One of the most popular questions that finds its way into my email box and throughout my various social sites is: What’s a good name for my photography business?
I’ve touched on a lot of issues in two of my posts:
But there are several other things you should think about when you’re deciding on a name, and a few resources you should keep in mind.
Will you be trademarking your name?
Twenty years ago, your photography business would only be in competition with other photographers in your local area. Not true anymore. Now you’re in competition with photographers from all over the world. If you travel regularly as a wedding photographer (as we did starting in the mid 1990’s) your branding extends well beyond local lines. Trademarking your name gives you added protection of having someone come in and choosing something similar, and trying to ride on your coattails. It’s also important as you expand into multiple areas: books, gift products, artwork, etc.
You can trademark your name and any branding material, such as a logo. While there are many companies and law offices out there that will help you with the trademarking process, two of my favorite sites are Nolo and the USPTO. Nolo is a legal site filled with all kinds of help for small businesses. You can order books, legal forms, and even find a lawyer in your area if that’s your next step. They have a great book on Trademarking that gives you everything you need to know about the trademark process and protecting your name. The USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) has a ton of information on trademarking. They have an online search function that allows you to put in your name ideas, and see if anyone else has trademarked it. And once you file for trademark status, you can follow it online as well.