Naming your business

Choosing a name for your business 

So, you want to start a business but don’t quite know where to start. You are in the right place! The first step is to pick a name for your business. This is the building block of your brand and will reflect your business for years to come.

Stuck on how to pick a great name? 

Here are ways to generate business name ideas:

  • Think about the product or service you are offering.
  • Consider using your personal name.
  • Use PhatBiz domain name registration services
  • Make a list of words that describe your business.

When choosing a name, remember to… 

Ensure it’s easy to pronounce and remember.

Avoid hard to spell names.

Pick a name that won’t limit your growth if you plan on expanding.

Researching your business name 

You have ideas for a business name, but before you register it with the government and order 1,000 business cards, do a search of the following: 

  • The general web. Search for your business name ideas on the web to check if an existing business is already using it or if there’s an alternative meaning you didn’t know about.
  • Registered business names and trademarks. Order a Nuans report to search existing Canadian corporate names, and conduct a search of registered trademarks in Canada on the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) website.
  • Domain names. You can search for available domain names using a tool called WHOIS. If the one you want is taken, you may want to look at alternatives – we’ll get into that later.
  • Social media handles. Which social media platforms are you going to use to promote your business? Find what handles are available.

Tip: Registering a domain name should be one of the first steps in setting up your business before anything is publicly announced and before you register with the government. This ensures you can claim the domain name you want, before someone beats you to it.

Register your business name and trademark

Once you find the perfect business name, and ideally after you have registered your domain, it is time to register it with the government. Failing to register your business name can result in significant fines and other legal issues.

You should also consider registering a trademark to protect your brand. Trademarks are elements that make your business unique such as words, slogans, designs and more. Registering your trademarks shows that it is yours and prevents competitors from using it or something similar.

Start your own business today