Choosing a business name is very much crucial as selecting the business you are taking on. Your business name will be your brand, your image, your identity—hence; you make sure that your idea of a business name is not yet taken by anyone else.
How would you know? Here are ways for you to check if that winning business name is still available:
Check if Your Business Name is Taken
• Go online and check DTI’s e-Business Name Registration System (e-BNRS). Select “New Application” at the left-hand side menu bar, click “I Agree” for the BNRS Terms and Conditions and fill out the fields under Propose Business Name (both under Business Scope and Business Name) and select “Check Name Availability”.
• Another way is to look up any keywords from your proposed business name here. It will reflect the first 1,000 business names based on the keywords you enter to give you an idea how many other businesses use the same words.
Corporation or Partnership
• To confirm the availability of your business name idea, register through the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) i-Register Facility. Creating an account is free and once you have your own account details, you may log in and verify your business name by following the instructions reflected. This online facility also allows you to reserve your business name.
However, it is important to note that your business name is not yet approved even if it passes for registration. Therefore, verifying your corporation’s proposed business name at the SEC office is still necessary.
Checking the availability of your business name through DTI and SEC is simple. But let us share with you some more tips to ensure you have a business name that is promotable and clicks well as a brand.
1. Prepare at least three (3) business names. We say “at least” because having more than one choice is much better. And it will save you a lot of hassle in case your first choice is unavailable.
2. Google your business name. Of course, you want your business name to be unique, and Google is one of the best ways to check that since it covers worldwide. Type in your business name and if you find that Google displays a lot of matches (especially within the same region) then re-think your business name idea.
3. Verify if your domain name and social media username is not yet taken. In this day and age, what is a business without a strong online presence? Every business today must have their own website and social media to be able to market their brand more successfully.
However, here is where many business people usually err. They normally go ahead and create a brand using their business name through websites and social media, without properly registering it yet (check our previous post about how to register your business name). So when it doesn’t get approved, they are faced with the dilemma of having to change everything again—worse, if it already has grown quite a number of followers and having to inform them to re-route to a new page for the official website or social media.
By checking the availability of possible domain names and social media, you can create a website and social media presence with a name that is catchy and distinct. To confirm availability of your domain name, search it via https://www.namecheap.com/ for top level domain extensions such as .com, .net and .org. In case you want to use a .ph extension, then check via www.dot.ph if your business name idea for a domain name is free.
So there you have it, all you need to know when checking the availability of your business name. Create an identity for your business by choosing a name that is best for you. May these tips help you decide one that will stick and will click and propel your business to success.