Choosing a good business name.

So you gave up the job search, going for job interviews, filing for unemployment insurance, and are ready for self-employment, so what's next? After you've created a business plan, the next step is choosing a good business name. A good name is the start of an excellent trademark. The name should be unforgettable and generate a positive reaction when seen and heard. Here are some guidelines on how you can create the perfect one that isn't already taken by another business:

Reflect on the perception you want to create by the sound of the name. Put pen to paper and sort the words according their main denotation.

  • Consider the feeling you want people to get and think about words that create similar feelings in you. Find phrases and alternative words.
  • Look for translations of the words and connotations such as color, animals, plants, people, and actions.
  • List different mixtures of the words, phrases and part of the words.
  • Evaluate the lists and write down the feelings associated with each word or phrase.
  • Ask a second opinion on the feelings the words create, easy pronouncing, and the lasting impressions.
  • Discard the ones you don't like and rank the rest according to their importance.
  • Research the availability of the name.
  • Find out if you can register the name as a domain since you want the name to be part of the domain on the web.
  • Make use if the Internet and business name searches at the company registrar office in your town.
  • Register the domain.
  • Protection is the next step in choosing a good business name. Apply for registration of a trademark.

Further guidelines in choosing a good business name:

  • Stay away from names such as Mickey's Balloons or Pete's Pizzas since they are not easily remembered and are difficult to trademark.
  • Steer clear of common names that plainly illustrate the merchandise or service, such as Wooden Windows or Stainless Steel Cabinets, Inc.
  • Refrain from using place names because you may want to expand or move to another location and then your business will still say Florida Meat when you are in Texas.
  • Don't limit the name to a small service or product field, rather think in global or expansion terms, including the possibility that your product line may change altogether.
  • Don't make the name long or difficult to pronounce.

Requirements for choosing a good business name

  • A phrase book, glossary or thesaurus, lexicon for translations, and a dictionary
  • Paper and pen
  • Second opinion
  • Internet access for domain names