Picking A Company Name
You want to get this right the first time, and it takes patience. The last thing you want is to uproot everything, from your branding, website to company registration simply because you’ve discovered you were too quick to settle on a company name. Be patient, do your homework.
1) Unique and unforgettable.
In the trade, this is called “stickiness.” But the issue of stickiness turns out to be kind of, well, sticky. Every company wants a name that stands out from the crowd, a catchy handle that will remain fresh and memorable over time. That’s a challenge because naming trends change, often year by year, making timeless names hard to find (remember the dot.coms).
2) Avoid unusual spellings.
When creating a name, stay with words that can easily be spelled by customers. Some startup founders try unusual word spellings to make their business stand out, but this can be trouble when customers ‘Google’ your business to find you, or try to refer you to others. Stay with traditional word spelling, and avoid those catchy words that you love to explain at cocktail parties.
3) Easy to pronounce and remember.
Forget made-up words and nonsense phrases. Make your business name one that customers can pronounce and remember easily. Skip the acronyms, which mean nothing to most people. When choosing an identity for a company or a product, simple and straightforward are back in style, and cost less to brand.
4) Keep it simple.
The shorter in length, the better. Limit it to two syllables. Avoid using hyphens and other special characters. Since certain algorithms and directory listings work alphabetically, pick a name closer to A than Z. These days, it even helps if the name can easily be turned into a verb, like Google me.
5) Make some sense.
Occasionally, business owners will choose names that are nonsense words. Quirky words (Yahoo, Google, Fogdog) or trademark-proof names concocted from scratch (Novartis, Aventis, Lycos) are a big risk. Always check the international implications. More than one company has been embarrassed by a new name that had negative and even obscene connotations in another language.
6) Give a clue.
Try to adopt a business name that provides some information about what your business does. Calling your landscaping business “Lawn and Order” is appropriate, but the same name would not do well for a handyman business. Your business name should match your business in order to remind customers what services you provide.
7) Make sure the name is available.
This may sound obvious, but a miss here will cost you dearly. Your company name and Internet domain name should probably be the same, so check out your preferred names with your State Incorporation site, Network Solutions for the domain name, and the U.S. Patent Office for Trademarks.
8) Favor common suffixes
Everyone will assume that your company name is your domain name minus the suffix “.com” or the standard suffix for your country. If these suffixes are not available for the name you prefer, pick a new name rather than settling for an alternate suffix like “.net” or “.info.” Get all three suffixes if you can.
9) Don’t box yourself in
Avoid picking names that don’t allow your business to move around or add to its product line. This means avoiding geographic locations or product categories to your business name. With these specifics, customers will be confused if you expand your business to different locations or add on to your product line.
10) Sample potential customers
Come up with a few different name choices and try them out on potential customers, investors, and co-workers. Skip your family and friends who know too much. Ask questions about the names to see if they give off the impression you desire.
If you are still unsure of yourself, you should know that there are many dedicated firms, like Igor and A Hundred Monkeys, that can relieve you of $1 million of your hard-earned funds to come up with just the right appellation. Hmmm. I wonder how much they spent on their own names?
Choosing A Domain Name
Now that you have a company name, it’s time to purchase your domain name (your internet address).
11 Tips for Choosing the Best Domain Name
1. Stick with .com
There are plenty of new domain name extensions available today, from the original .com, .net and .org to niche extensions like .pizza, .photography, and even .blog.
We always recommend choosing a .com domain name.
While it can be tempting to come up with clever blog names using new extensions, .com is still the most established and credible domain name extension.
Newer domain extensions like .ninja or .photography can be untrustworthy.
Dot-com domains are also the most memorable. Many users, especially those who aren’t as tech-savvy, will automatically type “.com” at the end of every domain without thinking about it.
If your website is something like jane.photography, and your users accidentally type in jane.photography.com, they will end up on an error page on photography.com website.
It’s smart to avoid that risk by sticking with .com.
Not to mention, most smartphone keyboards automatically have a .com button.
2. Use Keywords in Your Domain Name Search
Keywords play an important role in a domain. By using keywords in your domain name, you tell the search engines what your website is about. Together with quality content and good user experience, keywords in your domain can help you rank higher in Google.
It is very hard to find a good domain with your target keywords, that’s not already taken.
You will need to be creative and combine your keywords with other words to make your domain stand out.
3. Keep Your Domain Name Short
While keywords are important, don’t go overboard with domain length. It’s better to have a domain name that’s short and memorable.
We recommend keeping your domain name under 15 characters. Longer domains are harder for your users to remember.
Not to mention, users will also be more prone to entering typos with longer domain names which can lead to loss traffic.
That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your domain length short.
4. Make Your Domain Name Easy to Pronounce and Spell
You should be able to easily share your domain name when speaking as well as writing. You never know when you’ll be asked to share your domain name in person.
If you’re planning to use your domain name to create a professional business email address, then it definitely should be easy to understand and spell for any listener.
