The naming of a business or your startup goes beyond finding one which is catchy, sounds great in the ear or communicates your product and service. I believe there are some steps many founders and sole-proprietors are overlooking as they crack their brains on whether to choose from using their names for the business or picking something modern and trendy. These steps range from physical checks at Registrar General and conducting a digital search as well.
I met a young woman who wanted to start a home tutoring business for young kids. I gave her free advice on how to name her business which she finally chose to be something religious (This is pretty popular in Ghana by the way) so i advised her to register the name soon. However, she kind of chose to make flyers before doing this. So I asked her what she would do if she went to Registrar's General and she was told the name was already taken? She lapsed into silence.
So back to the steps.
1. Check for availability at Registrar's General
Now that this department of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General is embarking on re-registration of companies due to a late-but-welcoming move to computerize their systems, don't be too surprised when you are told that your prospective business name has already been taken. Don't send someone to go, just bear the traffic and find out for yourself.
2. Online Search
Conduct an online search for your business name on Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and anywhere else you would want to create your social media landmark. Don't be surprised to see three or four accounts on Instagram having the same name as your business. You would be left with adding an underscore (_) or numbers to your business name to be more distinctive but then that wouldn't look great on your branding materials.
Check Facebook Pages to find out the existing pages and don't be too surprised to find similar names on there as well. As a startup, its more professional for your brand to have a consistent name across all the social media platforms. Avoid something that looks like this:
Your customers would be too confused!
3. Domain Name Check
Having a website during the early stages of your startup can seem costly but why not save yourself some grief by reserving your business name through a domain check on checkdomain.com? There is nothing more horrendous than having a fabulous business idea which goes through all the phases, launches and then when it seems you are ready to go online, your business name has been taken by someone else and its available for $10,000! Reserve the name or pay as little as $5 on some web hosting providers sites. You won't regret this trust me.
Taking time to research for your startup, takes dedication and patience and being thorough. Check and check and double-check to be sure that your brand name is as unique as the product and service you are offering.
Do you have a startup? Did you check online to ensure the business name was available? Share your experience here.