The Art of Naming a Business: 6 Tips for Avoiding Business Name Disputes

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The -Art- of -Naming a- Business: 6 -Tips- for- Avoiding- Business- Name- Disputes
The -Art- of -Naming a- Business: 6 -Tips- for- Avoiding- Business- Name- Disputes

Naming a new business can sometimes be harder than launching it. You likely already know the type of products and services you want to offer, but choosing a name to represent them and your role can often be much more challenging! There are also legal implications to consider. Give your business a name that another company already has, and you can be in a world of trouble.

Fortunately, you can avoid such legal problems with the proper precautions. It can often be as easy as taking these actions:

Seeking Legal Advice

Contact a reputable business lawyer as soon as you decide that you’d like to launch a new business. Alongside providing general advice about the actions you must take, they can also perform research on your behalf and ensure any names you have been considering are there for the taking.

Business lawyers can be an excellent source of knowledge for everything from business names and tax obligations to business structures and contract advice.

Performing Thorough Research

Just as you would research products, services, and your target market before launching a business, do the same when choosing a fresh new business name. Look for existing trademarks both locally and nationally. You can also type variations of your preferred business name into search engines to see whether businesses in your industry or others already operate with that same name. The more in-depth your research is, the easier it might be to discover potential name problems and remedy them before they become legal issues.

Checking Domain Availability

As of 2023, at least 71% of businesses have websites. Knowing that you’ll likely be creating your own to establish yourself as an authority in the online world, checking domains can be crucial. After all, few things are as frustrating as launching your business and creating your website, only to find out another company already has the same or a similar name.

Don’t let it get to that point. Research domain availability while you’re exploring possible business names. You can then improve your chances of choosing an available name and avoiding all that frustration!

Registering Your Name As a Trademark

Registering your business name as a trademark is a protective measure to prevent other businesses from using it. Alongside legal protection, trademarking your name has other benefits, like attracting investors, providing clarity between similar companies, and building your brand.

Fortunately, registering your business name as a trademark is straightforward through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Your chosen business lawyer can also help.

Thinking About the Future

The products and services you offer as a new business won’t necessarily be all you provide in the future. Think about future growth and how expansion into other lines or markets may impact your business name. You may avoid legal issues by choosing a business name that can accommodate growth without encountering problems with existing trademarks.

Monitor the Market

Registering a business name and trademarking it doesn’t always spell the end of potential legal issues. Business owners who are less thorough in their research than you might inadvertently impinge on your business naming rights. Continuously monitor the market to look for potential competitors who cross legal boundaries to protect your interests.

There’s more to choosing a business name than selecting something you like. Many business name disputes can arise when you choose something the same or similar to other businesses. You may be able to avoid challenges by futureproofing your name, registering it as a trademark, and seeking legal advice.

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