Are you curious if your chosen business name is taken? With the ever-changing business landscape, it’s important to protect yourself and your brand identity by checking if a business name is taken.
In this blog, we’ll explore the creative methods you can use to determine if a business name is already taken, including:
- Using a business name generator.
- Conducting a trademark search.
- Researching intellectual property laws.
Let’s get started on your journey to finding the perfect business name!
Checking Business Name Availability
Before you decide on a name for your business, it is crucial to check that it has not already been claimed by another company. You can check online to see if the name or any similar names are in use. It’s important to search the web and social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Yelp to ensure the name isn’t used anywhere.
Also check other states’ business registration databases and websites such as Secretary of State offices and USPTO (U.S. Patent & Trademark Office) since registered trademarks apply nationwide.
In addition to checking for exact business names, you will also want to look for words similar in spelling or sound that may be claimed as a trademark by another business. These similar words could easily cause confusion with the public, resulting in potential lawsuits from confusion with other Companies’ brands.
Make sure that any of the words used in your business name don’t have a close relationship with another brand-name so that there are no potential legal issues down the line from trademark infringements or deceptive marketing practices.
If you’re uncertain on how to begin checking if a chosen business name is taken or how to ensure you don’t infringe on any existing trademarks, seek professional legal advice from an Attorney which specializes in Corporations & Business Law before registering your desired business name.
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Searching for Existing Businesses With Similar Names
When choosing a business name, it is important to make sure that it is not already in use by another business. This will help avoid confusion and legal issues down the line.
To ensure that the new name hasn’t been taken, start by searching online. Search engines can help give you a good idea if there are similar businesses in existence or if your proposed name has already been registered by someone else.
Also search for other records, such as trademarks, websites, and social accounts with the same names.
If something exists, make sure to go through the steps of changing your business name as listed below before you register and start operating with that name:
- Search public records in your state to find existing businesses with similar names.
- Consult professionals such as lawyers and accountants who specialize in corporate formation to make sure your desired business name does not conflict with any company names on record or potential trademark infringements.
- Determine whether any of those companies have registered trademarks for their logos or slogans that may conflict with yours. You can do this by visiting the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.
- File an appropriate trade name registration or trademark application, depending on what is required in your state or locality.
Using a Business Name Generator
Using a business name generator is a great way to identify potential names that are available to use. It can also help entrepreneurs narrow down possible choices as they search for the perfect name.
To use a business name generator, individuals may search for a keyword or phrase that matches their business idea. The generator will then provide several suggestions based on the keyword or phrase provided.
It is important to note, however, that this does not guarantee availability of the business name in the marketplace. To ensure that no one else is using the same name, it is necessary to check with the appropriate authorities—such as your state’s Secretary of State—to ensure availability.
Additionally, it is important to consider trademark and copyright implications when selecting an appropriate business name.
Registering Your Business Name
Before starting a business, it is essential to ensure your chosen name can be used for the purpose. Depending on where your business is located, there may be different requirements for selecting an appropriate name.
In most countries, it is necessary to register a unique business name with the relevant governmental authority or trademark office in order to legally use that name for commercial or trading purposes.
There are several steps involved in registering your business name:
- Research: Research existing trademarks and registered companies with similar names in order to find out if your desired business name is taken or if it could infringe upon another’s copyrighted material.
- Register: Submit an application with the relevant governmental department along with any required documents and fees related to registering the company’s name.
- Approval: The registration process can take several weeks as review processes must be completed before a decision is made as to whether a company can use the desired name.
- Retention of Trademark Name: Once approved, you will need to submit verification of use (annually/biannually) of your registered trademarked name or unregistered copyright in order for such protection of it to remain valid and secure.
Consulting With a Legal Professional
When researching if a business name is taken and owned by someone else, it is always a good idea to consult with a legal professional. They can ensure that the name you decide on does not infringe on another business.
It is important to remember that similar sounding names or spellings can cause trouble down the road and must be avoided at all costs.
An attorney can help with the process of filing for your business name and trademark protection if necessary. A trademark is a form of intellectual property that can protect words, logos, symbols, or devices from being used by another party without permission.
