You’ve been working in a large corporation for several years doing bookkeeping and/or accounting and a recent restructuring there has prompted you to go out on your own.
You have the skills and resources to launch your own firm, you’ve created a solid business plan, and you even have a couple of clients ready to use your services.
So all that remains is registering your company in your province or state and for that, you need to have a name.
And then the process stalls.
You want something clever and memorable, but so many of those names seem to be taken.
How do you find the perfect name for your company?
Start by eliminating some options
The issue of securing the right name is so broad that you can drown in it. It helps to begin by eliminating a good number of options, and then you have a more manageable pool from which to draw your best name.
The first step in the digital age is to eliminate any name that identifies you with one geographic area.
If you call your company by the place you live in, as in Burlington Bookkeeping Company or Abbotsford Accounting, it will be a harder sell to convince your online clients that you are able to meet their needs.
Even if you plan to just service local businesses, it is a mistake to select any name that limits you now from going on line to offer your services in the future.
The fact is, no matter what industry you are in, you will ultimately exhaust your geographic market as your company grows, even if you can’t imagine that now.
When you want to expand, even to a neighboring community, if your brand has your town or city name in it, you are imposing a limitation burden that you can easily avoid.
Be strategic if you use your family name
Sometimes it seems like a no-brainer to just use your name and the service you provide.
We understand that urge. When Juliet originally began AIS Solutions, she operated under the name Aurora (her last name) International (she only had one client outside of the country but she thought it made her sound more impressive) Services.
The thing is that as the company grew bigger than her and she wanted it to be sustainable even if she was no longer a hands-on part of it (which hasn’t happened yet of course), the new name of AIS Solutions became more representative of what it is.
The bottom line on using your name is that if you intend to create a family legacy, as in Ford Motor Company, use your family name. Otherwise, you may find it limiting as well.
Avoid the limitations of specific service mentions
The third thing to avoid is creating a corporate name around one specific service that is the backbone of your business today. That is because as the pace of change escalates, and new technology constantly pushes us to adapt and offer new services, you may find yourself limited in branding your new services by a name solidly linked to the past.
A good example would be a name like Susan Jones Wedding Photography. In one way, it says it all. But let’s assume Susan wants to branch out into doing event photography to increase her business, or she finds that doing new construction photography is a profitable niche and she wants to move more in that direction.
Or what if she starts doing videos as well, but people don’t realize she does that because of her name?
When it comes to bookkeeping, for example, does that say all that you want to say, or do you also do tax preparation? If you call your company ABC Accounting, does that also let people know that you source government grants, prepare business plans, do tax preparations, and create corporate budgets and cash flow management solutions?
Perhaps it would be a better idea to have a more generic name, and then a tag line that includes two or three of your most in-demand services.
How to find a creative name solution
Eric J. Nisall wrote a blog a few years ago how he came up with a name for his accounting business that served the niche market of freelancers.
After toying with a large number of options, he settled on “AccountLancer,” a clever combination of the two names that still sent a message about his services and his niche.
That is one creative way to solve the naming dilemma.
A bookkeeper with an array of other services to provide financial service work for clients might settle on “BookWorks.”
Finding memorable names
MarketingWit once produced a long list of witty and creative names for bookkeeping and accounting firms that included cute variations like:
- Count On Us
- The Finance Guys
- The Number Plumber
I know. I know. Some are corny, but funny and more importantly memorable. J
Legal considerations about your company name
In Canada, registration of corporate names is handled at a provincial level, and in the United States, at a state level, so even when you have your name searched, it is a good idea to do extra research like Googling the name you are considering and checking to see what comes up.
You will have to have your name cleared by a lawyer or professional search company if you are going to register it as your corporate title.
You will also have to avoid any conflict with names that are currently protected by trademark.
Keep in mind that even if your suggested name isn’t an exact duplicate of a corporate name, it still might be a trademark violation if it is extremely close. This is one place where it is probably best to err on the side of caution so you don’t run into legal problems down the road.
Social media domains are also a concern
Before you pay to legally register a company with your chosen name, it is also smart to see if you can purchase a domain under that name.
You will want to set up your website, designated email address, and social media sites and if you cannot secure a domain with any kind of recognizable version of your corporate name, it will seriously complicate your marketing efforts.
When you do find a suitable domain name, purchase it in its many forms such as .com, .ca, .org. and .net, just to name some so that you have some protection.
And, finally when you are considering a name also consider the length of your website and email address. Is it easy to remember? I mentioned Aurora International Services earlier in this post and the URL for it was way too long with www.aurorainternationalservices.net and let’s not get me started on the email address.
Good luck and good naming.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Until next time, take care.
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