I don't know about you but picking a business name for some of my businesses was simply the worst and hardest task. I knew what I wanted to do, I just didn't know what I wanted to call it. There was a lot of back and forth, I would think of a good name but then the domain was take or I would find a domain but the social media handles were taken (and what was more frustrating is that they were dormant) or I would find a name and the name was trademarked in the same category of my business. It was time consuming finding a name so I would create the plan and the name was one of the things I would do last, along with the executive summary.
So you are thinking of a business name? What could I possibly teach you about picking a name? Well, nothing new, I am simply putting all the information I feel will be useful for you in one place, so you do not have to waste your time googling everything! Here we go, the five tools to help you pick a business name;
No one is saying trademark your name, not unless you feel you need to. Searching the IPO register for your desired business name will allow you too see if anyone else has registered your business name and what they have registered it for. Imagine choosing the perfect business name, spending loads on branding only to have to change it soon after because you received a cease and desist letter as you're using someones trademarked name. Not cool. To avoid all that stress, simply search the IPO Register and see if your name has already been claimed.
Planning Global Domination? The WIPO (world intellectual property organisation) search deals with people planning to register a trademark in multiple countries. So if you wish for you brand to go global, again, it wouldn't be such a bad idea to see if anyone has registered a trademark for your desired name.
Even if you do not plan on being a Limited Company and you simply plan on being a Sole Trader with a ‘T/As' name, it may be a good idea to check the Companies House register to see if you run risk of using someone else's name or treading on someone else's toes with the same name in the same field.
This is a great tool! It has to be one I wish I discovered earlier. KNOWEM allows you to look up a desired username from all social media networks at once. No more going to each platform one by one and hoping for the best. It also allows you to check the domain name and USPTO database (if you are in the United States, this would be really useful for you). It may be the only tool thank you need actually! Check out it's awesomeness.
This is a wonderful tool for all those that are purchasing a domain name and you are not sure of the history. With SEO being so important in today's day and age, you don't want to purchase a domain name that was used by someone else and subsequently blocked from the search engines due to its obscene nature. It may make ranking very difficult for you when you launch your business.
The wayback machine allows you to look at archives for your domain name and see if it has any history and if it does, what history it does have. The site will show you screenshots that were captured and random points in the past and you can view it. This is a great tool and one I wish I knew about earlier on also.
Do you have any other tools that you think people would find useful? Drop them in the comments below!