Step 2. Investigate the Preferred Business Name
With a short list created, it’s time to see if any of the names are already registered. A quick start is to do an Internet search to see what comes up. Finding that the name exists online doesn’t necessarily mean it is unavailable, but if a chosen name is already branded worldwide, there is a case for infringement if another business tries to use it.
Avoid using a name that is very similar to an existing name. Recently a lawsuit by Mensa (the high IQ society) was settled against a pharmaceutical company who marketed services under the name ADMENSA.
Corporate name searches are also important. Since every corporation must register their name in the State where they are incorporated, searching the database is straightforward.
If an Internet presence is part of the business plan, searching a domain name should be part of the process. Domain name sellers (such as GoDaddy.com) offer a quick search service on .com, .net, .biz, and other domain extensions. Information about the registered owner is also available and many domain names are for sale.