Are you setting up a business?
Setting up a small business and haven’t thought up a business name yet? Then what are you waiting for?! Believe it or not getting the right name for your business could make or break you (well that and a sound business plan and strategy).
Coming up with a name for your business is a great deal easier said, than it is to do. It is certainly one of the most important things you will do in the process of starting up.
It is imperative that you get it right and the only way you will be able to do this, is if you put plenty of thought into it. You don’t want to breach any rules.
Here are some key points to consider when choosing a business name:
Firstly, are you setting up a limited company? If so, there are some rules you need to follow when choosing the right name.
• You need to make sure the name ends with limited, plc, ltd or LLP.
• You need to check it isn’t already registered and also,
• check it hasn’t been trademarked.
Secondly, there are a few rules to choosing a name when setting up a partnership.
• If you have chosen to use names and one partner leaves, it could put your brand identity at risk.
• If you are using a more generic name you need to ensure not to use inappropriate or sensitive names. As previously mentioned, you need to ensure not to put any sensitive words into your company name.
Companies House publishes a list of words it deems inappropriate called ‘Companies Act 2006’. It is important to check your business name against this list. Some words will require approval from the Secretary of State and some words used without permission is a criminal offence, such as Veterinary or Architect.
Tips for choosing a ‘good’ name
A business name can really help to attract prospects and new customers. Here is a list of key points to bear-in-mind when choosing a good name for your business:
o A good business name should be memorable yet simple. Potential customers need to be able to remember your name however it needs to be easy to spell. Unique is good but difficult spelling is not.
o A good business name should have a visual element. Generally people are hard-wired to ‘see’ images when we reading or listening. Incorporating a visual element can be a powerful aid to a customer’s memory.
o A good business name gives a clear indication of what your business is. Example a landscape gardener would be called “…Landscaping”. This makes it easier for potential customers to find you.
o A good business name should be short and snappy. As well as being visual and memorable, this will be good for promotional purposes. You want a business name that will fit well on a business card, look good displayed on a sign or in an ad, and perhaps even serve well as a domain name which and show up well in search if you have an online business.
It is advisable to come up with at least two business names that are good and that you could potentially use. If your first choice is taken then at least you’ll have a fall-back plan when you go to register.However, this can obviously be avoided if you do your research!