Determining your law firm’s business name is one of the most important marketing decisions you’ll make. Your business name will be uttered every time someone calls your office. It will be displayed on all of your advertising materials. Your business name is a pillar of your brand.
As a newly-established law firm, you should be thoughtful and strategic in your approach to choosing a business name. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:
Think of the most recognizable brands in the world. Nike. Apple. Google. They understand that keeping your business name short, memorable and easy-to-spell has many advantages. The human attention span is very short, and your business development rests largely on people being able to remember your firm’s name.
If someone passes your billboard, sees a commercial or hears your firm name in conversation, you want to ensure they’ll remember the name later when they are in need of your services.
You can probably recite a few business names and slogans from law firms in your area that engage in billboard, television and radio advertising. While you may not need to create a catchy jingle, it is important to create a business name that people will remember.
The reality is that it can be challenging for a law firm to create a concise name. For your legal entity, you may need more than a few words. In that case, consider using an abbreviation in your marketing efforts. While “Johnson, Smith & Associates, PLLC” may not create a lasting impression, “J&S” is much more memorable and would be a good option to use for your law firm’s marketing purposes (assuming yours does not require at least one full name in the business name).
Many law firms use last names in their business names. When there are multiple partners, this can create risk. Not only does it make the business name longer, but your firm may run the risk of undergoing a business name change if a partner were to leave the firm.
Business name changes are sometimes necessary, but it’s best to try to avoid it if you can. Changing your business name can present challenges to your law firm SEO and digital marketing strategy. When you create a name for your new firm, consider long-term consequences. Consider that partners of the firm may come and go, but your law firm name should be able to withstand changes to your business operations.
If you have a single area of practice, consider referencing that in the business name. Johnson & Smith, Criminal Defense Attorneys clearly defines the firm and gives potential clients an understanding of your practice areas. Including your practice area in your business name can also be beneficial to your legal online marketing strategy.
However, you also want to keep the last point in mind and think long-term. Referencing a practice area in your business name is a good option if you’re fairly confident that your law firm will continue to focus on that practice area. If you have plans to expand and eventually focus on additional practice areas, you may want to leave any reference out of your business name.
Before deciding a business name, it’s important to understand your state’s Rules of Professional Conduct. For example, trade names are not permissible in many states, but some allow them. Refrain from any name that could be misleading to consumers.
When deciding a business name, you also want to consider your firm’s online presence. You may want to see if a domain name is available that corresponds with your business name. It’s also a good idea to perform a Google search to see if there are any similar business names that could confuse a potential client searching for your business.
At Postali, we help attorneys find the best business name. If you’re starting a new law firm, we’d love to help set you up for success. Let’s talk.
Not sure where to begin?
Get started with a marketing audit.