6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Name

Now that you know the legal standard that will be considered if a court ever has to decide if your mark is too similar to someone else’s, you can keep them in mind as you are narrowing down your choices. Here are just a few more factors to consider when choosing a name for your nonprofit:

  1. Easy to spell. Make sure people will not have trouble spelling your name.
  2. Easy to say. Make sure the name is not difficult to pronounce. This will make people less inclined to talk about your nonprofit since they may be embarrassed about not knowing how to say the name.
  3. Relevant. It is helpful if your name actually lets people know that your nonprofit is related to the nonprofit industry instead of a name that makes them think you are in another type of business.
  4. Unique. The law gives the strongest legal protection to original words that you create yourself (e.g., Twitter, Google, etc.) It is far easier to claim 100% ownership rights to a name that did not exist before you ever used it. You may not want to use your last name because last names are not typically considered strong marks.
  5. Ask for Feedback. Feel free to ask close friends or mentors to choose between your top options. However, you may want to consider having them sign a confidentiality or Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to make sure they do not register and use your name before you do.
  6. Available. Conduct an extensive legal name search to make sure that the name is available.

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