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Sample Business Names: Pros and Cons of Each

Virtually every business wants that "perfect" name that will resonate with the target market, is easily remembered, and unique. While perfection is always elusive, the best business names strive for a delicate balance of these goals. The process of choosing a business name should not be taken lightly, as it will form a substantial part of your image, however superficial it may seem.

The following sample business names, with their respective advantages (pros) and disadvantages (cons) are intended to help you in the naming process. See Starting a Business for additional articles on what it takes to launch a successful start-up.

Business Name Pros Cons
Stacey's Sewing Supplies

Describes the business so that customers are immediately informed of the business's purpose.

Gives the business a personal touch by associating it with the name of the owner.

Limits the potential for future expansion into sewing services, craft supplies, etc.

Personally identifies the business with the owner, which could prove troublesome if the business fails.

May not get as much protection under trademark laws.

Schlzenski's Sausage

Describes the business so that customers are immediately informed of the business's purpose.

Gives the business a personal touch by associating it with the name of the owner.

Limits the potential for future expansion into other food products and services.

Personally identifies the business with the owner, which could prove troublesome if the business fails.

Hard to spell, pronounce, and remember.

May not get as much protection under trademark laws.

ABC Home Repairs

Describes the business so that customers are immediately informed of the business's purpose.

Gets an early listing in alphabetized directories.

Limits the potential for future expansion into home additions, decks, commercial work, etc.

Lacks a unique identity.

Could be confused with other similarly named businesses.

Name may not be available because already taken.

Other businesses with similar names could sue for infringement.

The Coffee Shop Describes the business so that customers are immediately informed of the business's purpose.

Lacks a unique identity.

Could be confused with other similarly named businesses.

Name may not be available because already taken.

Other businesses with similar names could sue for infringement.

Would not receive as much protection under trademark laws.

The Beth Olson Co.

Gives the business a personal association with the owner.

Allows for future expansion into other products or services.

Usually doesn't require registration.

Unlikely to be confused with other businesses.

Personally identifies the business with the owner, which could prove troublesome if the business fails.

Doesn't tell potential customers what type of business it is.

Company's initials could prove to be embarrassing.

Would not receive as much protection under trademark laws.

Y2K-9 Sitters Describes the business so that customers are immediately informed of the business's purpose. Trendy names can quickly lose their impact and seem outmoded and untimely.
Mildred's Milwaukee Millinery

Describes the business so that customers are immediately informed of the business's purpose.

Gives the business a personal touch by associating it with the name of the owner.

Immediately informs potential customers of the business's location.

Limits the potential for future expansion into other clothing and accessories.

Personally identifies the business with the owner, which could prove troublesome if the business fails.

Could affect the potential for expansion into other geographic areas.

"Cute" names don't always work.

Alliteration in the name can make it a tongue-twister.

May not receive as much protection under trademark laws.

United Postal Shippers Describes the business so that customers are immediately informed of the business's purpose.

Could create impression that the business is government-related.

Likely to be confused with major competitor, which could be bad for business and could likely lead to lawsuit.

Old MacDonald's Restaurant
Describes the business so that customers are immediately informed of the business's purpose.
Likely to be confused with major competitor, which could be bad for business and could likely lead to lawsuit.
Kwik-Pix Photos

Describes the business so that customers are immediately informed of the business's purpose.

Creative name is likely to get greater trademark protection.

Could be same as or confusingly similar to other business names.
Materni-Tees

Describes the business so that customers are immediately informed of the business's purpose.

Creative name is likely to get greater trademark protection.

Limits the potential for future expansion into other clothing and accessories.
Tasty Foods Describes the business so that customers are immediately informed of the business's purpose. Ordinary, descriptive names may receive less protection under trademark laws.

Get Professional Legal Help

Choosing a business name is more of an art than a science, requiring plenty of creativity and soul-searching. But there may be instances where an attorney can help with the naming process, whether it's the registration of a trademark or a dispute with another business claiming the same name. Consider speaking with a business and commercial law attorney in your area.

Related Resources

Next Steps
Contact a qualified business attorney to help you
navigate the process of starting a business.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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