Naming Your Freelance Business
by Rachel Goldstein
If you want to be taken seriously, you will need to name your freelance business. Make sure that your business name reinforces the image that you want to project for your company. For example, one of my websites names is AllFreelance.com. You automatically know from the name of this site that it has to do with freelancing. Try to do the same thing with your business name. Don't choose a business name that you will have to spend much time on promoting or explaining what it means. If you are a graphic designer, try to use "Studio" or "Creative" or other buzz words in the name unless you don't mind clients looking past your company because they aren't quite sure that you are a designer.
My company's name is Deezin Studios. Originally I thought that everyone would understand that "Deezin" was just an intentional misspelling of "Design" but it didn't quite work out that way. I always land up having a 5-minute conversation with clients about my company's name. "How do you pronounce Deezin?" I really don't mind; it is a great icebreaker. But, the point is that since "Studio" is one of the buzzwords in my business name, clients always know that my company is a design company.
Another thing you want to remember is that the world is categorized for the most part alphabetically. Try to choose a name that starts with a number or a beginning alphabet letter. Watch out with numbers though because some directories, including dmoz.org, will categorize by the first letter in the title. In other words, if you name your business 1Design, dmoz.org would categorize under the "D". Since most web surfers don't go past the first search engine results page, it is important to start your name with an A, B, C, or D.
You probably are thinking, "Great, I am done!" Nope! You should register your business name with your county. They will need to check your name against previously filed names to make sure the business name you chose isn't already taken by another business.
Just imagine working for months or years with an unregistered business name and then getting a notice in the mail to stop using someone else's business name. You would have to start all over from scratch again. You would have to toss your business cards, letterhead, envelopes, invoices, and everything else you printed for your company into the trash. And what a disaster you would have created on the web. You would have to find everywhere that is linking to your page and ask them to change your business name. What a mess! So, register your business - it is worth it!
Before you fill out the paperwork to register your business name, pick 3 names, so you don't have to refile if they reject your business name. Also, scan your phonebook and do web searches to make sure that you cannot find the name that you have chosen. I recommend using mamma.com or google.com for your search, these are the 2 most comprehensive search engines on the net.
Now that you have registered your business name, go on ahead and print business cards, letterhead, and invoices. The business name you have chosen belongs to you!