Tips for Choosing A Business Name - Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp Week 3

Your business name should be the second most recognizable thing about your business, only behind your art. It should be broad enough that it can allow you space to grow and pivot, but distinctive enough that it can be a strong representation of a well-defined brand. I know it can be a tough decision, so here are my tips for choosing a business name.

Some questions to ask yourself when choosing a name for your business include:

  1. Are there any other businesses that have the same name, and if so, are they in your niche?
  2. Are there any products otherwise copyrighted/trademarked businesses that use this name?
  3. Is the name easy to read/pronounce?
  4. Are there other words or names that are easily confused with this name?
  5. Are the domain name and social media handles available for this name? (i.e., can you get a Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest page with that business name along with a “yourname.com” web address?)
  6. Can you shorten it to initials without any unfortunate acronyms (...had I taken my own advice here I probably wouldn’t have ended up with ‘bel monili’, which has the initials BM and therefore leaves me without the option to do anything fun and cool with that!)?
  7. Does the name have a significant meaning or a story behind it?
  8. Does it allow you to someday pivot or broaden your product offering?
You want to have a name that is unique, understandable, and all-encompassing for your current and future craft product offerings. Avoid choosing a name that is similar to another business’ name or that could be confused with another product.

The US Small Business Administration has a great resource with tips for choosing a business name. It outlines exactly how to go about choosing and registering your business name and how to find out whether or not a name or phrase you want to use has already been trademarked. 

Purchasing a domain name

A major factor in deciding what name you will select for your business will be (or should be) whether or not you are able to purchase the domain name.

What I mean is, if you want to call your business “Susie’s Candles”, it's going to be important that you are able to obtain www.susiescandles.com in order to be able to really have a strong online presence.

I personally prefer to purchase my domain names from GoDaddy, but there are lots of services out there. To find out whether or not your domain name is available, you can go to GoDaddy and use the “find your perfect domain name” search bar to see if your domain name is available. 

 

 

Getting your business registered in your respective state

Depending on how you choose to set up your business’ legal structure, you will need to register at the state and possibly federal level. Don’t stress though: it’s not as scary as it sounds! For many crafty business owners, it’s as easy as registering your business name with your state and then getting a federal tax ID number. 


 

Again, the US Small Business Administration has a wonderful, easy to navigate source that will show you exactly what you need to do depending on what state you are in. 

In most areas, there are Small Business Development Centers (usually at a local University) that offer free support to small businesses who are looking to get started. You can search by state and zip code to find a center near you, then explore what they have to offer. For example, Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA (my alma mater) offers a wide array of resources for small businesses including free consultations, workshops, and other valuable tips. 

 

I highly encourage you to seek out your local Small Business Development Center and take advantage of these valuable opportunities. Getting your business set up properly from the beginning will save you LOADS of headaches down the road, and having someone walk you through the steps will take away the frustration, overwhelm, and uncertainty that tends to be the biggest barrier to taking that next step. 

 

Choosing a business name is important step in your process of becoming a business owner! Hopefully these tips give you some ideas on how to choose the right name, as well as setting up your online presence so that your business name is instantly recognized by your customers.

Looking for more tips and help! Join my free Facebook group exclusively for handmade business owners!

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