What's in a Business Name? A lot

photo by John Davies

Nolo.com advises that as you hunt for the perfect name for your business, keep three main legal issues in mind:

Will your business name receive trademark protection?
Is your proposed business name available?
If your business will have a website, is a similar domain name available?

Adding that, if you're starting a corporation, LLC, or limited partnership, you must comply with a few state rules for naming your business.

The same resource offers a good summary of the legal issues involved by presenting answers to the following commonly asked questions about choosing and registering a successful business name:

What's the best type of name for my business?
What issues should I keep in mind when picking a name for my business?
How do I find out if the business name I want is available?
What is a trademark?
What is the "legal name" of my business?
What is a fictitious business name?
Do I have to register my business name?
Can I change my business name to include "Inc." or "LLC"?