Should I Change My Business Name?

Should I change my business name? If you're like many business owners, you might wonder whether changing your business name could help your business grow.3 min read

Should I change my business name? If you're like many business owners, you might wonder whether changing your business name could help your business grow. After all, your name is the most important part of your business's brand.

Reasons to Change Your Business Name

There are countless reasons why changing your business name might be just the step you need to take in order to grow your brand image and your business overall.

  • Your business name is too small.

    Even if your company has plenty of clients, projects, and plans to expand, if you're still operating under a small-town name like “Suzanne's Sewing Machines,” you're limiting the success of your business. Would you want to buy a soda called Brad's Drink? Perhaps not, but Pepsi Cola has a nice ring to it. Pepsi Cola was, in fact, formerly named Brad's Drink, but the company owners knew the name sounded too generic. Avoid using first person names, city names, and street names, as they're all typically used for small businesses. If you want to go big, but your name is too small, it's time for a change.

  • Your business name is too general.

    On the other hand, if your business name refers to a wide range of products or services, you might need to change your name to one that helps customers find exactly what they're looking for. Say a customer wants kitchen remodeling. How will they know that you're just the right the business for that if your business name describes itself as “general contractor?” A phrase like “Contemporary Kitchens” is more useful and memorable.

    If you're certain you want to include what you do in your business name, make sure that it's distinguished and defined. If you're looking for help marketing your book company, you wouldn't want to use a marketing company that works with restaurants or retail. Narrowing your name's scope of focus can help others find exactly what you're offering.

  • Your business name's legacy is irrelevant or outdated.

    Perhaps your company was named after the founding partners, and they've now moved on, or perhaps your company has been in business for decades and it's time for a change. Not convinced? Consider the fact that Nike was once called Blue Ribbon Sports, UPS was called the American Messenger Company, and Sony was once called Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Company.

  • Your business has a poor reputation.

    If your business has been the subject of controversy, it might be best to change your name. This shows that your business is moving in a new direction and won't make the same mistakes ever again.

  • Your business is moving from freelance to scalable.

    Most small businesses are built around one expert: the owner. If your business is ready to move into the world of scalability and exponential growth, it might be time for a new name. This change allows you to make sure your name and brand have the best chances of making the impression that you need in order to take your company to the next level.

  • Your business name is not memorable, easy to spell, or easy to pronounce.

    An effective business name is one that's sticky. After hearing it once, customers should have it stuck in their minds. Keep in mind that common names are hard to remember. “Best Chinese,” “Tom's Burgers,” and “Quality Appliances” are a few examples of forgettable names. Perhaps you already have loyal customers who want to tell their family and friends about you, but they can't figure out how to spell your business name. Creativity is okay, but make sure that your customers are able to easily write your name in an email or text message to their friends.

  • Your business name cannot be copyrighted.

    If you're unable to copyright your business name, you might be headed toward future issues around effective branding. Being unable to copyright your name could mean limiting your potential income from merchandising or advertising. Depending on why you're unable to copyright your business name, you might end up facing legal issues in the future if you try to keep your existing name.

If you need help deciding whether to change your business name (and which name would be best for your company), you can post your legal need on Legal Marketplace's marketplace.

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