STEP ONE: Choose a business name that you LOVE.
Naming a business is as important as naming your kid. Maybe even more important! Why? Because your kid can change his name fairly easily if she/he decides to at some point but trying to change a business name down the road is a very challenging process for both your existing clients and for you. (I changed my business name after a year so I’m speaking from experience here.)
Pick a name that you like saying and that rolls off your tongue easily. When you get successful and your phone is ringing with client calls you’ll be saying it many times a day so choose carefully.
I also recommend that you pick a name that you really can see yourself using ten or twenty years down the road.
Don’t call your business “Bakerville Pet Sitting” if you have even an inkling of a desire to perhaps expand to surrounding areas down the road. You’ll be stuck in Bakerville! If you are really clear you want to stay in a specific area then do include your area in your business name. It’s actually very professional to put the city or town you live in as part of your business name.
Do describe your service in your business name. I don’t recommend pet care—it’s too vague. But pet sitting and dog walking are great to add: Bakerville Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Service. Some may find it’s a little long but, in my opinion better too long than not descriptive enough. This way clients will know exactly what you do.
Make sure you spend some time searching to make sure your business name is not in use already in your county or nearby counties. You don’t want to accidentally ‘take’ another local pet sitting company’s business name. Check your local phone book and do Internet searches for the name you are interested in.
If you have found that no one in your county is using the name that you want to use then it may be yours to use in your area IF it does not have a federal trademark. You can do a name search to see if the business name has a trademark by going to the U.S. Patent and Trademark website.
If the name you are interested in does not have a trademark but is used by another business then you’ll want to contact your local city hall to see what the laws are around name usage.
If you have a list of names and are confused about which one to choose email the list to 5 friends who have good taste (you know who they are!) Have them rate their 1st , 2nd, and 3rd choices. See which ones are first choices and from there you will get clarity.
Once you have named your business you can go on to How to Start a Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business: Step #2 which I will write about in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned!