look like? What vibe do you want them to portray? Envision your office space. What will it look and feel like? What kind of name might encompass your business’ overall vibe? Are you planning on having a mascot? If so, how will the mascot relate to or embody the name of your business?
Thinking through your branding and marketing options can be really helpful, especially if you’re trying to shorten the list of business name options you’ve come up with.
What’s Next When It Comes to Selecting a Business Name?
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, there are a few steps you’ll need to complete to formally name your business. These processes are a bit more involved, but in a nutshell, you’ll need to:
Check with the Appropriate State Agency (Likely the Secretary of State) To Ensure That The Name You’ve Chosen Isn’t Already Taken
You’ll need to make sure that another entity in your state hasn’t already claimed the name you are hoping to use for your business. Your state may even have a website that includes a name check tool, which will tell you if the name you’ve chosen is available or if it’s already being used by another business.
At this stage, you’ll also want to look into your states regulations related to DBAs, in order to fully understand your options when it comes to formally naming your organization.
Look Into Trademarks
Many businesses choose to register with the US Trademark and Patent Office. It’s a good idea to search the database of trademarked business names to make sure there aren’t any businesses similar to yours with the same name, and to make sure that you’re not violating someone else’s trademark with your company name selection.
Register Your Business
Once you’ve done all the background work, it’s time to formally register your business under its name.
The process for registering a business will vary by state, plus you’ll have to make some important decisions along the way – including what type of business structure you’ll be using, what types of licenses and permits you’ll need, etc. – so it’s best to consult with a lawyer and tax advisor to be sure you’re completing all the correct steps.
Need Office Space For Your New Business?
We may not be able to help you name your business (though we hope these suggestions help!), but we can provide you with office space for your new business!
The Lakeside Park is home to many startups and small businesses – and we’d love you to join us! If you’re looking for office space in the Boston area, we’re an affordable option you should definitely consider. We’re located in a convenient and beautiful location, and we provide a host of amenities and services for our tenants! We hope you’ll check us out.
Looking for more insight for small business owners? Be sure to check out tips for small business owners blog. We cover everything from hiring employees and navigating professional development opportunities to understanding office space lease agreements, tips for designing your office space, and more!