If choosing between incorporation and sole proprietorship was the hard part (http://www.ccpa-accp.ca/blog/?p=4247), choosing a business name can be the fun and creative part. You may already have a few ideas; I didn’t and so this is the process that I followed.
First, I did an extensive google search of private practitioners in my area. Originally, I just wanted to see what names were already taken. Then I decided to create a list of all of the other private practices noting their area of expertise, area of the city, the number of counsellors on site, and their contact information. I strongly suggest you do the same because this can be the basis for your gap analysis, a referral list later on, and a contact list for rental space. I also developed some ideas for a website by looking at how everyone else did it. I’ll have more information about these ideas in later blogs, so stay tuned!
What I noticed were a few trends in business names. A number of counsellors chose names highlighting location, others chose names that conceptualized the counselling process, and some kept it simple by using their names for their business. Because I am incorporating a business of one, I decided to use my name.
I need to make sure that my business name is not already in use. A NUANS (Newly Upgrades Automated Name Search) can be conducted online or by a number of facilities including Registries and this searches the proposed business name to determine if it is already taken. This process costs from $ 25.00 and up depending on what service you use. I accomplished this NUANS in one day. As luck would have it, there are no other Shelley Skelton Psychological Services businesses in my area! The NUANS holds my business name for 90 days, meaning I have three months to complete my incorporation paperwork.
I don’t know about you, but going into private practice seems less daunting when it is broken down into manageable steps. My goal, then, is to offer ideas about each of these steps. Check out my blog next time and I’ll tell you more about the gap analysis.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA