In many ways, one of the most important decisions you will make when starting a business involves exactly what you choose to call it. Your name is hugely important to the future of your organization—it immediately creates an image in your customer’s mind about who you are, what you offer, and (most importantly) what you stand for.
Or at least, it should.
Finding the perfect name for your business is something that may happen organically, but it won’t necessarily happen overnight. If you want to name your business, you’ll need to keep a few key things in mind.
The Genesis of Your Business Name
When sitting down to brainstorm ideas for your business name, it can be helpful to first start with a list of the qualities you want that name to communicate. Make a list of the core values of your organization, as well as the types of products and services that you offer. It can also be helpful to write a mission statement, which is a few sentences about what you’re trying to emphasize to your target audience in the best way possible.
For the best results, keep it short and sweet. As a rule of thumb, if the name of your business requires explanation, it probably isn’t a good name. Remember that people tend to prefer real words for business names as opposed to words you’ve invented or combined, so try to stay away from complicated words, initials, or other elements that have no meaning outside of the context of your business in the first place.
The next step will involve making sure that no other business currently operates with the name you’ve chosen. The Texas Secretary of State can provide a preliminary determination on the availability of your name. You can either (512) 463-5555 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if the name you want is available. It’s best to work with a business attorney when filing with the Texas Secretary of State to make sure everything is in order.
Protecting Your Business Name Means Protecting Your Future
By the time you’ve brainstormed the perfect business name, and have done research to make sure that nobody else is using it and more, you’ve already invested a great deal of time and effort into something that will act as the core foundation of your business’s future. As a result, the next most important step to take involves protecting that future for all time. This is where a trademark comes in.
Also, it’s important to find out if you can get the domain name you want for your website. You want to to make sure that if you buy a domain that’s not your business name that the domain accurately reflects your business and what you do. You can search to see if the domain you want is available.
Trademarks are commonly used to protect not only your business name, but also your brand and even your products. It’s an important part of establishing a brand, especially when it comes to distinguishing your goods and services from those of competitors.
Make no mistake: if you have branding that is unique to your business (which can include things like a logo in addition to your name), you need a trademark. When filing for a trademark in Texas, it is always recommended to work with an attorney that specializes in this very thing so you can guarantee you have the protection you need when you need it the most. Here’s how an attorney can help:
- An attorney can help you draft a description of your business, which is one of the many intricacies of filing for a trademark in Texas. This description is more than just a collection of words—it must properly outline the goods and services you provide, how they’re different from those of your competitors and more so that you can add as much validity as possible to your trademark name.
- If you plan on including your last name as part of your trademark claim, you’ll also need to be able to show that this name is associated specifically with your business and not anybody else’s. An attorney can also help you with this.
- An attorney will continue to play an ongoing role in your business moving forward because once you have been approved for your trademark, enforcing that trademark becomes very important. If another business tries to use your trademark, you must protect your business via filing suit for trademark infringement or you run the risk of losing the trademark and the branding you’ve built.
- In Texas, any trademark that a business receives is only valid for five years from the date of issuance. As a result, an attorney can help you re-apply and renew that trademark when the time comes to guarantee protection on an ongoing basis. An attorney can also help you get a federal trademark if you expand your business outside of Texas.
Contact Saraiya Pllc Today
Starting your own business can be a massive undertaking, but thankfully this is one road that you don’t have to travel alone. If you’re looking for more information about how to best develop, start and protect your business in and around the great state of Texas, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today for more information.