When Naming Your Business, the Legal Structure of Your Company Can Affect Your Decision



In naming your business, your business moniker and your domain may differ for important reasons. For example, if you form a corporation, your online venture may be a subsidiary of your organization. It so, your corporate name may be Smith Enterprises, while your domain name can be something completely different. (You can add subsequent sites under the same umbrella.) The same is true if you have a service company —with the business and domain names differing.

If you have a sole proprietorship or a partnership, you may choose to use your domain name for your venture. Either way, once you have a name, you will need to register it as a trade name with the Secretary of State where you formed your legal entity. (Your lawyer does this if you have a corporation; and if this is the case, you can only bank at a national bank, not a local one). Without registering your venture you will not be able to open a business checking account. So this is a necessary step in the naming process.

If you use a domain for your company name, don’t use the extension, .com, when registering it. Begin by checking on your state’s website for its availability. Then download the appropriate form for filing the name, and mail it in. There will be a nominal fee to register it. Once you have the paperwork from the state, take it with you to the bank to open your account.

Create a Business Name

When creating a business name, the following fill-in-the blank exercise, consisting of two sentences, is useful in formulating a name and a value proposition. The latter tells your audience how she will benefit if she buys your offer.

The first sentence helps you form a clear benefit statement—something that answers “So what?” Or, "Because of (xyz), you can..."

This differs from a feature, which gives details about a product or service. For example, the pan is Teflon coated feature). And, because it is Teflon coated, food doesn’t stick (benefit).

Thinking this way helps you come up with your key concept when you name your business.

An Exercise in Naming Your Business

(Tentative name of organization) is a (category of business) that helps (target market) attain (key benefit) or solve (key problem).

Example

(www.MasteringWebsiteMarketing.com) is a (affiliate site) that helps (individuals who are in the early stages of marketing their websites) achieve (financial success more quickly and with less frustration).

The second sentence helps you distinguish yourself from competitors when naming your business.

Unlike other (sites about website marketing), (MasteringWebsiteMarketing.com) presents pros and cons of an issue, thus helping visitors make informed decisions that are in their best interest.

Now that you have a key concept, you can further the process of naming your business by listing as many words as you can about your enterprise - its category, products or services, target market, and differentiating characteristics. The longer the list, the better. This can trigger your creativity when naming your business. Then take these words and come up with different two-word combinations that are memorable and meaningful.

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