Business Foundations: How to name and register your business

What’s in a name?

Setting up your business properly, whether small or large, is imperative to success.  Having a strong foundation will set you up for growth while minimizing your setbacks. Let’s continue our discussion with the naming and registration process.  This can be one of the more interesting “set up steps” in the process so have some fun with it!

Please note: For simplicity sake, we are using the processes for ALBERTA, Canada.  Please check your local municipalities for your business needs.

STEP ONE: What’s in a name?  The answer is A LOT.

There’s a few thoughts on naming your company.

  • Abstract names without necessarily any meaning can be a blank slate with endless options for branding and logos
  • Informative names tell consumers exactly what your business is about and it very clear.
  • A made up word or name can give some clarity while being memorable.

Which ever you choose remember that any type of naming process can be effectual when executed properly with a strong marketing plan.

12 TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR BUSINESS NAME

  1. -Choose a name that helps attract your potential customers interests.
  2. -Don’t pick something too confusing
  3. -Get creative and have some fun with it!
  4. -Don’t use Inc. or Ltd. In your name unless it is actually Incorporated or registered as an Ltd. Corporation.
  5. -Simple can be good
  6. -Don’t get too personal
  7. -Think long term (Maybe using your city name isn’t the best idea if you  have future expansion plans)
  8. -Is the domain available?  You want the .com or .ca readily purchasable.
  9. -Odd spellings, acronyms and puns while can be fun, it will need a very strong marketing plan executed behind it so keep it simpler whenever possible.
  10. -Keep your name short.  It’s easier for customers to remember
  11. -Research the name as much as possible to ensure it’s not already in use.
  12. -ASK!  Ask your friends, family, potential customers, and social following what their thoughts are.

STEP TWO: Get a business name report

Making sure your name isn’t being used is a no brainer.  You want your name to not only stand out but also be unique.  A NUANS name search will search all business names not only for exact matches but also ones that are similar.

STEP THREE:  Forms

-Forms you need to fill out will depend on how your business will be structured.  Will your company be set up as a Limited Partnership (LP), Limited liability partnership (LLP), Trade name, Registered numbered company, or Incorporated?

-Do some research and know the difference between each to determine what will be the best for your company

STEP FOUR: Get the name registered.

A registered Corporate registry will do the filing for you.  Be prepared with your NUANS search, business name, Valid ID and your payment.

Well you’re not done yet but you’re one step closer to being a business owner with a solid business foundation!

 

Please note: There are a number of online resources available to you through Service Alberta

Service Alberta can help guide you through the process of business names and registration processes.

 

The boring stuff: You may want to also seek outside guidance to walk through the different types of business set ups and what may be best for you considering short and longer term needs. BitLedger is offering business advice, NOT ledgal advice.  Please consult your legal representative for clarification on your business needs.

 

Building Business Foundations

So you have an amazing business idea and are wanting

to build a name for yourself but now what?

 

Business Foundations are the key to any business success.  Without a strong base, businesses lose fast. The to-do list is long and lengthy and even with the best business idea, without completing it, it’s likely to never get off the ground let alone be successful.

Business plans, registration, licensing, government regulations, financing, HR processes, insurance, record keeping and marketing plans are all on the list and need to be worked through, some before you even get going!

DO YOU HAVE EVERYTHING IN PLACE TO BUILD A GREAT BUSINESS FOUNDATION?

Let’s get started with a Business Plan.  (We will work together through the other steps in future posts)

Do you really need a business plan?

A business plan helps you understand your target market, research competition, build budgets, and outline your plan for success, whatever that looks like for you.  It also keeps you on track, identify targets, and manage cash flow.

There are also a number of instances where a business plan is vitally necessary (pitching investors, bringing in partners, and securing bank financing) but even if you don’t fall into one of those scenarios, it’s just good business sense to have one.  It can be detailed or simple but should cover the following information:

Company Description with Vision, Mission and Objectives.

  • Get detailed here; it will help paint the picture you have in your mind on what you want your business to be and where you intend it to go.
  • Basic company information including size, mission, vision and what you want to accomplish.

Executive and Management Summary

  • Who’s running the company, their qualifications and experience.
  • Management structure

Offerings

  • What product or service are you offering?
  • What need are you filling for potential customers?

Market Research

  • This section will detail your industry, competitors, market size, and where your business offering fits into the mix.

Marketing Plan

  • This will outline how you intend to market your brand, information on your pricing model, and how you will ultimately sell your product/service.
  • Outline traditional marketing methods as well as a social presence.

Financial Summary

  • Spend some time on this one.  It’s where a lot of businesses underestimate their costs causing them to stall or even close their businesses completely.
  • Detail your finances now, expected growth, start up operating expenses, and future needs.

Action Plan

  • Identify the steps you will take going forward, how you will measure success and identify some realistic goals.
  • Whether you opt to go with a detailed traditional business plan or a simpler one page document, going through and documenting these items and going through this process will give you some insight as to what will all be involved, give you a roadmap and help build a solid foundation that you can build your future successes on.

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