Choosing a name for your business is possibly one of the most difficult decisions you are going to have to make. It's not difficult because of the work that will go into it or the branding you will have to do or the stuff you will have to purchase with your new name all over it. It's difficult because there are so many choices. It's like ordering fancy coffee. The right decision is imperative because the wrong decision could mess up your whole day.
I'm sure you have a head full of name ideas, and they are all fabulous, so how do you choose?
Think really hard about what kind of business you are opening and look at the name ideas you have. Do these names reflect your business? Do they sound like you're going to be doing what you are going to be doing? (Like you don't want to have a restaurant name E-Coli. Clearly, that sends the wrong message.) Eliminate any of the choices that don't reflect your goal.
Do a trademark search of your favorite name options to be sure some big company who could potentially sue you over your name is not already using it. Use this link to aid in your search:
Then, check the Secretary of State website to see if anyone else in Oregon is using your favorite names.
If you're not in Oregon, your Secretary of State website will probably have this information as well.
Once you've narrowed your ideas down further, check with your county clerk's office as they should have a list of fictitious or assumed business names that you won't want to use.
By then, you should probably have paired down your list. If you're still stuck with a whole bunch of name choices and you have no idea what will be best, this is the time to start taking a poll. Ask your friends. Ask strangers. Ask Yahoo! Answers and Twitter and Facebook. Come into PSF and ask us. You could get eleven opinions all in one place. Look in the phone book and see how many listings are under your business type (because the closer you are to the top of the list, the better.)
Once you've narrowed it down to the last two, put them in a hat and pick one out. If you find yourself wishing you'd pull one out over the other, then the one you're hoping for is the name you should choose. If not, then let fate decide for you. Either way, you are going to have a fabulous name for your fabulous business.