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Do I Need to Change My Name to Franchise

Call it a thought, premonition or a dream but at some point you may have been thinking about franchising your business. While there are many things that could potentially hold you back one preconceived notion may be, “do I need to change my name to franchise”. You may have lots of reasons why you think you may have to or need to change your name to franchise. Perhaps you are thinking that you are not known yet or your name is not catchy enough. You might even be concerned that your business is named after you or that the name of your business is regionally specific. While these are all good concerns you may be worrying for nothing. Let’s talk about why.

Reasons You May Come Up With to Change Your Name

If your concern is that your name is not well-known enough to franchise that is almost putting the cart before the horse. Most of the time businesses franchise with just one location in operation, so it is unrealistic to think the name of that business is well-known outside of its local area. Becoming known (in other words branding name brand) is typically a symptom of franchising and not a prerequisite to franchise (read why people don’t only purchase a franchise because of its name). Do you think your name is boring or bland? Maybe you are thinking that you need to jazz it up to franchise? On the contrary there are many franchises out there with a name that is simply boring and have morphed into a brand. You may have heard of a sandwich brand that shares its name with a public transportation system. For many years there was confusion that this sandwich brand was actually a subway system. This sandwich shop picked a common name with no glitz and no glamour, yet has morphed into one of the most well-known franchises in the United States and the world (on the other hand find out why having a great name is not everything when it comes to franchising). So this pretty much kills that idea. The same goes if your business has your name in it. There are plenty of businesses out there and some well-known franchises that have either a first or last name in the name of their business. And like our subway example, it is pretty clear they too have made themselves a brand. And by the way, this does not necessarily mean that your name already carries weight (more on why people really buy a franchise).

What if I Can’t Get My Name Protected?

It is true that as part of our franchise development process protecting the name of your business (or trademarking) is included (see a quick list of the steps to franchise). You may be concerned that the name of your business is a very common word and may be difficult to get protected (trademarked). While that is a valid concern, if working with a creative trademark attorney (and our trademark attorneys are all of this nature) anything can be trademarked. One of the exceptions, is of course if the name of your business is the exact name of your competitor and your competitor has already trademarked that name. It is important to know that it is not uncommon that in franchising the original business name is not always what is used for the name of the franchise. For example, there are many franchise systems out there that started their first or original business as “Name A” and when they went to franchise they called the franchise “Name B”. Does this mean that you need to change the name of your original business to Name B? The answer is not just no… but hell no! Switching gears to change the name of your business after you have been operating for quite some time and have some traction under your current business name is crazy and unrealistic. So rest assured that if by some chance it is determined that whatever you are calling your business now is hard to trademark, it is not the end of the world and you may not be faced with having to change your name to franchise.

Do I Need to Change My Name

We are not a proponent of you changing the name of your business to franchise it. Once you get more locations out there you name will start to become known. The idea of franchising is so there is consistency associated with a certain name. As more locations get out in the marketplace the name of your franchise becomes more recognizable. If you are in a constant battle with yourself wondering, “do I really need to change my name to franchise” hopefully this brief article has given you some sense of relief. Your business name is not the entire reason why people buy a franchise. If you are wanting to duplicate your business, get it out in the marketplace and be in the position to constantly teach and mentor others to follow in your footsteps while having the commitment to continue to add value to your franchise program; then regardless of your business name maybe it is time to explore the idea of franchising. Call us directly at 1-877-615-5177 and we will be happy to talk with you about franchising.

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