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If you plan to use a general
word when coining your business name, please don’t forget the
fact that as humans we sometimes think alike and someone else might have used
the name. However there are many tricks to get the name you desire to be
available to you even if it is a commonly used word. A client once told me he
saw his desired name in a dream, but when we searched, the name was denied,
apparently, someone else saw it in a dream before him.
The problem of name denial is real and
research shows that many entrepreneurs get frustrated when their desired names
are not available for registration. Some have been discouraged to proceed with
registration while others cast suspicious looks at the Incorporation
agent.  But according to Akin Mate, a Lagos based corporate lawyer, there
may be a way out. The easiest way to get the name you desire is to be unique
and creative, Akin Mate Said. Unique names will always beat the system.

How To Get Your Desired Name:

Be Creative
A business name can
be very creative notwithstanding the business you are doing. When thinking of a
desired name it’s better to think outside the box. Many popular brand names
today are coined out of abstract ideas. Creativity helps a lot. It will help
you get that desired name.
Be Unique
No matter what business or
profession you are in, it pays to be unique and differentiate yourself by the
name you choose for your business. You don’t have to follow the crowd.

Combine More Words

Using more words in your name can help you get an approval, especially if you
are using general words. For instance if you want a word like
“Furniture” to appear in your brand name, you have to include other
words. Example; Excel Concord Furniture Sales Limited will have a better chance
of being approved than Excel Furniture Limited.

Choose Something That Is
Significant To You

Coining words from
ideas that are significant to you might prove unbeatable. From experience I’ve
seen clients combine names of their children, their name and their spouse’s,
their birth dates etc. A client combined her children’s name Mirabel and
Collins to form MiraColls Ventures, Ukeme and Telma was used to form Ukitel
Services. Such names are unbeatable.

Avoid Using General Words
As mentioned earlier,
people think alike in many ways and it’s easy to fall for a name just because
it’s a generally used word. Words like God’s Gift, Immaculate, Aroma, Food,
Cuisine, Standard, Diamond, Gold, etc are general words and if not properly
combined will lead to a disapproval.

Try To Use Indigenous Terms

There is a popular
restaurant where I eat, and the registered name of the place fascinates me. Its
locally branded and besides being unique, it draws attention. The name of the
outfit is Ikooko Mi Limited (Ikooko Mi is a Yoruba Word for my cooking pot).
Indigenous words and words in your local dialect if well combined will always
come out well.

Use Foreign Language

Coining your name in a
Foreign Language may be a sure banker when it comes to uniqueness. For instance
a French name like “Rendezvous Limited” is likely to be available.
Besides being a catchy name, “Rendezvous Limited” might get you more
clients from Lagos Island than a name that that is less catchy.
Always Include Limited, PLC
In Company Registration

reason why CAC deny names is when the name search inquiry omits the appropriate
adjective or the acronym after the name. For Business names (sole Proprietors
or Partnerships) It’s always advisable but not mandatory to add words like
“ventures” “Enterprise” etc after the desired name. Example is: “Jekyl
Ventures,” or @Jekyl Enterprise”

However it is mandatory when conducting a name search for company registration
to add the word “Limited”, “LTD” or “PLC” after your desired name. If that is
not done, the search would be invalid.

Avoid Certain Words

Many people make the
mistake of trying to register a federal agency instead of a private or public
company, said Said, Amaka Anierobi, a Lagos based Lawyer. They do so by adding
words like “Federal”, “National’, “Regional”,
“State”, “Government”, “Municipal” or
“Chartered”, “Co-operative” or the words “Building
Society”, “Group” or “Holding. These words are prohibited
under section 30 of the Companies And Allied Matters Act, (the law regulating
Use Names That Relate With
Your Business
While choosing a name, be
sure to avoid using verbs that does not address the core nature of your
business. For instance if your business is for the supply of building and
construction material, the core verb in your business is contractors not
construction. So try using a name like “RBN Building Materials Contractors Limited” or “RBN
Medical Equipment Supplies
Use Acronyms
Acronyms have a five out
of every ten chance of working out. Start with a nice acronym and spell it out
as your company name. Use Acronyms like EWP perhaps for Elegant Wedding
Planners Limited, etc.

Avoid Publicizing Your Name
Before Registration

If you are not going to
get registered soon, then you should avoid publicizing your name. The truth is
there may be someone out there who will either intentionally or unintentionally
steal your name.  In the movie titled Focus,
starring Will Smith, we were told how the subconscious mind registers an image
it sees over time and accepts it as its own.
Do Not Let Your Name Search
Expire Before Registration
Many people, even lawyers
have encountered the problem in the past. Little is known if this problem still
persists. But Lawyers often advise their clients, if you know you are not ready
for registration, don’t bother reserving the name, because chances are it might
get stuck in CAC’s system after expiration and become unusable. A friend who
tried to register her company could not proceed with the name because the name
got stuck and could not be re-reserved neither could it be cleared from the

Ask Google

Usually google does not
have a list of all the registered businesses in Nigeria, but if you search
google, you might find that a company using a name similar to yours may already
exist. A website with the name may even be listed on the search result.
Do Not Register A Business
Name IfYou Intend Converting To A Company

Another mistake people make is that they register a business name and dream of
converting it into a company. However in reality, it’s not possible. A business
name cannot be converted to a company. Only a company is convertible. A Private
company can be converted to a public company, likewise a company limited can be
converted to an unlimited company and vice versa.

Ed’s Note: This article
was originally posted by RBN Bloggers here