How to Choose a DBA Name

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Choosing the right fictitious business name or "doing business as" name not only establishes a company's identity, but it also can attract customers to the company. To do this, the DBA name needs to set the business and its products or services apart from the competition.

  • Remember your customers. Choose a DBA name that not only sounds good to you, but also appeals to your target market. For example, if you sell camping equipment, pick a name that resonates with people who love the outdoors.

  • Select a name that the public will understand and associate with your products or services. Choosing a name that only makes sense to you and others involved in the company will only complicate marketing efforts, because it will be difficult for consumers to remember.

  • Consider whether a pun is the best choice for your DBA name. Take note of whether a pun you're considering is often used by competitors, which would make it difficult to distinguish your business from theirs. Decide whether the pun would make sense to potential customers.

  • Choose a shorter DBA name over a longer one. Shorter names are easier for potential customers to remember, and if you're going to have a company website as well, you'll have a shorter, more marketable domain name.

  • Make sure the DBA name you're considering is not one that could be confused with the name of a competitor before you become attached to the name. Do an Internet search to find out if the name you're considering is being used by any business with a website. Although this is not a foolproof way of determining the name's availability, it can give you an initial idea of whether to consider it.

  • Check with your county clerk's office to find out if the DBA name you're considering has already been registered. Additionally, search unregistered trademarks and business names in the Thomas Register. It's a database that includes trademarks and service marks.

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