Company names – what’s the deal?

Company names is a subject that troubles many people who are setting up a company for the first time. In this part of our website, we’ll aim to answer some of the most common questions that our clients ask.

Is my company name important?

When you are setting up a company, a big decisions you’ll have to make is the name of your company. While the name itself isn’t all that important from any sort of legal perspective, in most cases it will be really important to you and potentially to your success. You only need to look around you to see that we are surrounded by names that are easy to remember. You will also see names that have a great brand built around them.

choosing company namesWhile a company name and the power of the brand are a bit ‘chicken and egg’ e.g. are Apple and Google powerful because of their name or because of their brand? In reality the two go hand-in-hand, but it’s only fair to say that the names are important to some extent. So when you’re choosing your company name, take your time and give it worthy consideration.

How do I choose a company name?

One of the most important things to bear in mind when you choose a company name is that you’re likely to have that name for a long time; so you need to like it. In addition to choosing a name that you like, you need to do your best to choose a name that will have positive connotations for your customers and clients. Being memorable and easy to spell is also an advantage. In fact, it’s worth avoiding names that are difficult to spell or might be offensive like the plague. It’s also worth avoiding names that are too much like another company name or a play on words – unless you’re confident that it can’t be misunderstood.

How do I know if the company names I choose is available?

The simplest way to ascertain if company names you have chosen are available is to do a search on the Companies House Register. Doing this will tell you if another company has the same or a similar name. Other things to consider when naming your business are whether or not the company names you choose has been registered as a UK trade mark or European trade mark.

Doing a slightly deeper search, for example checking that there are no trade mark registrations in the name you’ve chosen will help you avoid confusion in the future. It is also worth doing a Google search once you’ve chosen your company name, because although there mightn’t be another limited company or trademark with the same name, there could be an unincorporated company using that name. If that is the case, you should think carefully about proceeding for fear of confusion amongst your customers or clients.

Do my website domain and my company name have to be the same?

Your website domain name and your company name don’t have to be the same. However, it is important that you give consideration to both in order to make the best of promotional opportunities. Creating a name and a domain name, that are memorable and representative of both the brand image that you want to portray and the values of your business, are a great place to start. The problem with domain names at this point in time is that some of the best ones have already been snapped up. What you need to do when choosing your domain name is make sure it sits well with your business name or concept and that it’s not being used already in another form by one of your competitors.

The issue with domain names now is that there are lots of different suffixes. With these TLDs, to give them their technical title, you can choose from eg. co.uk, .com, .org, .net and so on. While it might be tempting to think it’s not an issue to choose the same name as one of your competitors, but just with a different suffix, this could be business suicide. Why? Simply because your promotional efforts might inadvertently send your prospects straight to your competitor’s website without them realising. Even though your company name and your domain name don’t have to be the same, give due consideration to both and do your research.

If you’re setting up a company and are worried about choosing the right company names then why not let us help? At The Smart Contractor, we’ll work with you to make all the right choices for your business – now and in the future.