For the past several weeks, I have written about corporate structures and things to think about when planning for the future. While these are topics worth covering, they are dry…so let’s start with something a little more fun. When thinking about organizing your business, there is always one question, try as you might, you won’t be able to avoid: What will you name your side hustle?
As your first order of business, realize that the name of your company – corporation, LLC, etc. – does not have to be the same as your trade name. For example, I could set up “Scott Lloyd, Inc.” and register the trade name “Saturday Side Hustle” as my consumer-facing business name (assuming that name isn’t taken). Also, my corporation could be a holding company for multiple subsidiary businesses with just as many names. Further, I could have a business name and multiple product names.
What’s in a name? Well, your name will be part of your intellectual property, and your intellectual property assets may one day be your most valuable assets. Sidebar: by intellectual property, I mean the “intangibles” that contribute to your success. In the case of a name, consumers will come to associate your business’ name with its goods and services. If you provide goods and services of high quality, consumers will associate the name of your business with high quality. In other words, you will be building “goodwill”, which is an intellectual property asset.
Why is goodwill so important between industries? Let’s look at the food industry, as an example. Goodwill is incredibly important in the food industry, and it is built on many levels. Initially, you may only have one product or a few variants (e.g., flavors) of essentially the same product. At the outset, you have developed a plan to market your products to a certain demographic, and your name needs to attract purchasers when you enter the market. If you are targeting consumers of “clean label,” “natural” or organic products (a popular trend of late), you want your name to resonate with them as soon as they see your packaging. Consider some of the most popular brands in this space: Organic Valley®, Cascadian Farm®, Annie’s Homegrown®. What do they all have in common? I’ll leave it to you to answer that question for yourself.
Naming your business well may be the first step in establishing your brand, which is an important component of your company’s overall goodwill. A strong brand is one that attracts consumers and ultimately becomes associated with high quality. You want the name of your business to attract consumers when you are new to the market and retain them once they begin to associate your name with high-quality products. Since you are betting on yourself, you, therefore, want to protect your name. This will be our bridge to next week’s topic.
For more information on this topic, please contact Scott Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT SCOTT LLOYD
Scott Lloyd is a registered patent attorney who specializes in intellectual property counseling and commercialization work. He has served as a technology commercialization specialist and advisor to companies in a diverse array of markets, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and beverage, specialty chemicals, technology and engineering. In addition, Mr. Lloyd spent ten years as in-house general counsel to small and mid-sized companies, where he managed corporate matters and resolved commercial disputes in addition to intellectual property strategy, and now serves in the same capacity for entrepreneurial clients. He serves as counsel to small and mid-sized business owners seeking to implement growth strategies and succession plans.
While in house, Mr. Lloyd has also contributed to the successful formation of international affiliates of domestic businesses as well as a $400,000,000 business acquisition.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
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