Caution: naming your new biz may be harder than you think

Over the last month or so, I have grappled with naming my new solo public relations practice. Trying to name any new venture can be a real challenge. It reminds me of all the names couples go through trying to find the right name for their child. I remember going through name after name when my son was born. You want it to be the perfect name—and yet there are so many family expectations!

Would you believe naming a business is even harder?

name tag

That’s because unlike a person’s name, your business name should be unique—or at least you want it to be. Sure, legally, more than one business can have the same name, provided certain conditions are met such as being located in different states or operating in different industries. But imagine if new parents had to register their baby’s name and run a check to make sure no other child in their area had the same name!

I truly wanted my business’ name to be original and different. I say “wanted” because every name I have thought of has been taken by someone else. All that seems to be left are nonsensical, made-up names. I have gone through hundreds of names, or variations on names. I run them through Google to see if I can find any business in my field with that name. I also run checks on Network Solutions to see if anyone has that domain name or a variation on that name.

And each time I think I am close to creating the perfect appellation, I discover that someone else out there has the same one! So after all of this, what have I come up with?

Drum roll…

Jay Morris Communications.

Yep, that’s it. At least no one else has it! In my searches, would you believe I discovered there is already a jaymorris.com? Is there no room left for originality?

If you are grappling with naming a new venture, you’d be wise to follow some of the tips from the Small Business Administration’s How to Name a Business web page. If you are incorporating in Virginia, you can use the Virginia State Corporation Commission’s Name Distinguishability search engine to see if any other business has your name.

Once you’ve picked a name, you will also want register it so your hard work isn’t taken by someone else. Check your state and local jurisdictions to see what’s entailed in your area.

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