Choosing the right brand name for your startup

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Identifying and choosing a suitable business/brand name is perhaps the first and the most important step towards creating your very own startup. A lot of time and effort goes into searching for and settling on a suitable name, and its equally, if not more important to protect that name.  A brand name that you chose is not merely a name, but a reflection of the ideas, thoughts and relevance of the business symbolized by designs, logos, patterns, colours etc,.

Why is choosing the right brand name for your startup important?

People often tend to think of combinations of common names to create something unique and different. What strikes you as unique may have been thought of already and you would have see if that is the case. You do not want to get your business cards ready, name boards set, product boxes printed with your business/brand name, domain names registered, logo designs and within a few days of launching your business receive a cease and desist notice from another business who claims that their trademarks are infringed by your brand/business name. Imagine the trouble you would have to go through making a change and choosing another brand/business name all over again or defending a trademark law suit.

One of the things to be borne in mind while choosing a name is the audience who the business or the brand will cater to. The name should resonate with the type of products or services the business is planning to engage in and should be clear, precise and attractive enough to remind the customers of your business and its activities. This is the key to creating a unique yet memorable name. Checking online sources for similar names would be of great help. Usually it is not advisable to have a very specific name either with respect to the products or the geographical location especially if you are planning to venture out into other locations and expand your products and clients.    Also don’t limit yourself with the options, venture into names and words which a common person would not think of. Get inputs from others as to what could be a striking name to them. Building a clear base with the relevant information is the foundation to creating a successful business or brand name.

The following steps needs to be kept in mind while choosing a business/brand name

  1. Try a wide internet search for any possible similarity in the business/brand name.
  2. Search the database at Ministry of Corporate affairs (MCA) (www.mca.gov.in) for any other companies which might be registered with a similar name.
  3. Check if any other domain name is registered with the same or a similar name as yours. Various search engines are available on the internet to check for existing or available domain names. You can try www.instantdomainsearch.com or any other similar sites for this purpose.
  4. Most importantly search the Indian trademark records for any earlier trademark applications/registrations with a similar name. This is extremely important to retain your business/brand name and save yourself and your business from unnecessary legal hassles.

Registering a business/brand name is a long process and if done efficiently and carefully, it is the biggest investment one could make towards their business and its future.

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