A Rose By Any Other Name …
A frequent question I am asked from new business owners is, “What should I name my business?”
Keep in mind that people are not hiring you for the name but are hiring you for you! Regardless of what name or website name you choose, I strongly suggest owning your name as a url. Unfortunately, for mine, loriebrown.com was already taken. Dot coms are still the best so even if you put in your middle name or a title, like LorieBrownRN.com, LorieBrownLNC.com or LorieBrownConsulting.com that is helpful.
“Should I trademark/register my name?” That’s a question that pops up once you settle on what you are going to call your business. It is difficult to trademark a name. It has to be unique like Kleenex or Coca Cola. Think about the new drugs that are out there. The only way they become known is by the pharmaceutical company spending tons of money advertising their product’s name on media. It would be amazing if your business could get to that point but chances are, at least at this point, that you’re not ready to put millions of dollars to advertise your business.
If you want to find a great name, first brainstorm a bunch of names and, if you don’t want to use your name, what is important to you. For example, if you like horses you might try “The Winner’s Circle” which might sound good. If you are a legal nurse consultant and value integrity, “Integrity Legal Nursing Consulting” might be what you would like.
Make sure the internet domain is available. If it is not, then there’s a good chance that someone else is using the name you chose.
There are a lot of names that are similar. Use a web search to see if someone has already laid claim to the name you want.
There are so many legal nurse consultants that, my tagline from 21 years ago, “Bridging the Gap Between Law and Medicine” is widely used by other legal nurse consultants.
Unfortunately, these taglines are not available to be patented or trademarked.
The next thing you can do is go to your Secretary of State’s website and search business names to see if there are any businesses in your area with a similar name.
Remember you can always change names. I started out as “Nurse Protection Association” and eventually changed it to “empowerednurses.org.”
The first name may not always be right for you and you find a name that explains your business better.
You may want to search the uspto.gov to see if your name is taken and register your intent to use that business name if it is not taken. This is a way to avoid patent or trademark infringement on the name. This may be unnecessary unless you are going to have a huge staffing agency or create a product that you want to get in the hands of millions.
Again, you are always safe using your own name and that helps you build a relationship with your potential clients.