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What’s Your Company Name?

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It took you years to develop the idea. Trial and error, frustration, and then finally, success. A product you’re proud of is ready to go to market and next it’s time to form the company. At some point early in the process you’re going to need a name for your company but don’t pick it too hastily. There are plenty of potential pitfalls that come with picking a company name.

Obviously, your company name has marketing implications. Some experts believe that picking a name that tells the customer who you are and what you do is best. Others believe that a more opened ended or even made up word offers a clean slate in which to build upon.

Of course, if you want it done right, hire a professional. A business naming service will assist you with naming your company but they are expensive. Ranging from a few thousand to more than $35,000, this can take a large bite out of your startup budget but your company name is one of the most important parts of your startup activities and not just for marketing reasons.

Let’s assume that along with developing your product, you thought of a catchy name. In fact, you name your product the ILight. It’s a revolutionary new light that is not only cool but uses half of the power of any other light. Because of that, you name your company ILight.com

Your new ILight goes to the manufacturer with the name stamped on it, a graphic designer develops the box with your catchy name, and you make business cards, start to develop a website, and even make a big sign.

You know that there are services that can assist you with incorporating your business and filing all paperwork with state and federal agencies so you contact one of the online services and they start the process and right away a problem develops:  ILight is a registered trademark owned by a technology company.  Or maybe in your state, somebody already registered that name as their company name.

You now have two choices: try to purchase the trademark from the technology company or business owner or rebrand your product throwing away all of the money that you already spent on your ILight branding.

How do you avoid a costly mistake like this? First, make sure you regard the naming of your company as more than just a marketing decision. For that reason, solicit professional help. Before you invest money in to branding your business, investigate and make sure that your name isn’t already trademarked.

Then, hire a business incorporation service to file all of the necessary paperwork to register your business. After all of that is complete and you know that your business name is not the property of somebody else, then start your branding.