” People often fail to comprehend that a company name and a brand name are two distinct entities. As a future or current business owner, you have to know the key differences between the two in order to get your legal affairs right. Let’s have a more comprehensive look, shall we?”
What is a Company Name?
The name given to an organization registered under the Companies Act is known as the trade name or company name. To put it very simply, it is the official name under which an individual or a group of individuals decide to execute some business activity for profit making. It has to be suffixed with either private limited company, LLC, Corp or other legal endings depending of the type of business structure it is currently operating under. An example of a company would be the Proctor & Gamble Company or the Coca-Cola Company.
What is a Brand Name?
Services of a company, which can be used for advertising and sales purposes. It does not need any legal suffixes. Examples of brands would be Pantene or Ambi Pur (under the Proctor & Gamble Company) and Sprite or Minute Maid (under the Coca-Cola Company).
Ideally company names and brand names should be different
It’s very simple. A company name distinguishes one company from other companies. A brand name distinguishes the products of one company from the products of another company. Sometimes, a brand name and the company name can overlap in case of famous brands like Sony, Nike or Shell, when the company realizes that one name is suitable to be the identity of all its products.
Things to keep in mind when naming your company
The name of your company should be unique and should represent the quality of your products or services that sets it apart from your competitors.
1. The name of your company should be creative so that it can grab attention.
2. The naming process is not so simple as thinking of a name and attaching it with your company. You need to conduct a company name search to make sure your name is legally available before applying for its registration.
3. A matching domain name is always helpful to make a company’s online presence felt. So make sure no other company out there shares a domain name similar to your company’s name.
Things to keep in mind when naming your brand
1. A brand name is protected from use by others by securing a trademark or service mark from an authorized agency that is usually a government agency. You need to make sure that your brand name is not already registered in order to get it trademarked.
2. Brand names are usually associated with logos, which are graphic representatives of brands. They help customers identify and differentiate the products of parent companies from the others. You will need to have a well-designed logo to make your brand memorable.
3. A brand name has to be able to bring out the key theme of the product in an appealing manner. It has to be attractive and noticeable.
What are the legal implications?
A company is like an artificial person under whose name statutory requirements are filed, such as income tax returns, annual filings and other legal proceedings. Therefore, you will need to register it with the Registrar of Companies under the Companies Act 2013.
- You need not take such a registration for a brand name, but to protect it from misuse and claim it as yours, you will have to register its trademark. The authority for registering trademarks is the Controller General of Patents and Designs and Trade Marks under the Trademarks Act of 1999. Once you apply for registration and obtain the trademark for your brand name, you can sue anyone else who tries to use the same name for identical or similar purposes.
- You can create multiple brand names under one company name, similar to The Hindustan Unilever Limited which markets many brands like Lux, Ponds, Surf Excel and Vaseline.
- As there are many legal implications involved, it is always helpful to take help from a professional naming firm that can guide you through the process. In many cases, the brand name can become more popular than the company that it is under. For this reason, both company and brand naming are highly important and knowing every last detail is crucial to their impending success.
If you are setting out to name your company or your brand and need some professional help, let us know at WinnerBrands. Our team of branding experts can work exclusively on your requirement and make your brand a true Winner in the market!