Finding a business name and looking it up on social media is not enough. Why? Your business name needs to be protected, and merely looking it up on social media cannot protect it.
One of the steps to starting a business is to find a business name that people can identify with.
Does this statement make it sound like it could get stolen? Well, yes, it could be “stolen.” It is a common practice for you to look your name up on Instagram, and other social media platforms to know whether someone is already using your proposed business name. If it happens that no one is using your business name, you get excited and give in to a deep sigh. Then there’s a feeling of fulfilment and happiness that overwhelms you and gives you the impression that there’s nothing to worry about. Truth be told, there is something to worry about, registration of your business name.
Searching on social media is good and advisable, but is not enough to give your business name security. You should get it registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). That’s where security comes into play with your business name. CAC is the agency in Nigeria that is responsible for the registration of businesses in Nigeria.
Why should you have your business name registered?
1. For security
It was mentioned earlier in the article about how important it is for you to protect your business name. What are you protecting your business name from? You are protecting your name from random business owners using your business name or even registering your name before you.
Here’s an example you should think of. You select a business name, then you launch your business to start work after you have invested resources in quality and quantity into the business, only to discover later that someone is using your business name and has registered it before you. What will you do then?
This is something business owners can hardly wrap their heads around. This is not something to be postponed. What the illustration above clearly means is that your business is at the risk of losing its investments to another brand that has legal rights over the business name.
2. Continuity, a separate entity
When your business name is registered, it is seen as a separate entity. Your business is seen as a separate entity by the law and can get access to legitimate opportunities to grow. Continuity is also assured. If you leave the business for a while or you die, there is no fear of losing your name to another business or any similar drama.
3. Avoid wasted investment
This is quite similar to the aforementioned. Working tirelessly to build a brand whose business name has been registered by another entity is as good as working for another to benefit from your sweat; if not ALL. It would hurt you to see all that you’ve worked for accredited to someone that isn’t you. Imagine how much this would affect you and the systems that you have built and worked with.
4. Protect trust in business
Your clients could lose trust in you. They would perceive you as an imposter who is trying to pitch his or her tent under a legally named business that’s not yours.
Have you seen people calling out businesses on social media, and tagging them as impostors? That is not a good scene to behold. It will shock you completely to see that your integrity as a business has been subjected to cruel questions. It will be hard to bounce back, but not impossible. However, you might have to work extra smart and hard to gain their trust back.
How many people do you want to explain to that they are wrong by thinking that you are an impostor?
5. Heightens your confidence
You know, those wild dreams you have for your business. You can always execute them with so much confidence. Why? Because there is no fear of someone coming to lay claim to your legally registered business name. So, there are no limitations that could stem from fear of losing your business to another entity or losing your business name to someone who was smarter and registered it before you.
6. Growth is sure
When you have your business name registered, you will unapologetically give your business to grow. You won’t be afraid to take on opportunities that come and could give your brand a change and define it better.
You will not be scared to expand and reach out to as many entities as possible, because there is security.
7. Respect and assurance
Having a legally recognized business name earns you respect from your clients and people alike. It also gives them a sense of assurance and confidence in your business. They know you are not a fraud and your business can be respected and trusted. They know that you are not an impostor. It assures your clients that they are safe.
8. Gives you a credible outlook
Do you know how people perceive and treat people who know what they are doing? There’s a show of honour and respect for them. They will respect you, and grant you an audience where it matters most because they have seen that you appear to know what you are doing.
Above all, register your business name before investing so much in your business. Seize postponement and act smart.