Naming your business could take weeks or even months and is arguably one of the most important decisions you will make within the start-up stages of your business. It would be fair to think that choosing a name for your business when you first start out on your amazing journey would be easy. However, as many have found unfortunately it’s not as simple as you may think.
Consideration needs to be given to factors that could affect what you name your business, as well as checking your desired name is even available. Yes, you read correctly, the dream name for your business may have already been registered to another company and in which case, you may have to go to plan B.
The legal structure of your business can determine what you might want to call your business.
– Sole traders sometimes use their own name such as Henry Smith but the name should also give an indication of what your type of business etc. Henry Smith Chocolatier
– Partnerships can trade under the names of all the partners of the business or a separate business name.
– Limited Companies or Limited Liability Partnerships are able to trade under a registered name or a different business name.
Use the findings from your market research and consider your place in the market. Take a look at your direct competitors and target customers. Choose a name which will make you shine among the competition but attract the right customers.
Henry’s Chocolate Shop and The Chocolate Factory could sell exactly the same products but the name could appeal to different customers.
If you’re looking to set up a company, check your shortlisted names on the Companies House Web Check to see what’s available. This process may naturally shorten your selection down because the name isn’t available to trade under because it already exists and has been registered with Companies House. There’s also a very useful list on the website containing any words which are restricted.
Once you have shortlisted a few of your own names,
Gather your friends and family and hold a focus group to gain some feedback about your shortlisted names. You never know, your friends and family may have some suggestions that are even better than your own!
If you have made a decision on your name, think about how your business will be represented on the internet. If you’re planning on creating a website, check to see if the web and email domain names are available. If the exact name isn’t available, is there a similar one that can be used? Don’t steer away from the original name too much though, as you may confuse potential customers.
The same applies to social media accounts; make sure there is a suitable name available for the social media platforms you will want to use. For ease, try and use the same name across all platforms, it helps customers remember your brand makes it easier for them to find you: eg.
Twitter – @dmuceo
Facebook – http://www.fb.com/dmuceo
You may find that it takes a while for you to decide on a name and find one that’s fits all purposes. Our advice is to stick with it and once you’ve found the one, get your desired domain name registered as soon as possible.
If you need help with registering your business with HMRC, drop in and see us at the start-up surgery!