AdobeStock_288273284-min.jpeg

Steps for Choosing a
Business Name

Find the Perfect Business Name

Don't have a business name yet? Take these steps to get ideas for a business name, check its legal and online availability, and learn how to protect your business name.

Step 1:

Get Ideas for a Business Name

Step 2:

Check Business Name Availability

Step 3:

Check Domain Name Availability 

Step 4:

Protect your Business Name

Step 1: Get Ideas for a Business Name 

If you need help with getting inspiring ideas for a potential business name, consider using one of these online options:

Use a Business Name Generator

A business name generator is an online tool that can generate many business names based on your type of business or preferred business keywords. You can get one-word or multi-word business names and names that are modern, creative, or straightforward. 

Get ideas for a business name using Looka's business name generator. 

Hire an Business Naming Expert

If you don't find any business names you like with a business name generator, work with a business naming expert instead. A business naming expert can provide you with many impressive ideas that would best represent your business and brand. 

Start your search and find a business naming expert on Fiverr.

Step 2: Check Business Name Availability 

Have one or a few proposed business names? Do a quick online search to determine if a business name is legally available for you to use in your state. You should also check with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for registered business name trademarks. 

Business Name Check at the State Level

Visit your state's website and do a business name search to check if a proposed business name is available in your state. Avoid using a business name that is the same or similar to another registered business name. 

 

If you find an available business name, many states will let you reserve that name for a limited time. This a excellent option if you need more time to 

Find your state and do a quick online business name search: 

Business Name Check at Federal Level

For extra precaution, also visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website to check if a proposed business name is not registered as a nationwide trademark by another business in your industry.  

Step 3: Check Domain Name Availability  

Once you have determined that a proposed business name is legally available for you to use, the next step is to find an available domain name for your business website. Your website's name can be the same as your legal business name or a modified version. 

Use a Domain Name Registrar

To search for available domain names, use an accredited domain name registrar, which handles the registration and reservation of domain names. Many website builders and web design services offer this service. 

Consider one of these platforms where you can claim a domain name and create a business website all in one platform:

  • Squarespace 

  • Ionos 

  • Zyro 

  • Web.com 

Step 4: Protect your Business Name   

How can you legally protect your business name from others using it as their own? The best way to protect your business name is to register it as a trademark which gives it the highest form of legal protection. 

Trademark Registration

A trademark is optional but recommended if you want to discourage and prevent others from using your business name without your permission. 

If you register your business name as a trademark, you can register it as a state or federal trademark. A state trademark only provides legal protection in your state, while a federal trademark provides legal protection nationwide. 

Filing a federal trademark can be complicated. Consider using a professional online filing service such as LegalZoom or RocketLaywer.

State Trademark

Learn more about state trademarks by visiting your state's website. Learn about the requirements, filing costs, and ongoing maintenance of a state trademark. 

Federal Trademark

Learn more about a federal trademark by visiting the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) website. Learn about the requirements, filing costs, and ongoing maintenance of a federal trademark. 

For more detailed information about trademarks, read Nolo's latest edition book/ebook called:

Trademark: Legal Care for Your Business & Product Name

Lawyer Office

Do you have a question regarding Trademarks?

Get your question answered by a real lawyer with Rocket Lawyer.