How to Name a Business for Online Success

A little up front business name research will go a long way in assisting with your ultimate success in the online world. Google’s free Keyword Tool allows you to search on words and phrases to find the number of monthly searches on terms being typed into search engines. Think of it as your own personal business name generator. For example, if your business rents out sno cone machines and you use the keyword tool to search on “sno cone,” the keywords tool will provide a list of related terms that people are searching on.

Click on the “Global Searches” header to sort from highest number of searches to lowest. Then scan the list to find phrases with low competition. In our example, “ice cone” is searched on globally 135,000 times per month and has low competition. This may suggest that, at least from a domain standpoint, it would be beneficial for search engines and your site traffic if “ice cone” is part of the business name URL.

Now visit a domain site such as GoDaddy to check on potential available business domain names. In our example, you could check “ice cone authority,” “ice cone cafĂ©,” “ice cone parties,” “ice cone rentals,” etc. GoDaddy will also provide recommendations on similar URLs, based on your search, that are available.

Before you buy a business domain name, remember to check with your state corporation commission to verify the business name is also available there if you are planning to use all or part of the URL for your actual business name.

Business Organization Structure

Now that you have narrowed down a few business name options, depending on your business plan, you will want to consider which organization structure makes sense for you. CPA’s and attorneys should be consulted for new businesses involving partners to ensure the appropriate structure is used and all parties are represented fairly and equally. Any partnership operating agreements should include share transfer policies, succession planning and exit strategies should any member need to resign. Many people prefer an LLC organization structure, which can include single member LLCs and typically provide more protection than a DBA.

In the case of online businesses, some people create an umbrella LLC (so you have only one entity to manage for tax purposes and bank accounts), and then set up a variety of DBAs under the LLC, for the business name URLs they select.

Once business type is selected, you can file simple DBAs or LLCs yourself through your corporation commission. If you don’t have the time or desire to deal with the paperwork, consider a service such as LegalZoom. They offer a large variety of legal services at reasonable prices and provide a quick turnaround.

Brand Your Social Media Username

As soon as you have selected the business domain and reserved as relevant with the corporation commission, it’s time to select your social media username. Even if your site isn’t live and you aren’t sure exactly how you will use social media yet, you will want to reserve a username across platforms that compliments your business / URL name.

Visit knowem.com and type in names complimentary to your business name. This will be your social media username your business is known by on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Digg, etc. If we had chosen Ice Cone Authority (iceconeauthority.com) for our business name URL, you might check iceconeauth, iceconepro, or icecone4u as some social media username options. You will want a name that is available on most or all platforms.

Once you have selected your social media username, you can go to each social media site and sign up to reserve the username. Knowem offers a paid service to reserve your selected username on your behalf if prefer that option.

While the above may seem like a lot of work, some time and energy to think things through at the beginning can make a big difference in your long-term online success.