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Some thoughts on naming your business

A common theme I've noticed when freelancers name their business is the name is too long--way, way, way too long.

People want a name that describes what business they're in. I get it. I make websites and logos. My business's name is Pixel Riot.

People also want an available website domain for their business name. Also, reasonable.

The problem is when the business name gets so long, it hurts the logo's composition and makes it difficult to fit anywhere. The same goes for a long website address.

Shorter is better.

Your business name doesn't have to be so short that it falls into abstract territory, like a computer company named after a fruit. But it also shouldn't work so hard at describing your business that the name reads like a whole sentence.

Entity name vs. DBA #

Perhaps you're worried that your chosen name might be unavailable and the federal government will hunt you down in the middle of the night if you try registering it. And honestly, maybe they will. I'm not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. Check your state laws.

But you should know there's a difference between the name on your logo and your checks.

Your entity name is how the state recognizes your business. You'll use your entity name to open a bank account, and it's what you'll see on your first check from a client.

Your Doing Business As or DBA goes on your marketing materials like your website, business card, and logo.

As far as I'm aware (again, check your state's laws), your entity name and DBA can be different.

For example, my company's legal name is Pixel Riot Marketing Agency Augusta, LLC*. My company's DBA is simply Pixel Riot. I submitted a super long entity name to the state to reduce my chance of choosing an unavailable name, and the state subsequently rejecting my LLC application.

There are websites where you can check if your name is already in use. Here's one.

Conclusion #

In short— descriptive name good, long name not so good. Do your best to find a happy medium. Or, go bold with it and name your business Pomegranate.

In a future post, we'll explore the various logo types. I'll try to remember to include a section with special design considerations for a long-ass business name. All of which you can avoid if you choose a short DBA.

Helpful resources: #

*I changed up my legal name for this post because it felt weird to post that information publicly.

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Plot freelance
Published
Type series
Phase developing
Author Jason Velazquez
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Assumed audience freelancers