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Select the Right Name for Your US Business
Your business name can have an important impact on the overall success of your new company. The time and effort you invest now in choosing the right name for your US business will pay off in future. Remember to take naming your business seriously. Your name is your brand.
A Great Business Name in US...
Common Pitfalls for Small Businesses in US
- Leaves no doubt about your line of business.
- Is easy to say and spell.
- Is memorable enough to make the customer think of you the next time they need your product or service.
- Directly relates to your product or service.
- Avoid using local geography in your name. Using local town or state names diminishes your uniqueness and makes it more difficult to expand your market in the future. For example: US Coffee Shop is probably not a good business name.
- Small businesses should avoid acronyms or made up words. The marketing budget necessary to educate the public on their meaning can prove very costly.
- Don't rush the final decision. Try on each choice for a few days. See which names your friends and colleagues like.
In the United States, the individual states incorporate most businesses, and some special types are incorporated by the federal government including national banks, federal savings banks, and federal credit unions. Federally chartered organizations are either issued a charter by Congress or are licensed for a specific operation (such as a bank) by a federal agency. (Many governmental units are specially formed public corporations and some private organizations have received a charter from Congress.) Corporations are required to file articles of incorporation with a state agency for each state they operate in. Corporations operating in the nation's capital file with the District of Columbia, but this does not make them federally chartered.
In the articles of incorporation, the corporation's name must be stated. Usually, at least one word of its name must indicate that the entity is a corporation (indicating it has limited liability) as opposed to an individual (with unlimited liability). There are also restrictions that may not be used, for example, a corporation may, in some cases, not be allowed to use a word or phrase that implies it is a government agency, and may in some cases be restricted from using certain terms referring to special businesses, e.g. most states prohibit a corporation from having the word "bank" in its name unless it is chartered as a bank or has special permission. Each state has varying requirements for forming a company and also determining what designations can and can not be used.
The only terms that are universally acceptable in all 51 U.S. jurisdictions that register corporations are either the word "Corporation" or "Incorporated" or the abbreviations "Corp." and "Inc." Many allow "Limited" or "Ltd." and some states allow "Company" (or "Co.") but a number that allow use of "Company" prohibit use of "and Company", "and Co.", "& Company" or "& Co."
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