How to Choose the Perfect Business Name

How to Choose the Perfect Business Name

At America Equals, we are dedicated to empowering individuals to realize their dreams of business ownership. And we realize there are a lot of intricacies involved when you launch your own business. Believe it or not, your business name is one of them.

Choosing the perfect business name is a personal process, but one that has legal and practical considerations. Your business name will have a lasting impact, so careful planning is vital before incorporating your business and launching it to the public. The first step is to think about the type of business you want to register with the state. 

Guidelines on naming conventions vary from state to state, so check your state's registration department. For example, opening a corporation may require your business name to contain one of the following words/abbreviations: company, corporation, or incorporated. Sole proprietorships and general partnerships may require that owners have their names in the legal title. An LLC is a popular option for new business owners and has its own set of rules when it comes to naming. 

Forming an LLC

Forming an LLC is probably the easiest undertaking for your new business as it protects your business name, especially if you use a formation service. There are a few processes involved in forming an LLC, including:

  • Selecting your state of business registration

  • Choosing a registered agent within your state 

  • Selecting your business name

  • Filing your Articles of Organization

  • Creating an operating agreement

  • Applying for your tax number

When it comes to the regulations regarding your choice of business name, take heed of the following: 

  • Words that could potentially confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, State Department) should be avoided.

  • Unless you're a licensed individual with legal paperwork, you can't use restricted words like doctor, bank, or lawyer. 

  • Your legal name has to include either LLC, L.L.C., or "limited liability company" in the title.

  • You can choose to have a d/b/a (doing business as) brand name if your state allows it. 

The Dos and Don'ts of Choosing a Business Name

You need to consider your brand when selecting your name. Now that you have a good understanding of the legal framework regarding business names, it's time to get creative.

There are a few dos and don'ts when selecting a name. Your brand is designed to make an impact but should also be easily marketable. Long names can't be printed easily on small merchandise, and some words look pretty ambiguous when put next to each other in some fonts. 

  • Do select a name that's memorable and in line with your product/brand.

  • Do a thorough trademark search and investigation of the name.

  • Do keep your name short and punchy for website use.

  • Do make your name easy to spell and consider phonetics.

  • Do use a logo maker app to create a customized logo that fits your name.

  • Do register a domain and secure all social media handles.

  • Do work with branding services to help build your online presence.

  • Don't use vulgar language.

  • Don't include location names; you might move or sell the business.

  • Don't keyword-stuff your name for search engine optimization purposes.

  • Don't be swayed by popular opinion; stick with what you want.

Protect Your Business Name

You should also consider protecting your business name, which automatically happens in the state where your business is registered. It might be worth trademarking your name in the other states at a more federal level.

Your Perfect Business Name

You're now armed with in-depth information on how to choose the perfect business name for your LLC.  Don't forget to get creative, but also seek to understand the exact rules and regulations of your state before selecting a name and investing in marketing initiatives. 

Image via Pexels

Written by Cherie Mclaughlin