How to name your new screen print business

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Jesse Poteet
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The first decision you need to make when starting a business is what to name this new business. Unfortunately, this can be quite the sticking point for some people. What if you can’t think of a good name? What if you decide to change it a year in? What if you find out there’s another company with that name and people are getting confused?

These are all valid questions, but the good news it doesn’t have to be a difficult decision.

How to come up with your new company name

This part is truly up to you. You can name your company anything you want, seriously. But it is good to keep a few things in mind. Start with thinking about some things that you’re passionate about. Perhaps you have a favorite hobby or vacation spot. Or perhaps you have a nickname that people know you by. These are both great places to start when thinking of potential business names. For example, let’s say your nickname is “Chipper” (the Atlanta Braves fan in me just had to), then you could name your business something like “Chipper’s Apparel” or “Chip’s Prints”.
 What is popular or well-known about your town/community/state? Is there perhaps a nickname for your community or a nearby landmark that is popular and people would recognize? Where I live in Colorado, our area is known as The Front Range since we’re located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, along the “front” of the range. I could have named my company something like “Front Range Printing”.

If neither of those topics help spur a name idea for you, you could always keep it simple and use your initials. Mine are JP, so I could say “JP’s Screen Printing”.

The key to keep in mind is that your business name is not going to make or break your business. At some point, all that really matters is that you have a name for your business. The rest just depends on how you do business, not what your business is called.

Absolutely not. Your business name does not have to have anything related to “printing” or “apparel” or anything like that in the name. Plenty of screen print companies use names like “studio” or “designs” and I would say even those are pretty related to printing. It could be something totally having nothing to do with printing and you’ll be just fine. I could have named my company JP’s and it would have been fine. Don’t feel like you have to include a print related term in the name. It’s ok if you do and ok if you don’t.

Can you change your business name later?

The easy answer is yes, you certainly can change your business name whenever you want, but I would avoid it if possible. But sometimes it just makes sense to change a business name, and that’s ok. If you think you might want to do this, it might be best to set up your LLC under a more general name, then add a DBA with your print business name. That way your LLC name doesn’t change, but you change your DBA at a later date. It will just save you some hassle.

What if I find another company with the same name?

If you find another company that has the same name as your company, then you need to figure out whether there’s any potential overlap or customer confusion between your two businesses. If it’s another print company in your area, then I’d recommend picking a different name. You should do this research before naming your company to make sure there isn’t already a company in your state using the same name that you want to use.

If the company’s name is just similar to yours and in a totally unrelated industry, then you probably are find to continue with your name.

If the company is also a screen print company but no where near your same area, such as a different state or even country, then don’t worry about that. I’d continue using your name. In fact, I had a company reach out to me 6 months after I started my business telling me that I should change my company name because people were confusing our businesses and my customers were calling him. However, he was in Canada and I’m in Colorado, I had no concerns about our businesses crossing paths. So I kindly told him I had no plans to change my business name. In fact, there are nearly 10 other print companies across the US that also have the same, or very close, name as my company does. It’s honestly not a big deal at all, I promise.

Should I check for domain names and social media names before deciding?

While I believe it’s not a huge deal if your business name isn’t available on social media accounts or as a domain name, you might want to check prior to deciding what to go with. But, don’t let it hold you back if you have to use something like a .co or some variation of your name in the .com of a domain. I used the .co domain for 3 years then switched to a .com and I’ve had no issues. So you can change this in the future and it’s fine. As far as social media accounts, as long as a similar variation is available, I think it’s fine there, too. So, it’s fine to check and keep these in mind, but don’t let it prevent you from using a name you love just because an exact match isn’t available as a domain name or social media account name.

Use a name you love, that’s all that matters

At the end of the day, you need to love the name you choose. It needs to be something you’re proud of and that means something to you. So don’t let outside factors or outside voices convince you to do something you don’t want to do. If you love the name, go with it. Then provide a great service and quality product and your business will grow no matter what you name it.

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