How to Pick a Business Name
Your business name will be very important to your business image. You want to have a business name that is easy to remember, stands out and sounds professional but also spells out what you do.
Take a look through the internet for plumbers and check out the business names. You will find the very small business owner and the large franchised companies. What do you notice when you read through the names? This is what your potential clients will be thinking about when they look for you. They may have a list in front of them of 2 pet sitters or if you live in a very large area such as LA, they may have a list of 100 or more! What is going to make you stand out of the crowd so they will look over all the rest and call you?
There are four important things to think about when picking out a business name:
- Originality: You want your name to be original. There are tons of Pampered Pets and Pet Sitters R Us. Once you pick out your name, do a Google search to see if anyone else thought of it first.
- Alphabetize: If you are among a list of 100, you would want your name to be as close to the beginning of the alphabet as possible. This shouldn't be your top priority, just something to think about.
- Spell out your services: If you are pet sitting, you must let the consumer know. If you just call your business Pet Perfection, your client's may forget who they are calling. Add on your services to the end. For example, you can call it Pet Perfection Pet Care Services. Be sure when you add on your services, you are not limiting yourself. You may want to grow in the future. So, if you think you may add on errand services or home care, you may want to add pet & home care services to the business name.
- Location: Personally, I believe this is very important when thinking of your business name. People love where they live. They love their state, town, street, etc. Tying that in to your business name will make people remember you. For example, if you live in Florida, you can be the Sunshine State's Best Pet Caretakers. Doing this also increases your chances of having an original name.
Once you have picked out your business name, it is very important to make sure no one else is using it. Some businesses will federally trademark their name. This is to ensure no one else can legally use their name nationwide. To check the trademark database click here.
Now that you have checked the federal database, you need to check your state database. There is a separate database available for each state. To find your state database, go to the Secretary of State site and click on your state. Find the area where you can do a business search. Then just type in the name you are thinking of using. If nothing comes up, that means no one is registered in your state with that name.
You may also want to check the newspapers, Internet and the phone book, just in case someone is using it but is not registered with the state. You can not use a name which is in use in your state or nationally even if they have not registered it. Why would you want to get confused with another business anyways. Pick a new name if you are unsure. You can't even use a variation of it. So, be sure to check all your resources before putting your business name on paper. It will be much harder to change it later, so be sure before you go any further.
Now that you have your business name ready, you can get your business license. We will discuss how to do that in the next installment.