5. Keep it Unique and Brandable
Your blog domain name must be unique, so you can stand out in your readers’ minds. It’s smart to research other blogs in your niche and find out what domain names they’re using.
You don’t want to accidentally use a trademark name or get accused of copying another blogger.
You can also choose to pick a domain name that’s more brandable.
Brandable domain names are unique, catchy, and memorable. For example, “Amazon.com” is a much more brandable name than “BuyBooksOnline.com.”
6. Avoid Hyphens in Domain Name
Never create a domain name with hyphens. Hyphens can be a sign of spam domains which you do not want to be associated with.
Hyphenated domains are also prone to typos. If you choose a domain name with hyphens because the domain you want is already taken, then your users will likely end up at your competitor’s site if they forget to type in the hyphen.
7. Avoid Double Letters
It’s a good idea to avoid domains with doubled letters, because it increases your chances of losing traffic to typos. For example, a domain like Presssetup.com will be more prone to typos, and result in lost traffic.
Avoiding doubled letters will also make your domain easy to type and more brandable.
8. Leave Room to Expand
It’s smart to choose a domain name that’s related to your industry / niche because it gives users some idea of what your website is about. But you also don’t want to limit your long term options too much.
For example, a florist might choose a domain name like orchidblog.com, but then they may want to start blogging about other flowers beside orchids. In that case, the domain might prevent you from attracting readers interested in other flowers.
Properly moving your site to a new domain can be a frustrating process, and it can cause you to lose search rankings if you don’t do it right. That’s why it is important to pick a flexible domain name from the start.
9. Research Your Domain Name
Before you register a domain name, try to find out if there is already a registered business using the same name.
You can perform a trademark search to see if there is already a similar or exact name already trademarked.
You can also perform a Google search and check for the name’s availability on top social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
A similar or matching name would not only cause confusion, but it could also have severe legal implications which may cost you a lot of money.
Once you have your own website up and running, you can learn more about how to trademark and copyright your website name and logo.
10. Use Domain Name Generators for Celever Ideas
Currently, there are more than 360 Million registered domain names. This leads to many people saying that all good domains are already taken.
Searching for individual domain name manually can be very time consuming.
This is where domain name generators come in. These free tools automatically search for your defined keywords to find hundreds of clever domain name ideas.
11. Act Quickly Before Someone Else Takes it
Each day thousands of new domain names are registered from all parts of the world. If you have found a domain name that you like, then don’t wait too long.
Domain names are like real estate. Thousands of people are actively looking for good brandable domain names that they can register for better rates in the future.
If you don’t act fast, then someone may go ahead and register your domain idea.
Since domain names are relatively cheap, we always recommend our readers to act fast. If you change your mind later, then you can simply let it expire.
Purchasing A Domain Name
My personal favorite domain registrar is namecheap.com. They’re easy to use, to the point, and they don’t spam the hell out of you. Please, whatever you choose avoid GoDaddy like it’s the plague. They’re horribly annoying with all their spam, support is comparable to speaking to a brick wall and logging in almost seems like a punishment with their stupid usernames.
Choosing Your Corporation Type
Choosing the right business entity is important, and that goes without saying. Here’s a small breakdown of the various types of entities. Make sure to read all the articles in the references section, you want to make an informed decision.
Types of Business Entities
The type of business entity you choose will depend on three primary factors: liability, taxation and record-keeping. Here’s a quick look at the differences between the most common forms of business entities:
- A sole proprietorship is the most common form of business organization. It’s easy to form and offers complete managerial control to the owner. However, the owner is also personally liable for all financial obligations of the business.
- A partnership involves two or more people who agree to share in the profits or losses of a business. A primary advantage is that the partnership does not bear the tax burden of profits or the benefit of losses-profits or losses are “passed through” to partners to report on their individual income tax returns. A primary disadvantage is liability-each partner is personally liable for the financial obligations of the business.
- A corporation is a legal entity that is created to conduct business. The corporation becomes an entity-separate from those who founded it-that handles the responsibilities of the organization. Like a person, the corporation can be taxed and can be held legally liable for its actions. The corporation can also make a profit. The key benefit of corporate status is the avoidance of personal liability. The primary disadvantage is the cost to form a corporation and the extensive record-keeping that’s required. While double taxation is sometimes mentioned as a drawback to incorporation, the S corporation (or Subchapter corporation, a popular variation of the regular C corporation) avoids this situation by allowing income or losses to be passed through on individual tax returns, similar to a partnership.
- A hybrid form of partnership, the limited liability company (LLC) , is gaining in popularity because it allows owners to take advantage of the benefits of both the corporation and partnership forms of business. The advantages of this business format are that profits and losses can be passed through to owners without taxation of the business itself while owners are shielded from personal liability.
