When you think of the biggest and best brand names—Nike, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Virgin—think of this: they all started as a business name. Choosing your business name (your future brand name) is a big deal. The words you choose must speak of your values, to your vision and mission…and must be emotive to those whom you intend to attract to your brand.
A number of people have asked us, “How do I register my business name?”
The answer to that question is rather simple; however, we’d like to ensure that the business name you’re registering has all the makings of a great brand name—before you register something that could break down your brand, instead of building it up.
Brand Name Creation and Registration
There are some principles for creating a business name that apply to anyone wishing to build theirs into a notable brand name. It may seem like a lot of thought and work in the beginning, but putting the effort in now will not only save heartache and legal troubles in the future, it will benefit your brand by being workable, searchable and memorable.
Here are those principles for business name creation:
- Leave poetry to poets. There is a general temptation amongst new business owners to create a name that is so catchy, so creative, so unique…that no one can pronounce it, spell it or remember it. There is a place for creativity in naming your business; however, that creativity should be reserved for choosing a word or phrase that showcases your brand’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) in an unexpected way. Make it unique. Keep it simple.
- Consider searches. What are the keywords that are being used by your ideal clients to find brands, products and services similar to yours? What keywords and phrases are being used to find solutions to the problem that your brand solves? What are the most commonly use words and phrases in the chat rooms, forums and social media pages where your target audience members are hanging out? Put what you find into the mix when creating a business name.
- Check URL availability. In a perfect world, every business owner’s new business name would have a corresponding available URL. To the contrary, it is very likely that the business name you choose will not be available as a domain name. Do yourself a favour and check this before you become married to any business name. Having a corresponding business name and URL will prove priceless as prospective clients search for your brand.
- Don’t be a copycat. There’s no real, long-term value in attempting to piggyback on another brand’s success. Confusion will ensue…and maybe even trademark infringements. Your brand is unique. Demonstrate that in every facet, including its name.
These are just the basics, and we encourage you to contact us with questions regarding naming your business.
And now, back to that initial question: “How do I register my business name?”
The process is fairly simple in the UK.
- First, visit the UK Government’s Intellectual Property Office page to ensure that your prospective business name does not infringe on any registered trademark: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/intellectual-property-office
- Then visit Companies House on the UK Government’s website at this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house to check availability and register your business name. Keep in mind that some words and phrases are prohibited, pending approval.
Contact us for more information, or to learn how you can register your business name in the U.S. or Canada.
Are you ready to move forward with building your brand? Then it’s time to put your business on the fast track and get it right the first time. Learn more or register for our B.R.A.N.D. Kick Starter Online Masterclass here.