Today’s guest blogger is James J. Eischen, Jr. of Eischen Law Group, APLC.
So you want to name your medical or dental practice something different than “Dr. Arnold Palmer, A Tasteful General Practice?”
A quick story: a business partner and I decided to create a private medical business to help private fee physicians and patients better connect, and to deliver basic private medical practice administrative services. We wanted to use a business name that suggests “connection” but we did not want to use a descriptive name or a name too similar to competitors (like “ConnectMD”). We sat in a crowded bar during a loud happy hour in San Diego with smart phones in hand as we did rapid internet searches for each clever name we fell in love with, only to discover again and again that the name we loved (or something very close) was already in use and therefore unavailable. I discovered that virtually every cool name you can think of in Latin or Greek is already snapped up by the pharmaceutical industry or other health care businesses. Frustrated, we decided to plow the fields of another language—Punjabi (my girlfriend’s parents are from Punjab). I searched Punjabi for a name that referred to “connection” but also had something of a lyrical feel. I struck out on my own but then enlisted the help of my girlfriend’s very literate and well-educated father via a quick email. He rapidly suggested “Jorna.” Interesting. We searched the internet and found nothing of note. We then searched the California business portal for corporations and limited partnerships/LLCs—no Jorna. Success. So we formed a California corporation called “JornaSolutions” as an initial holding company, and then we registered every version of “Jorna” we intend to use as domain names on the Internet. Time will tell if that name connects to a successful business. I am guessing it is a better name than “Doctor Helpers” or “Find U Patients.”
What makes a good business name?
“Xerox” and “Kleenex” are routinely touted as amazing business names. Why? Over time both evolved from obscure names lacking any discernable meaning to nearly universally recognized words. If I ask someone for a “Kleenex” I’m handed a disposable tissue paper product without question. I tell someone I am “Xeroxing” a file they understand am copying the file. If I tell you I “FedEx’d” a letter after I stopped off for lunch at KFC, you’d have no problem knowing I sent a letter via overnight delivery after eating some version of fried (or grilled) chicken. “Facebook” easily becomes the “F” logo in a blue rectangle on seemingly every electronic media offering on the Internet without triggering confusion (not a grade). And now “facebooked” is a verb, right? On the other hand, if I started a company selling paper products called “Paper” your common sense informs you that the company name will never be truly valuable or protectable. And I probably can’t stop other companies from referring to “paper” by calling my company “Paper.” Read More