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Business name

JoanJoan subscriber Posts: 2
edited November 2006 in Business Planning
I am fairly new to SUN. I have posted once before. I am stuck on naming my business.  Briefly: It`s a baking business (cookies) that is not brick and mortar. I will be baking and selling to local stores, bed and breakfasts and online. I would like to choose a name that carries over to the web. I know how to do a url search (which I`ve done). I am more concerned with down the road if it got bigger. I know that lrg corporations can stop you if you do anything that resembles what they do. I took a food business startup class and found out you can be bitten down the road. (ie; if my last name was "Fields" or "Mcdonald"). In the class they spoke of a woman who started an organic dog food business and got quite far with it. She got the food onto shelves, etc. Her packaging had a cute little dog with a red and white checked scarf on. Five years into her successful business she got a nice little letter from Purina`s lawyers....end of business. Do I hire a patent attorney? How do I protect myself and cover my tracks? I`ve got a name that checks out as unused in my state and on the web. What is my next step? Thanks so muchJoan2006-11-16 17:37:18


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    JoanJoan subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks CraigL, good input. I have read some of those tips in various business publications but have now been reminded of them. I wish I had someone to brainstorm with besides a friend or neighbor. It`s a little awkward to post questions. I would like to just sit down with someone and speak freely. I`m full of ideas but need a mentor, so to speak. Preferably one that doesn`t charge too much.  I will consider all of the questions you posed. Thanks again, Joan 
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    JoanJoan subscriber Posts: 2
    CraigL: I think you might have hit a bullseye. I am going on year 7 of planning. What I could have done in 7 years. Let me think about some of the questions you posed. I do have answers. Thanks, Joan
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    keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    Craig has made some excellent observations so I won`t rehash his points. Let`s get on with it and get a name you like so you can "Start It Up."
    You live in a beautiful state - Oregon - with lots of beauty and some excellent Pinot Noir wine (Archery Summit is heaven). I visited a couple of years ago and also made the long drive to Crater Lake - something I wish everyone could see - absolutely breathtaking! If I`d known you were just down the road, I would have stopped in to say hello
    People know Crater Lake. How about Crater Lake Bakery? The domain is available, too - www.siskiyoumtbakery.com</A>? Also available. Or siskiyoubakery.com? Available. Get my drift? You spoke of starting off local, selling to stores and B&Bs and then online. Why not go for names that express the beauty of Oregon? Wonderful cookies with a beautiful name that taste like nature.
    I don`t pretend to think that any of these names are the ones you will choose - just trying to show you that this is the easy part. Knock this task out and get on with it. You can do it.
    Keep us posted. And there is a "law" at SuN that you have to send all members a free sample of cookies once you launch. It`s called the Cookie Law. I`m not kidding. Read the SuN Forum By Laws. Section VI, Article 11, paragraph 3.
    BTW - who do you flew with as a F/A?
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    JoanJoan subscriber Posts: 2
    Although Archery Summit wouldn`t normally conjure up images of wine, it`s not a giant leap for me lately.  I have been reading the forum by laws and am unable to find the language that states the "cookie rule". Are you guys sure it`s section VI? Will keep searching.
    Richard, you bring up some interesting ideas about a name. Ashland is known for the Shakespeare festival that brings many tourists. I can start there. (King Arthur`s Choc. Chip, Taming of the Sugar Cookie, Macbeth Melts, Twelfth Night Brownies). Shakespeare probably has some pretty good lawyers though.  I guess I really need to figure out what I want my identity to be. It is true that Oregon is a beautiful place. I will give your ideas some thought.  BTW, United.
    Craig, I do have some things that bring me joy. I am going to do some brainstorming while at work today. Thanks for all of your input. I have waited too long in sharing my anguish. All of the members get cookies? Are you also from Oregon? (a brother in Coos Bay).
    The current name in the running is Sweet Waldo or Sweet Waldos. Waldo is my son`s middle name and his late Grandfather`s first name. (Yes, the photo is of a boy). The name allows me to add other sweets to my menu. (Is that overthinking it)? The name has not been taken yet. Thanks again, Joan
     Joan2006-11-17 9:26:0
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    MNGrillGuyMNGrillGuy subscriber Posts: 2 Member
    Joan, if you post what exactly you are offering you will get plenty of free advice right here!  SuN members are some of the best and brightest in field of entrepreneurship.  Much wisdom from formal education, experience and mostly the school of hard knocks.
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    JoanJoan subscriber Posts: 2
    Thank you to both of you. I have many ideas and questions. I will put aside all of my inhibitions and go for it.  I read the forum daily and know of this brightness and experience. Thanks again, Joan 
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    IDEAJohnIDEAJohn subscriber Posts: 1
    Brainstorming works best with small group of people face-to-face. I`ve never gotten good results on line. We brainstorm at each session of the Denver IDEA Cafe, join us here, or start and IDEA Cafe Meetup group near you that can brainstorm this and all the other problems/opportunities that will come up as you get started. See http://ideacafe.meetup.com</A>
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    JenniferJennifer subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Joan,
    Just thought I`d jump in here.  I launched a cookie business two months ago, which I`d been working on for a year.  I named mine The Cozy Cookie Company and chose the url www.CozyCookies.com</A>.  One thing I noticed *after* I reserved the url is that there is another site called CozyCookie.com which sells a cookie-shaped toy.  Not the end of the world, but now when you search on "cozy cookie", that website shows before mine.  So my advice is to at least do a search on your proposed name and see what you find.  For example, if you want to use "Joan`s Marvelous Cookies", then do a google search on that.  For all you know, you might find a "Joan`s Marvelous Bowling Shoes" hogging the first several results pages.  This would make it hard to find you online...and also puts a very un-cookie image in people`s heads.
    BTW, I think your first name would sound great in your business name.  "Joan" has a homey comfy ring to it.
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    IDEAJohnIDEAJohn subscriber Posts: 1
    Would a cookie taste as sweet by any other name?
    A cookie is a cookie is a cookie.
    IDEAJohn2006-11-25 8:56:3
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    stevesteve subscriber Posts: 14
    Wow, Craig, good call!

