Starting a new business or thinking of rebranding?
Here’s four checks you can do in under three minutes:
- Are the relevant domain names available? Googling will not give you the definitive answer. Instead you must check the ‘whois’ information for each name. So for UK domains such as those ending in .co.uk, use the Whois at Nominet’s website. For top level domain names such ending in .com or .net, use Internic’s Whois site. Other websites that sell domain names may also sell the list of recent name searches by visitors, so be careful where you check name availability.
- Do a Google search for the business or company name. How clean are the results? Are there other companies or products already using it, and could your use infringe on their trademark? If the results are messy, with companies or products using the same name, steer clear. If it’s confusing for you it will also be confusing for your customers.
- Check the Companies House website. You can use the free WebCheck search to check for any companies which use the same or similar name.
- Check the Intellectual Property Office website. You can use the free trademark search to check for any similar names or brands.