People who obtain trademarks are able to stop others from using that protected mark in their own businesses for commercial purposes. By having your business name formally protected it will provide you with greater assurance that you do not have to worry about any potential legal issues in the future.
By having legal assistance throughout this process also guarantees that all applicable regulations are considered every step of the way, which should result in a trouble-free experience when setting up your new business.
Checking Domain Availability
Before you can begin the process of registering a business name, you should first check the domain name availability to ensure the name is not already being used. This can be done easily online with little effort.
You will want to use a domain search tool (such as GoDaddy) to do this, or consult with a skilled web designer for advice on choosing a unique domain for your business.
Your business website will be registered through an accredited registrar such as GoDaddy, Network Solutions, or NameCheap, which oversee the rules and regulations surrounding registering and keeping a website active.
The registrar maintains records of all registered names that are accepted by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). It is important to note that trademarks cannot be registered online, but must instead be done through the United States Patent and Trademark Office or Trademark Clearinghouse.
Once you have checked availability using the registrar’s search tool (using both exact matches and various misspellings of words), it is time to check public databases – such as Dun & Bradstreet Directors/ Officers’ Index – to make sure that your chosen company name contains no conflicting trade names or business registrations in any jurisdiction where you may conduct business operations.
Your state division of corporations can assist you in this process further by conducting additional searches on existing corporations using Business Name Availability Searches.
The last step prior to finalizing registration would include clearing documents such as Articles of Incorporation, Operating Agreements, Bylaws and EIN numbers (Employer Identification Number). When all these steps are completed correctly your desired company name should be secured; however we recommend contacting an attorney or accountant for assistance if needed throughout this entire process.
Avoiding Brand Confusion With Competitors
When you’re starting a business, it’s important to do your due diligence before selecting a name. Picking the right name is key to attracting customers, establishing an identity and promoting brand recognition.
However, using a name that is similar to another business can create confusion and create legal problems. If you use the same or a very similar name to an existing company or product, consumers may get confused as to who they are dealing with – even if those customers are from different states or countries.
This can lead to trademark infringement suits and other legal troubles (and expenses).
To avoid this problem and potential legal action by competitors for trademark infringement, it is important to know if your business name is already taken. There are several ways of doing this:
- Perform an internet search using general search engines like Google or Yahoo.
- Do a trademark search using the United States Patent and Trademark Office databases (USPTO).
- Consult public records databases.
- Use an online company or brand verification service like knowem.com which provides detailed search results including details on competitors in each industry/sector who currently own trademarks associated with identical/similar terms.
Remember, ignorance of law does not entitle you any leniency when it comes to matters such as trademark infringement litigation, so take the time necessary to ensure that all similar existing businesses have been taken into consideration prior to finalizing your own business name selection.
Conducting a Trademark Search, Exploring Intellectual Property Laws, and Researching The Trademark Registry
Conducting a trademark search helps you determine if the business name you want to choose is already taken. It also helps you to identify similar trademarks that may be in existence, or may be related in some way to the one you’re considering.
Researching intellectual property laws and exploring the trademark registry provide additional information about existing trademarks and their owners. To begin your trademark search, create a list of relevant keywords that describe your business name and the types of products or services associated with it.
A thorough keyword list will help ensure that you locate any modified versions of words or phrases related to your planned name, as well as whether or not similar names have already been registered or used by other businesses. Additionally, use any variant endings for words (words ending in “s,” “ed,” etc.), as well as exploratory terms like synonyms and common misspellings.
Next, search the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) database website for relevant trademarks registered under your keywords. When submitting a request for trademark searches specific to your business name, use only exact phrases found within the proposed mark; this increases accuracy when searching within domain databases such as USPTO.
Intellectual property laws exist at both a national and international level; familiarizing yourself with these laws ensures that registration of your business’ new trademark isn’t refused due to copyright infringement. Laws diminish likelihood of potential legal challenges regarding similar or seemingly identical marks; this should reassure clients who call and seek remedies for conflicts caused by duplicated properties owned by different entities.
Further research should involve checking the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) database on USPTO’s website before registering a permanent domain name linked to an online presence for your business.
This system connects marks used in commerce with active domains hosting webpages bearing questionable similarities to known properties created by other companies listed on TESS’s registry roll-outs.