    I have been reading the forum by laws and am unable to find
    the language that states the "cookie rule". Are you guys sure it`s
    section VI? Will keep searching.Joan, a little known provision
    of the cookie rule is that Joel Welsh, as Chief Community Officer, is empowered to receive the afore mentioned cookies on behalf of the whole community.
    To qualify for this loophole the cookies have to arrive at
    StartupNation headquarters precisely at 11:30am on the first Monday of
    the month. (Can`t blame a guy for trying. I`m meeting Joel for lunch on Dec 4th, my first day of freedom!)

    About the business name. If your cookies are outstanding it doesn`t
    really matter what you call them; they`ll sell anyway (anyone care for
    some Peek Freans?) If they`re not, it doesn`t matter how good the name might be.

    I like the name Sweet Waldo. If you go with it, get both names, with
    and without the `s`, and get the .com, .net, .org, etc, within reason
    to further protect the name.

    The business name doesn`t have to be the same as the product name and
    you can do multiple brands. I`m thinking about a second brand applyingmuch of what I`ve learned (the hard way) from the first.

    I highly recommend From Kitchen to Market: Selling Your Gourmet Food Specialty.

    Good luck and do stick around StartupNation. It`s helping us almost every single day.

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    tm4smallbiztm4smallbiz subscriber Posts: 0
    Craig,It is possible for a name to become "generic" over time.  Aspirin used to be a trademark, as did Yo-Yo and many other names.  But once a trademark is registered, it generally is enforceable unless someone file a legal proceeding to cancel the registration based on the genericness.Google is certainly in danger of becoming generic, but its attorneys are working hard to enforce its trademark and police how people use the term to keep it from losing its value and registration.- Erik Pelton
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    IDEAJohnIDEAJohn subscriber Posts: 1
    At what point is it not possible to protect a business name?
    If I`ve already started operating and using a name, can I go back and protect it later?
    And what if I`ve started using a business name, but I don`t tell people I`ve protected it legally?
    Finally, what if I`ve protected it legally, disclosed the fact that it is protected, but when I see others using the name I allow their use to continue?
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    IDEAJohnIDEAJohn subscriber Posts: 1
    In order to maintain a strong trademark, you need to monitor for infringment and enforce it against those that are infringers.  If someone is using the name in an un-related industry, that is likely not an infringement.
    Yes, I understand this isn`t legal advice.
    Isn`t this monitoring and enforcement impractical for most startups? I understand Coke has a team of people who go into Pepsi vendors asking for a "coke", and if they are given a Pepsi instead they take action. This is necessary to keep Coke from becoming a generic name.
    Can a small business afford to do this? If not, should a startup spend any of the precious few dollars available for startup to protect the name?
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    tm4smallbiztm4smallbiz subscriber Posts: 0
    A name and trademark is extremely valuable to any small business, and thus I view the cost of protection and monitoring as an investment.  The investment also greatly reduces the odds of (a) having to defend a challenge over the name from another party (and expensive legal fees), and (b) having to change names and re-brand once the business is established, which also can be expensive and slow growth or even cause a loss of customers.See my website here for some more information on the value of trademark registration: http://www.tm4smallbiz.com/tm_register.html- Erik
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    KenR9556KenR9556 subscriber Posts: 0

    KenR95562006-11-27 9:14:52
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