Are you thinking of starting a business? Congratulations! Before choosing a business name, it is important to conduct thorough research to ensure that the name is available. In addition to conducting a business name search on your State's Secretary of State website, here are the top six (6) recommended areas to research to ensure that you are not infringing on another's brand:
- Trademark search: Conduct a comprehensive trademark search to ensure that the name is not already in use by another company or entity. This will help you avoid potential legal disputes and costly rebranding efforts.
- Domain name search: Check the availability of the domain name that corresponds to the business name you are considering. Ideally, you want to choose a name that is available as a domain name, as this will make it easier for potential customers to find your business online.
- Social media search: Search for the name on social media platforms to ensure that the handle is available for use. This will make it easier to establish a consistent brand across multiple online channels.
- Competitor research: Research the names of your competitors to ensure that your proposed name is not too similar to an existing business. This can help avoid confusion among customers and legal issues related to trademark infringement.
- Customer research: Conduct market research to determine how potential customers perceive the name and whether it accurately reflects the brand identity and values of your business. This can help you identify potential issues with the name and make adjustments as necessary.
- Cultural and linguistic research: Consider whether the name may have negative or unintended connotations in different cultures or languages. This is especially important if you plan to conduct business in other countries or with diverse customer groups.
By conducting thorough research before choosing a business name, you can help ensure that the name is legally available, reflects your brand identity and values, and more importantly, avoid a cease and desist letter