Your search for business name possibilities is crucial, as business names can be a major determining factor in your company's success and not all business names are created equal.
When Shakespeare wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” he was clearly not talking about company names. The right name can set you apart from the competition, while the wrong name can mean litigation and marketing challenges.
When running a fictitious business name search, keep an eye out for names appropriate to the type of business you run. If you run a children’s store, for example, a cute name may be appropriate. If you run a legal business, on the other hand, it likely is not. Once you have an idea for a name, you need to run a corporate name search to ensure that your business name is unique. When running a search for company name, consider:
1. Conducting an online corporate name search for fast results that narrow your company's possible names.
2. Hiring a search service for in-depth answers and protection from lawsuits.
3. Trying a domain search to get the best company URL.
Search for business name possibilities online
Most counties have registrars or county clerk websites that allow you to search for possible company names from the comfort of your own computer, free of charge. The United States Patent and Trademark Office also allows you to search for trademarked names -- including company names -- online. Both solutions can take some time but are an easy way to narrow down your initial list of company names.
Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) that allows you to search the names of all registered US trademarks. The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk page allows you to search for currently registered Los Angeles-based business names.
Hire a company name search service for thorough results
Before selecting a company name, you should do much more than just run an online search for business name options. Since having another business' name can open your company up to legal problems, hiring a search service is one way to ensure that no business in your state has a similar name. In addition, you can use such services to check states where you plan to expand in the future.
Go online to search for corporate domain names when running your fictitious name search
Today, online branding and websites are often just as or more important for companies than brick-and-mortar business. It's a good idea, therefore, to have a URL that matches your business name exactly. One way to accomplish this is to check domain name availability before selecting your business name--if you have the option of one or two business names, always select the one that's available and register that domain at once.
- When running a search for corporate name options, keep in mind that the type of business as well as the proximity of business names counts. If you plan on naming your California restaurant Caro's, for example, and there is a restaurant named Caios, you could face problems. Always check for similar names as well as exact matches when running your search.