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5 Considerations When Choosing a Business Name

By Andrew Lu on April 09, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The first thing you may have thought about when starting a business is your business name.

Choosing the right business name is critical. It is often a customer's first exposure to your store, service or product. Likely, you will want to strike a balance between a descriptive name and one that is truly unique.

To help you craft the best business name, take note of these five considerations:

  1. Is the Name Available? You may have thought of the best name for your business, but unfortunately, that name may no longer be available. Make sure you check the federal registry of trademarks and trade names as well as local listings to see if you can use the name. You may also want to check available urls for your website.
  2. Does the Name Describe the Product? Sometimes a completely unique name like "Apple" is great to identify a completely unrelated product like computers. However, sometimes you may want a more descriptive name for your product. This is a personal decision and you will want to think about which route you want to go.
  3. How Do Others Perceive It? Just because you may really like a name, this does not necessarily mean others will like it or get it. You may want to check with your friends and family. You could also poll the local community where you plan to operate your store.
  4. Is the Name too Complicated? You want a name to be catchy and memorable. As a result, an overly technical name or just an overly long name may be inappropriate.
  5. Does the Name Limit You? If you plan on eventually adding more products or new stores in different locations, you may want to consider these when naming your company. For example, the Cleveland Coffee Company may not make sense if you later want to open stores along the West Coast or sell things besides coffee.

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