How to choose (and protect) your company name

So you have decided a name for your business. Be sure that somebody has thought about it already and has even got the domain. So having a name is not enough – you need to have:

  • A domain
  • Social Media Handles
  • Trademark
  • Intellectual property rights

Pick a Name That Reflects Your Business Plan. Here are some points to consider as you choose a name:

How will your name look?

On the web, as part of a logo, on social media, especially if you are keen about twitter – twitter handles have a character limit. I know this business which is called 13*N and 80*E – these are apparently the coordinates of Chennai. But it is such a clumsy name, nobody remembers the numbers, difficult to pronounce and their email IDs are a mess.

 Is it unique?

Pick a name that hasn’t been claimed by others, online or offline. A quick web search and domain name search will alert you to any existing use.

 Check for Trademarks

You can easily do a public search on the Ministry of Commerce & Industry – Controller general of Patents, Designs & Trademarks to find if the name has a trademark on it already

Pick a Name That is Web-Ready

In order to claim a website address or URL, your business name needs to be unique and available. It should also be rich in key words that reflect what your business does. This is why naming your business after yourself often just doesn’t cut it. To find out if your business name has been claimed online, do a simple web search to see if anyone is already using that name.

You’ll also need to check whether a domain name (or web address) is available. You can do this using the WHOIS database of domain names.  If it is available, be sure to claim it right away. This guide explains how to register a domain name.

Claim Your Social Media Identity

It’s a good idea to claim a Twitter name early in the naming process. A name for your Facebook page can be set up and changed, but you can only claim a vanity URL or custom URL once you’ve got 25 fans or “likes.” This custom URL name must be unique, or un-claimed. Be warned, once set up, the URL can’t be changed. Ask your friends to become fans of your page, even if it’s only a shell at the start, so you can secure your custom URL sooner rather than later.

Register Your New Business Name

Registering a business name is a confusing area for new business owners. What does it mean and what are you required to do?

More about it here:

Apply for Trademark Protection

You can apply for Trademark Registration on the Ministry of Commerce & Industry – Controller general of Patents, Designs & Trademark site. It is an easy online process and usually closed within 3 weeks at the max.


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