Can I Use CO in My Business Name?
Can I use CO in my business name? Yes, if it represents the company well. When choosing a business name it should be well thought out, easy to say and spell.3 min read
Can I use CO in my business name? Yes, if it represents the company well. When choosing a business name it should be well thought out, easy to say and easy to spell. It may be attractive to pick names with numbers, alternative spellings or abbreviations, but this can often make it difficult for customers to find your website and social media accounts.
Naming Your Small Business
Some considerations when selecting a business name include:
- Selecting a name that is a unique set of pronounceable letters. This lets new businesses pick up the .com websites, along with all social media handles.
- Names that are popular prevent business owners from getting a .com handle. In this situation, alternative website endings should be considered. These include:
- The name should relate to your audience and indicate what the business does. A name that is unique, but doesn't explain what you do may confuse customers.
- If the company name isn't working, it can be changed. However, this can be a serious undertaking legally. A name change can also be a public relations boost by creating a campaign to announce the change.
- The name should create a positive impact on the customer. An example is MailChimp which is lighthearted and ties into a fun mascot.
- If appropriate to your company, you can add on an ending. Be careful that the name will last long and not appear dated. Examples of endings include:
- ify (Spotify)
- co (Costco)
- ly (Diply)
- Don't pick a name that means something negative in another language or slang.
When a name is selected, a trademark search should be completed to avoid picking a name that is already in use and trademarked. This will create a multitude of legal issues if you attempt to use the name. If the name is available, you can trademark the name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Using Your Own Name
There are advantages and disadvantages to using your own name as your business name. Advantages include:
- Immediate association between you and your expertise, for example, Clark Accounting.
- Practical for professionals and sole proprietors including:
- Real Estate Agents
The disadvantages of using your name include:
- As the business expands its products and services, the name may become irrelevant.
- Clients may insist on working with the owner only.
- Gives the perception that the company is small and doesn't intend to expand into a larger corporation.
- May appear self-indulgent.
Naming Requirements for LLCs
When forming an LLC, or Limited Liability Company, every state requires that the LLC name include "LLC", "L.L.C.", or "Limited Liability Company" in the name. In New York, the state statute also includes that using "corporation," "incorporated," "Inc.," or "Corp." is strictly prohibited for limited liability companies. Before finalizing a name choice, check with the state agency responsible for LLC formation approval to confirm all naming requirements are met.
The name of the LLC must not be the same or too similar to any other business entity in the state including corporations, limited partnerships, and other LLCs. Names can be checked through the state's online database of registered business names. If the documents are submitted with a name already registered they will be rejected by the state agency.