In the present competitive global marketplace, your brand can become one of your most significant resources. It is extremely important to protect the marks that differentiate your products and services from other brands in the market. Successful marketing for the most part incorporates building a significant brand. The best way to distinguish yourself in the market is having a registered trademark.
Four key components in naming a business:
1. Company Name / Corporate Name
The Company name or corporate name is the legal name of your corporation. It is mandated when a business is being incorporated. That is what appears on basically all the contracts and paperwork related to your business. It does not matter if you choose your company’s name to be a numbered name or a word name as long as it meets legal requirements. The company name should not be misdescriptive because sometimes it is confusing for people when the name of the company misinterprets goods and services provided by the company.
To register as a corporation, you will need to incorporate your business (obtain your articles of incorporation) at the federal level or provincial level. And a name reserve process is required.
After reservation and making the required payment, the Registry Office reviews your name and gets back to you via email (typically within 5 business days in most of the provinces).
The Registry Office performs a search on the proposed name. It is important to search as if you choose a name that is the same as, or similar to, an existing registered name or corporation name, the application will be rejected.
It is very important to understand that once you register a company name, it does not mean that you have registered it as your trademark and it also does not mean that it is not available to use by any other corporation.
A trademark identifies and distinguishes the products and services of a business from another manufacturer or company whereas a company name or business name represents a business itself.
It is not mandatory to register your trademark, however, doing so gives you more rights and more protection.
To register a trademark, the major step is to look for a unique trade name. It is important to conduct a trademark search before using a proposed trademark to ensure that no one else has registered the same trademark already. To conduct a trademark search or register a trademark for your business, it is a good choice to hire a trademark consultant to do so.
Once they do the search for you, they file the trademark application into the Intellectual Property Office for review and approval. In the case of Canada, the process takes around 18 months and in the meantime, you follow through with them. For further information on this, please visit What is TRADEMARK?
3. Trade Name / Business Name
A trade name (or business name) is what your business is normally known as or the name you use while publicizing. Trade name/ Business name registration is not mandatory. The business could use its corporate name for publication if it does not conflict with any existing trademark. Normally, small business would simply use their company name as signage facing the public, they have not registered business name.
In Canada, the Registration of trade names is a provincial/territorial responsibility. To register your trade name, go to the Registry Office of the jurisdiction(s) where you plan to do business. The procedure of trade name registration is the same as the corporate name at the provincial level.
For instance: Walmart-its legal name is Wal-Mart Inc. whereas it does business with the name Walmart. A trade name could be the same as your Company name not followed by Inc. or LLC. It could also be different than your company name. For instance: the famous brand – Google is a trad name, its corporate name is Alphabet Inc.
4. Domain name (URL)
Nowadays, most businesses have their own website even if they just run physical businesses. An official website is vital for branding. A simple and relevant domain name could make customers memorize them easily.
A domain name is the name of a website and typically consists of a top-level and second-level domain. A top-level domain (TLD) is the part of the domain name located to the right of the dot, with the most common TLDs being .com, .net, and .org as they can be registered by anyone. A second-level domain (SLD) is the part of the domain name located to the left of the dot.
For instance: TLD in www.1stIP.com is “com” and SLD is “1stIP”.
The most common TLD is “com”. The domain was originally administered by the United States Department of Defense, but is today operated by Verisign, and remains under ultimate jurisdiction of U.S. law. Verisign Registrations in the .com domain are processed via registrars accredited by ICANN. The registry accepts internationalized domain names.
How is naming good for branding?
While naming a business, all the components listed above play a vital role and each has its own particular significance. From a branding point of view, the best practice of business naming is consistency at related.
If a business’s trade name is “A&B”. and their Domain URL is www.168.net, the trademark is a graphic of a cat. These names are not consistent and related. No one would realize these names are the same business. Their customer may difficult to memorize them.
We use the famous brand – Lululemon, as a sample to show the good way to name a business. The company/ corporate name is “Lululemon Athletica Incorporation”.It is the legal name and could be registered federally, provincially or territorially.
Their trade name (or business name) is “Lululemon Athletica” which is how everyone knows about it. All the business is conducted under this name.
The domain name for the brand is www.lululemon.com.This is the web address for the brand for digital purposes.
The trademark for the brand is above. It is used to distinguish lululemon athletica goods and services from others in the marketplace.