View Full Version : Client starting a business and wants a name too?
Sep 26, 2007, 04:04 PM
I have a client that is starting a business and on top of the logo/stationary, they would also like a creative, company name. I am wondering if anyone here has experience with this sort of thing and what sort of tips you could give me?
Is there an official website where I can look up existing company names? What is the process in terms of registering the name etc.? What are the legalities involved? Lastly, how much would one charge for this sort of service?
I have agreed to do the logo/stationary for approx $500 USD, which they are ok with, but what would be an accurate add-on for a company name and everything that goes along with it? It is a single person operation, just starting out and they are based overseas.
Again, any tips, info, recommends, etc. for creating company names would be greatly appreciated.
Sep 26, 2007, 06:13 PM
Well since they're overseas you'll have to check with that countries laws/rules about trademarks and registering of names and the like. I know in the USA each state can have a set of registered names for businesses. Trademarks and such I believe cover a national level. Registering the name shouldn't be your responsibility because there may be possible legal issues with it, though you can of course pass along suggestions to the client. I hate when clients ask these type of questions. You'd think they'd be really excited about coming up with a name.
As far as finding if a name exist, Google searching is the best idea I can think of to see if anyone else is using it and for what. As for just coming up with names, make a list of words based on what the company does, and also use a thesaurus to increase the word list then play around with the words until you get some creative spark.
Sep 26, 2007, 06:17 PM
You absolutely do not want to take on any liability for this, if the name turns out to have a prior claim on it, or some other problem. Especially after the client has spend 2 years and $$$ on advertising and building up the name only to find that they have to give it up.
You will find that many names cannot be trademarked or even registered for reasons of being too generic, or descriptive, as well as competition with existing names (and as mentioned, laws vary from country to country), A single trademark application costs a minimum of $1,500 in legal fees to apply, with many times more to follow through if it is accepted, and no refund if it is rejected.
You also have to make sure that the word(s) chosen do not have any negative connotations in each of the countries/language groups that it will be used in. (classic examples: Chevy Nova - the car that 'doesn't go' in Spanish speaking countries. Particularly bad are words that are too close to slang words or concepts in another language, like the Ikea "Jerker" desk.)
Corporate naming is not trivial, and firms charge $10's of thousands to do it right.
Sep 28, 2007, 04:07 PM
I'm not commenting on the Name of the Co. that's already been answered. I charge design fees as well as finished product. The design fee covers all pre-finished work, roughs, changes, materials, etc. And the other cost (finished fee) is for the product itself.
This guarantees you that the client will come thruogh with the payment and you delivering the final piece.
Looks like you are working on the companies entire image, so before anything is signed/in concrete talk to your client first, tell him/her of your costs and that your design fee is yes or yes, no two ways about it.
After both of you have come to an agreement sign contract and get to work!
Sep 29, 2007, 09:30 PM
If they are based in the UK it is easy. Just look at the Companies House website.
That is assuming your client is planning on registering as a private limited company. If they are just planning on being a sole trader or a partnership then I am not sure what the deal is.
Developing name ideas involves extensive conversations with whoever sets the vision for their company. That could be a single proprietor, or a board of directors. You need to get them talking about why they are in business, who they want to reach, and what makes them different from all the other companies that are in competition with them.
A company's name, logo, and corporate identity should all succinctly communicate that company's vision, mission, and values.