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Choosing Your Business Name

Fairy Cardmaker

Posts: 1108

« on: May 30, 2010, 09:42:46 pm »

So, I've been fretting over changing my business name for well over 2 months.  Thus far, no one I have asked has been able to come up with anything.  I've been doing research and I thought I would share with the community.

I found these three articles extremely helpful:

5 Rules for Choosing Buiness Names (my favourite - short but informative)

Creating an Effective Business Name (this one has examples)

Tips for Brainstorming a Retail Business Name (this one is a little more detailed and includes an exercise)

My decision is still up in the air, but I think these will be a big help.

Posts: 1096

« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2010, 03:21:20 am »

I'm glad you are still thinking about it. It does sound that you are going to make the change but just haven't come up with a name... hmmm... I am flat out of ideas.  Think of some appropriate words and run them through Google keywords.


Posts: 442

« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2010, 05:25:29 pm »

FairyCardmaker - have you made any progress with this? Strategically, I would encourage you to figure out where your business will take you in the next 10 years.

The reason I say this is that there are a couple of ways to look at a business name:
  • Name it after yourself - like "Jane Smith Enterprises." Trademark wise, this is a good way to narrow down a name that likely would not conflict with others and is why you see so many businesses named after the owner.
  • Name it specific to your product - like "Fairy Cardmaker." Will you be making cards the rest of your business life or will you be exploring other artistic endeavors?
  • Name it generic - like "GalleriaLinda." GalleriaLinda can sell jewelry or pots and pans. It is a branding umbrella.

The other thing is that you can have several business names, such as Fairy Cardmaker that brands all your cards (keep it if you do have brand recognition). Add to that "Fairy Knitted Accessories." Or, more. If you like the brand term "fairy" then I would suggest keeping it as a common thread.

Well, it is a challenge for sure. I wish you the best on this. Hope these thoughts help.

Fairy Cardmaker

Posts: 1108

« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2010, 07:08:02 pm »

Thanks for those points.  Actually, the name change on iCraft is nigh seamless.  Fairy Cardmaker is my new name.  Ensorcelled Minds was my old one.  I am incorporated as Ensorcelled Minds so I still have that.  Fairy Cardmaker is a registered trading name, so I can consider it a division.

Posts: 1096

« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2010, 02:10:34 am »

"Registered trading name" Huh

i think I need to do that too.  I wonder if it is much different in BC as compared to Ontario?

Cheers Christine
Fairy Cardmaker

Posts: 1108

« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2010, 01:00:28 am »

Registered Trading Name is similar to "Doing Business As" in the U.S.  I think my name is registered only in Ontario since I am an Ontario corporation and did not register to do business across Canada.  Because I don't have any permanent establishments anywhere other than Ontario, that is where I am considered to sell from and that's the only place I need to register to do business.  (A permanent establishment is GENERALLY a physical location, but there are many characteristics to consider that could result in a deemed permanent establishment even where there is no physical location.)

So, no my name is not as protected as I would like it to be, but it is protected in my province.

You do a name search (NUANS), pay a fee, and then fill out some papers.  I made my lawyers do it (and it cost a lot) but, hey, I'm an accountant, I know tha half-an-hour of time costs a lot!

Posts: 164

« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2010, 11:55:50 am »

Should I be thinking of registering my name? I had thought that since I am not anywhere near 30k/yr that it didn't matter, because then I'd have to pay into the gst/pst.

I'm not sure how it all works, and I did study accounting, but I don't work in that field (yet).
Fairy Cardmaker

Posts: 1108

« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2010, 11:33:46 pm »

You can register your name yourself online.  There's a fee to register it and a fee to run a search before registering it if you want to (which is recommended to do).  I've heard of people doing it themselves online but I'm lazy and paid my corporate lawyer to do it (and it was big bucks).  Cry

If you are not incorporated, then you are doing business personally that should be reported on your personal income tax return.  You can have a name registered to that business.  It would be a sole proprietorship which is "operating as" <NAME>.

Registering a name is a legal process, not a tax process.  You still will not have to register for HST IF: 1) you weren't registered for GST and 2) you do not have gross REVENUES of $30,000.  This is true whether you are a sole proprietorship or a corporation.

I'm a corporation.  When I filed for a business number (so that I can file corporate taxes), I was careful not to ask for a GST number at the same time because, once you have one, I don't think you can ever go back.  (Tax is not my strong point and excise tax is even more vague to me, but I don't think you can ever reverse the registration.)

I incorporated for other-than-saving-a-name reasons.  If not for other reasons, I would have just kept a list of name variants and/or alternative names in case anyone ever comes forward to stop me from using that name.  However, if this was my only source of income and I wanted to develop a fully fledged business out of it (even a part-time one), then darned right I would register the name!

Posts: 1096

« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2010, 02:50:34 am »

There are some remarkable benefits of being a "business" with a formal registration number.

Wholesale suippliers is one but there can be income tax advantages when you run your studio out of your home.  It does create paperwork. But you can start making things  tax deductible.

There are some really good books on home based handmade business on this and if it weren't so late I would go dig it out... maybe tomorrow... feel free to remind me.

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