No matter what your business is about, its name is usually the base of your branding structure. Before you start with other procedures like buying the domain name, designing logos, or preparing marketing material, it’s imperative to make that business name legally yours. In other words, it must be registered first.
Buying a business name isn’t just about purchasing the domain name, you know. Neither is it a quick task like getting a quick internet fi by calling the Spectrum mobile phone number. Instead, a series of steps are involved in just the process of naming, then getting it trademarked and registered. Let’s explore all that in more detail in the passages below.
Think of the Name
Before finalizing the name, you must do little market research. Sort through the content available out there to find ideas. While naming your business, do consider the products and services you are selling. Acronyms can also be good business names.
Never pick a business name that is similar to your competition. There is no need to be fancy about it. The name has to be easy to spell as well as pronounce.
Make Sure It Isn’t Taken
In buying a business name, the business name you want to settle with shouldn’t be taken. Each state has different rules, do remember that. Once you have found the name you like, it must be protected. Here are some things to consider for protecting your name:
- Depending on the structure of your business and the location, you might have to get an entity name.
- On the national scale, the documents that you must file include a trademark. For this, get in touch with the patent and trademark office.
- Business owners that will be operating online need a domain name. So, you will have to register your domain name with a hosting provider.
Get It Registered
The next step is to future-proof your biz name by getting it registered in the right state. First, you must decide whether you are going as a corporation or a limited liability company.
Let’s assume you are a limited liability company. This means you must protect your business in your state. Here, you need an entity name, which allows each state to identify you as a small business. There are some states which require the entity name to be a reflection of your business.
Another option is to register your business with a DBA name. This is an assumed or fictitious name. With DBA, you can also open a business account and get your federal tax ID number. Most sole proprietors use DBA. It helps your customers remember your business.
Get a Federal Trademark
A federal trademark lets you register your small business name in 50 states as well as other countries. If you are able to get a registered trademark, consider it to be a bonus. Also, registering within your state is cheaper than registering federally.
Buy the Domain Name
A domain name is your address on the internet. It is an address your customers use to find you or learn about your goods and services. Check out providers like Namecheap and GoDaddy to buy yourself a domain.
Once you have the domain, you will also need hosting, which is mandatory for setting up your website. The domain name and hosting need to be renewed annually.
What If Someone Else Is Using Your Preferred Business Name?
Chances are the name you want is taken. It is hard to get another business to switch names however, it’s not impossible. Here are the steps to follow:
Find Out the Business Details
You can learn more about a business via the Better Business Bureau. The listing’s bottom has the information about the owner.
You can also search for the name in online directories.
Are They Trademarked?
Check if the business is trademarked. Most people haven’t trademarked their business.
Negotiate With the Owner
Even if the business name has been trademarked, you can still negotiate with the owner. Depending on the state you are in, you may need an attorney.
If the owner agrees to transfer the name, get everything in writing. Work out the budget and sign the contract.
Sort Out Things Legally
For sorting legal matters, of course, you are going to need the help of an attorney. They will guide you on what to do next and how to legally buy the business name as well as the trademarks.
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