So you’re just starting out and one of the first decisions you have to make is what the name of your company will be. This is going to be the first of many challenging decisions you will have to make as an entrepreneur. Some say that your name can make your or break you. I have actually seen it work both ways. A lot depends on your company, your market and your potential customers.
If you are going to market to consumers, you might want to consider a short, easy to remember name that can be made synonymous with your industry. As an example, think of Tire Rack – when you hear that name, you have no doubt that their primary business is selling tires.
Here are some other things to consider:
- Is the name you’ve chosen available? You may want to consider using a company such as CorpNet to help you search to make sure that your name isn’t already taken and help you register with the state, IRS and local authorities. Companies like this can save you a lot of time and headaches and are usually well worth the investment.
- Will the name you’ve chosen work online? For some people this comes as an afterthought. Before you decide completely on the name, think about your web site (you WILL have a web site, right?) and run a quick check through GoDaddy or Network Solutions to see what’s available. TIP: make sure you don’t make it too hard to remember – your website doesn’t always have to match exactly. Think about it – which of these is easier to remember: peteshoemacherlawnserviceinc.com or petedoeslawns.com.
- Can you create an identity for your company? Choosing your company name is just the first step toward creating your brand. Eventually you will need to create business cards and in some cases letterhead and other stationary. While you can go to your local office supply store and use their old-school clip-art, you may want to consider using a company like LogoWorks who can help you create a true identity that is unique to you. Sometimes, however, going through this exercise makes you realize that branding the name you’ve chosen might not work – look at the lawn care example above.
We hope this guide has given you a little insight and assistance with selecting your name. Be sure to read the other helpful hints we have here to get your business started off on the right foot.