When starting a new business, it’s important to make sure the proposed business name is not already taken. This can prevent unnecessary expenses and headaches, such as having to change the business name after establishing a customer base or facing a lawsuit over a similar-sounding name. Fortunately, most states have online tools for checking the availability of business names. These tools often include DBAs (doing business as) registrations and state-specific trademark databases.
In addition to a state-specific business name search, you should also do a federal trademark search using the USPTO database. Moreover, you should also check domain name availability and social media platforms to make sure the business name is available. The more thorough your research, the less likely you are to choose a business name that is already taken inadvertently.
County Clerk’s Offices
In addition to checking with the Secretary of State, you can search for business names at your county clerk’s office. You can also contact your domain registrar and/or website builder to confirm that the business name you want is available as a domain. A unique business name and a matching domain are complementary to one another and help establish brand identity. They also protect you from losing your brand identity through a name change down the road.
How Do I Create My Business Name?
A business name is the most important branding tool you have. It will appear on your website, social media accounts, and other branded materials. It needs to be a creative yet catchy expression of your brand. You should always run a state and nationwide name search to ensure your desired monikers aren’t already being used. Avoid monikers that sound too similar to an existing business because your customers may get confused or misunderstand the meaning of your name.
Consider using a business name generator to help you find creative ideas for your business name. These tools can produce hundreds of names based on a few keywords. The best ones will automatically check domain availability so you can reserve your corresponding website and social media handles.
Also, be sure to test your business name on people of varying backgrounds and ages to see how they react and interpret it. The last thing you want is to have a great business name that no one can understand or pronounce.
Can There Be Two Businesses With the Same Name?
When choosing a business name, you should conduct a thorough search to ensure no other entity has already claimed it. The easiest way to do this is by typing the desired name into a search engine and seeing what results appear. You can also check with your state’s Secretary of State to see whether the name is already registered as a trademark or DBA. If it is, you’ll want to reconsider your choice.
Another thing to remember is that a good business name should be easy for customers to spell and pronounce. This will make it more likely that people will find your business online, preventing confusion when referring you to friends or colleagues.
If you’re worried about someone using the same name as your business, consider hiring a small business or intellectual property attorney to conduct a more in-depth search and help you register your name and trademark. They can also advise you on how to protect your business name through legal proceedings if necessary.