Selecting a business name is an important step toward fulfilling your dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur. As such, this is a time where you should consider seeking legal assistance.
Choosing a Business Name
Talking to friends and family, conducting focus groups with potential clients or customers, and using online tools such as Namium or NameMesh can help you brainstorm ideas for your new business name. Some questions to ask yourself as you’re selecting your business name include:
- What do you want people to feel or think of when they hear your business name?
- Does the name fit with your overall branding?
- What names are your competitors using? What do you like or dislike about those names?
- Are there similar names being used elsewhere that could be confused with your business?
- Is the name easy to pronounce and spell?
- Is the appropriate domain name available for your website?
Keep in mind that there are some important legal restrictions associated with naming different types of business structures. For example, an LLC in Virginia must include the words “limited liability company” or “limited company” or one of the abbreviations in the business name. In addition, certain words—such as “bank,” “trust,” “engineer,” “architecture,” “land surveying,” United States,” “national,” “Federal,” and “reserve”—are restricted to use by businesses providing specific services. An attorney can advise you on the best legal structure for your business, as well as what restrictions Virginia officials will place on the name of your new company.
Making it Legal
Once you’ve selected your business name, you’ll need to register it with the State Corporation Commission. If you’ve formed a limited liability company, a corporation, or a limited partnership, registering the business itself will also register your business name.
Although it’s not legally required, registering your business name as a trademark may be a good idea. This protects you from finding out someone else has adopted your business name and is benefitting from the recognition you’ve worked to establish.
A qualified business law attorney can assist you with registering your business name and help ensure that the name you’ve selected won’t become a liability as you work toward growing your brand.
Do You Have Questions About the Future of Your Business?
If you have questions about the legal issues associated with running a successful business, our experienced business law attorney can help. Please contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office. We also have offices throughout Virginia, including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Suffolk.