Benefits of Using a Word or Phrase for your DBA Name
This is part three of three of our series, To DBA or Not to DBA. Be sure to catch up on the first post, To DBA or Not to DBA, and the second post, Pros and Cons of Using Your Name to Brand Your DBA.
In Part 2 of our series, To DBA or Not to DBA, we discussed the pros and cons of using your own name to brand your DBA (i.e., Edwards Financial Group). Using your name is a great approach in the financial industry because your clients typically know you by name and often refer you as such. But not everyone has a name that’s great for branding, and some advisors like to get a little more creative. Whether you choose the Name route or the Word/Phrase approach, there are benefits to both methods of naming your DBA. If you’re considering creating a DBA using a word or phrase, here’s what you need to know.
Using a Word or Phrase Allows Room for Growth
Using a word or phrase for your DBA as opposed to your own name can provide more flexibility for the growth of your business. Despite the ability to add team members or partners to a DBA with your name (using the “Edwards and Associates” or “Edwards Group” model), some people (even subconsciously) prefer to work for a company that’s not associated with one specific person. Sometimes the “your name” approach gives the impression that the business is yours alone, and there is no room for a partner (even if that’s not your intention). Because of this, using a word or phrase can make it easier to attract talent, grow your team, or recruit a partner in the future. Similarly, your business and brand could be easier to sell in the future if the name is less tied to your person.
You Can Tell Your Brand Story
If you have a unique name idea (along with an explanation for that name), your DBA title can be a great talking point with prospects and even help tell the story of your business. The name doesn’t need to be complicated or even have an immediately recognizable significance—one of our clients, Forge and Link Financial Group, draws a connection between the forging of metal and the cleansing of old financial habits, along with the link between client values and their goals for their finances. You might not be able to decipher the connection at first glance, but the name allows them to tell their story and explain their brand promise when they meet new clients. A clever name can express your company’s mission in a memorable way and describe how you run your practice.
A Caution with Creative DBA Names
There are a few basic rules when choosing a name for your DBA which I’ll list below, but the first one is this: don’t confuse people. Don’t try to be so creative that people don’t grasp what you’re trying to portray. (I have a similar rule for answering the question, “What do you do for a living?”) If the name is so obscure that it takes you ten minutes to describe why you chose the word or phrase, it’s probably too complicated. It’s also not a good idea to choose words or phrases that are difficult to spell or pronounce. Even something seemingly simple like “Entrepreneurial Financial Strategies” can leave people a little tongue-tied and consequently more likely to forget the name or misspell it when trying to find your website.
Make Sure It’s Your Own
As with using your own name in your DBA, using a word or phrase in your branding requires some research before you make a final decision. No one can stop you from using your own name, but there are existing trademarks on certain words and phrases. If you have a DBA name idea, you should complete a trademark search before you purchase a domain name or submit it for approval to your compliance department. You can have an intellectual property attorney do this for you or let us help you with the process.
One downside to the word or phrase model is that in this day and age, so many of the good options are taken. You may have an idea that sounds clever, but the name has been used or several other people have had the same idea. That’s why it’s important to do your research as you brainstorm DBA names.
Getting Started Choosing a DBA Name
If you know you want to create an original DBA name, searching for existing businesses and domain names on Google and GoDaddy is a good place to start. When you have an idea, search for it and see if the business already exists or if that domain name is taken. If you have a concept you like but the word itself isn’t catchy or original, you can consider a translated word or Latin phrase. “Always Strong Financial” might not sound catchy, but our clients at Semper Fortis have established a brand name that resonates with clients by using the Latin phrase for “always strong” as their DBA name.
You can also choose a nonsense word or something less literal (think, Yelp, HubSpot, and Coca Cola). People don’t always consider this option, but because it’s not English or directly related to your industry, these options are more readily available. Your nonsense word could even be an acronym that expresses your brand promise, so you have a story to tell clients and prospects when they ask about the name.
Whichever word or phrase you choose, remember to pick a DBA name that’s…
- Not confusing
- Easy to say and spell
- Available from a domain perspective
- Different from others in your market
Whether you choose your own name or a new word, your DBA name should reflect you and your brand promise. If you want additional guidance choosing a DBA name, we’d be happy to help!