This is the second part of the ultimate business building legal checklist. Last time we discussed all the preliminary matters you must consider when starting your online business. Today we are going to address branding yourself. This is an often overlooked but vitally important topic for online sellers.
Branding Yourself… What’s In a Name?
Honestly? Everything. This is one of the most important steps you will take in starting your business. Please don’t overlook this VERY IMPORTANT step of the process.
So here’s what you need to do to properly name your business.
- Review this blog post on how to properly name your business.
- Do a proper trademark search to make sure that the names you have chosen don’t violate anyone else’s intellectual property. Here is a resource on how to do this.
- Run an internet search on all the major search engines to make sure that a competitor hasn’t already taken your name. Search Google, Yahoo! and Bing, and make sure to check for variations in your business names.
- Run a search on a domain name database to see if your domain name is available. We recommend doing the search on https://instantdomainsearch.com/ and doing a secondary search on http://www.namecheap.com.
- Check to make sure the social media profiles for your name are available, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.
- Assuming you haven’t found any problems so far, run a search on the US Patent and Trademark Database for your proposed business name to insure that nobody else has registered the business name first.
- Finally, head over to the Secretary of State’s Website in your state and make sure the name is still available.
Still feeling good about the name you chose? Good. Pick one and let’s move on. In the next installment of this series we will discuss how to pick a proper corporate entity, get your taxes in order, and other juicy nuggets.
If you don’t want to wait, you can download the whole business building legal guide here.