The following Nolo.com FAQ answers critical questions about choosing and registering a successful business name, and I appreciated their take on how to pick a winning business name and then trademark it.
There’s a lot of room for personal and professional creativity when choosing a business name, but there are three main considerations to keep in mind:
- Will your business name receive trademark protection?
- Is your proposed business name available?
- If your business will have a website, is a similar domain name available?
Trademark law will prevent another business from using a name or logo that is likely to be confused with your business name if your business name is entitled to trademark protection. If your business is anything but a small, local, service, or retail business, such as a dry cleaners or a fabric store, you’ll probably want to take advantage of this.
While there’s no magic formula for concocting distinctive business names, they tend to be made up of surprising or fanciful words that often have nothing to do with the underlying business, product, or service, such as Kodak film or Double Rainbow ice cream. However, there can be a downside to coining a brand new word or using a completely arbitrary term. Business names that have nothing to do with the underlying product or service often require extensive and expensive marketing efforts to become established.