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Hi David, I hope you can help me and give me advise on this matter. I recently started to buy and sell cell phones on the craigslist web site. I realized that I'm making a profit on each sale. I was wondering what name should I give my company? I am looking for a unique name. I will be selling all kind of cellphones from iPhones, Nokia, Samsung, LG etc.

I will and sell cellphone on the online website Craigslist.  I also want to register the name with a domain company so in the near the future if I decide to open an online shop to sell cellphones, the company name will the URL address. Any thoughts of what names I could use? Please advise.

Thank you.
Craig.

Answer
Craig,

I can give you a few tips on selecting a name, but a good business name, like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder. What some people think is a great name makes other people shake their heads.

Here are my suggestions for choosing a good name for your business.

1.   The name must be memorable. To me, this is the most important criteria. If you want to build up any kind of repeat business, customers must be able to remember your business name. It should not be too generic nor should it be too complicated.

2.   The name must be easy to spell. It does you no good for people to remember your business name if they can't spell it. Some successful brands deliberately misspell part of their name to make it more memorable. That may be fine for a large national brand that can put tens of millions of dollars into advertising to make the misspelling stick in people's minds, but it's a disaster for small business if your customers can't spell your name.

3.   The name should be fairly short. This point really goes hand-in-hand with points 1 and 2. A short name is easier to remember and easier to spell than a longer name.

4.   The name should have a positive connotation. Your name should send a message that is consistent with your product or service. For example, you would probably not want to use a name like "Craig's Cheap Cell Phones" because the word "cheap" used in the context of electronics usually creates a mental image of a product built with substandard components.

5.   The name should convey a message about the business that you are in.  For example, a name like "Craig LLC" tells potential customer nothing about your business. Again, huge companies like Kraft, McDonald's, Nestlé, etc. can spend millions so that their name, standing alone, has meaning to their customers. That is simply not true for a small business. Your name needs to help sell your product or service.

Although it is not essential, another useful factor in choosing a good business name is for there to be a recognizable visual image of the name. That helps in creating a logo and a brand identity. For example, a name like "North Star Cell Phones" could provide a better visual image than "Premier Sell Phones."

I hope this helps.

Note: This answer is based on a longer article on my website 7 Tips to Help You Name Your New Business.

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David K. Staub

Expertise

I am a business and tax attorney and have spent more than 35 years assisting people in starting a wide variety of businesses. I can answer questions about the basic differences between the various entities available to new businesses, including limited liability companies, corporations, S corporations and partnerships. I can provide guidance in other areas facing start ups, such as hiring employees, signing contracts and obtaining necessary licenses. I can also direct people to sources for answers to specific legal questions which cannot be answered in a forum of this nature.

Experience

I have an extensive practice in the mergers and acquisitions area and have been involved in the tax and legal issues on hundreds of business transactions.

Website
Staub Anderson LLC
Illinois business attorneys

Practice Areas
Business Organizations
-Corporations

-LLCs
-Partnerships

-Joint ventures
Mergers & Acquisitions
-Buying/selling business
Securities Law
Tax Law
Technology Law
-Software licenses
-Development agreements

Trademarks

Organizations
Illinois State Bar Association; Chicago Bar Association (former Chairman of the Corporation & Business Law Committee and former Chairman of the Mergers and Acquisitions Subcommittee; former Executive Committee member, Federal Tax Committee and Chairman of subcommittee on general tax issues); Keystone Foundation (Trustee); Association for Corporate Growth; Midwest Entrepreneur Forum; Midwest Association of Alpha Delta Phi

Publications
Commerce Magazine; YLS Journal; ISBA Section of Taxation Newsletter

Education/Credentials
Harvard Law School, J.D., 1977; University of Illinois, B.S. in Accounting, with highest honors, 1974

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