Thinking of a business name is often the most difficult part of setting up your business. With most of the ‘perfect’ domain names already taken, it can become difficult to think of a name that conveys your business in a memorable and meaningful way. Here are a few steps to follow when you are creating your business name:
Think of words: Create a list of names that you like the look and sound of.These words can be later joined with other words to create a new word.
Creating word combinations: Try LeanDomainSearch.com to see if there are any quality word combinations available for registration. The site works by recommending domain names with the suggested word that you have chosen. For example, if you type in ‘Jade’ then hit search, it will recommend domain names that are available with the word Jade in it such as ‘JadeManager’ or ‘Jadeology’.
Creating new words: If you can’t find a word using Lean Domain Search, try WordDroid.com to generate fictitious word derivations. Enter the letters you like into the search field and it will display new words created using those letters you entered, which have a domain available for purchase. The purpose of using these tools is to study the generated results in order to build an understanding of how your keywords can be branded into company names.
Domain Name search: Once you have a shortlist of names for your business, visit GoDaddy (or another domain provider site) and search your proposed business names to see if the ‘.com’ or ‘.com.au’ extensions are available. This step is important because if the ‘.com’ or ‘.com.au’ extensions are not available, you will need to do some investigating and see if the owner of these domains are a competing business or not. It wouldn’t be good if traffic was being directing away to your competitors when they are in fact trying to find your website.
Trade Mark search: If the ‘.com’ or ‘.com.au’ extension is available, the next step is to do a Trade Mark Search to see if anyone else owns a trade mark with your proposed business name. If you were to use a name for your business, which was trade marked within the class of goods or services that your business operates in, you would be infringing on the trade mark owner’s trade mark and the result would be having to re-brand your business among other legal consequences. When conducting the searches, use different spelling of the word, as someone else may own a trade mark with different spelling (but sounding the same) which would inhibit your ability to obtain that Trade Mark. If the trade mark searches don’t display any results, there is a good chance you can now buy your chosen business name domain and apply for a trade mark.
Business Name search: The last search to conduct is a Business Name search for your proposed Business Name. The search results will advise whether or not that business name has been registered with ASIC in Australia. It is important to note that registering a Business Name is different to registering a Trade Mark. You can find a great explanation of the differences here, however, in short, registering a business, company or domain name does not give you any proprietary rights and the same word(s) may be registered by different people as a business name in other states and territories. Only a trade mark can provide proprietary rights protection allowing you to take legal action against anyone infringing your trade mark if the business name owner uses it for goods or services like those covered by your trade mark registration.
Purchase your business name domains: When purchasing your business name domain, remember to buy ALL the extensions that are good extensions (eg. ‘.net’, ‘.org’, ‘.clothing’ if you are in the business of selling clothing and any other applicable extensions). The different extensions can all be redirected to your main website and it is a very inexpensive preventative measure to stop others buying the domains. For example, Taylor Swift buys all of the Pornography domain extensions so no one can set up a website which might lead people to believe that Taylor Swift pornography can be found on that website. It is all about protecting your best interests and not so much about whether you will use the domain extension.
You may need to repeat this process several times before you can find the right business name that ticks all of these boxes. Protecting and managing your IP is important when establishing your product or service in the market and is often the difference between success or failure. Putting in the effort now will ensure your business has the best possible chance of success. If you require any assistance with any of the above steps, contact us and we will provide you with the guidance you need.