Shakespeare said, "what's there in a name"? Well in business, it means a lot. Your firm's name is the first and foremost thing to decide when you start a business and it must be chosen wisely as it is the face of your company for the time to come. For a small business especially, choosing right name can directly impact the growth or failure. The name should be such that it displays the value, expertise, and uniqueness of the service and product you are offering.
Deciding a good name for the business is vitally important and challenging at the same place. There are several other factors which need to be checked and screened before finalizing a name for your business. The name you decide needs to be cross-checked against domain availability, the ministry of corporate affairs and trademark registry. These bodies are responsible for checking whether there exists any other firm with a similar name. We are sharing some best practices to help you choose your business name.
Choosing name of the business
The first step while choosing a name for the business is creating a list of potential names. Don't have just one or two in mind, research and create a list of possible names you can choose from. Better practice is to avoid generic and common names such as Global, Hindustan, state name etc. as these have more chances of already in existence. Types of names can be divided into three categories:
Common names: Common names are based on common nouns such as the name of a person or common words. Approximately one lakh companies get registered in India every year, and common names are hard to get approved as there are high chances of such common names to be already in existence. Searchwise also companies with common names are likely to be ranked lower in the search engines. Therefore common names are generally least recommended unless you have a very strong reason associated. Some examples of companies with common names are Suyash Infotech Private limited, Ginger technologies and the likes.
Unique Names: Choosing a unique name has many advantages. Invented or self-made names are more likely to be remembered and it is easy to find domain address for them. Unique names are good for branding and trademark registration. Trademark registration and protection becomes easy with such invented names. Zomato is a good example of a unique brand name.
Descriptive names: Often times, companies have such names which themselves describe the nature of business, such names are referred to as descriptive names. Conveying the nature of business through name is a great idea, it also ranks the firm higher in search engines since people mostly describe what they want to search. Their search can act as keywords and there is a high probability of your company to be popped up as a result.
Check Name Availability with MCA
Ministry of Corporate Affairs provides a search tool where you can find if any company with a similar name already exists or not. In the tool, you can provide the company name and the object part of the company name in the activity field. The tool will return a list of companies with the similar name if any exists. The tool verifies against the database, however, the final decision is made by MCA officer who makes sure that the proposed name is not identical with any other business in existence.
Checking against trademark database
According to the Companies Act 2013, the proposed name of company or LLP is cross verified against the trademark database. This is to make sure there is no infringement taking place. MCA provides a tool for trademark verification; you can enter the proposed name, without the object part and chose the appropriate trademark class. The tool would return similar or identical names. Again even if the tool doesn't return an identical trademark, the final decision is in the hands of MCA official approving the application for name reservation.
Entrepreneurs choosing a name for their business are often confused whether to apply with MCA for name reservation even after using the tools for name availability and trademark cross verification. It is advised to apply for the name reservation with MCA to stay away from legal or trademark infringement suits. Also, new start-ups should prefer unique and creative invented names to avoid any such conflict.