Registering Your Corporation
- Register your corporation here swyftfilings.com. I would choose the 49$ plan (without the EIN registration). [49$]
- Apply for an EIN online here irs.tax-filing-forms.com. [0$]
- Register an agent in your state. [45$]
For instance, our company registered in Delaware, as corporate laws are really business friendly. We used delawareregisteredagent.com to register our agent and obtain a delaware address.
Installing Team Software
Note: Make sure all company services are attached to a single company email. It’s important you don’t mix your personal and business works together.
Slack is an American cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services, founded by Stewart Butterfield. Slack began as an internal tool used by his company, Tiny Speck, in the development of Glitch, a now defunct online game.
Freshdesk is cloud-based customer support software that gives you everything you need to deliver exceptional support.
Trello is a web-based list-making application originally made by Fog Creek Software in 2011, that was spun out to form the basis of a separate company in 2014 and later sold to Atlassian in January 2017. The company is based in New York City.
G Suite (Emails) [10$ per month per email]
G Suite is a brand of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed by Google, first launched on August 28, 2006 as “Google Apps for Your Domain”.
I’ve been grandfathered in for free, but unfortunately the prices keep rising. G Suite is a must for me, but I would definitely consider it options. Having Google mail integrates seamlessly with all Google services which really aids productivity online.
Those on a budget should definitely make a Gmail account, and use that for now.
Google Voice [0$]
Google Voice is a telephone service that provides call forwarding and voicemail services, voice and text messaging, as well as U.S. and international call termination for Google Account customers in the U.S. and Canada.
Must have, and free! A secondary number for calling and texting. Important to make a nice separation between your personal and business number.
GoDaddy SmartLine [0$ first month, 3.99$ each month]
You will NEVER get a recommendation from me for GoDaddy, like ever. But, here’s the only exception. SmartLine is actually …. great. If you need a 3rd line, this works great!
Stay in touch! Free online calls, messaging, affordable international calling to mobiles or landlines and Skype for Business for effective collaboration.
WhatsApp For Desktop [0$]
WhatsApp Messenger: More than 1 billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends and family, anytime and anywhere. WhatsApp is free and offers simple, secure, reliable messaging and calling, available on phones all over the world.
Filezilla FTP Client [0$]
FileZilla – The free FTP solution for both client and server. Filezilla is open source software distributed free of charge.
Visual Studio Code [0$]
Visual Studio Code is a code editor redefined and optimized for building and debugging modern web and cloud applications. Visual Studio Code is free and available on your favorite platform – Linux, macOS, and Windows.
Safely store and share your photos, videos, files and more in the cloud. Your first 15 GB of storage are free with a Google account.
Create beautiful designs with your team. Use Canva’s drag-and-drop feature and layouts to design, share and print business cards, logos, presentations and more.
Capture notes, share them with others, and access them from your computer, phone or tablet. Free with a Google account.
Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. Zoom Rooms is the original software-based conference room solution used around the world in board, conference, huddle, and training rooms, as well as executive offices and classrooms. Founded in 2011, Zoom helps businesses and organizations bring their teams together in a frictionless environment to get more done. Zoom is a private company headquartered in San Jose, CA.
Local Data Backup
Tax/Company Documents Backup
Goes without saying. Even though you might never plan to make this your primary method of payment, it’s extremely important to have an active PayPal Business profile (free to upgrade to business). Often clients have limited payment methods and PayPal can prove to be an ideal solutions in those circumstances.
For those doing recurring services, or implementing “Pay Now” buttons on their website, Pay Pal is hands-down the easiest way to set up those systems. They take a decent cut (not horrible) but the simplicity they offer makes it all well worth it.
Chase (or a bank on the Zelle network) [0$]
I prefer Chase because it can be found almost everywhere within the USA, and because they have the #1 recommended credit card, which we will discuss in a later step! It’s super convenient if you’re constantly on the go. Chase QuickPay (Zelle payment) is an absolutely essential part of my payment system. It’s quick, secure, and not prone to payment reversals (chargebacks).
There are often great promotions for Chase, you can easily earn between 200$-500$ when signing up. For example, I just saw this on the chase.com website.
Paying your team abroad can be a nightmare! It’s complicated, time consuming and littered with stressful issues. Xoom is by far the simplest, secure, cheapest and quickest way to make payments.
5$ charge for transfers less than 1K and free for anything else. Sending payments to banks in India and Pakistan are either instant or at most take a few hours! What a lifesaver, you have no idea. Every other solutions was a complete nightmare.
Venmo is a digital wallet that lets you make and share payments with friends. You can easily split the bill, cab fare, or much more. Download the iOS or Android app or sign up on Venmo.com today.
Google Wallet [0$]
google, google pay, pay, google payments, pay with google, contactless, tap and pay, banks, how to use google pay, payment app
Cash App [0$]
Check out @CashApp for exchanging money with friends!
Hexa Tiger – Payment Processor
Hexa Tiger has partnered with Fidelity Payment Services to offer competative rates for payment processing and payment gateways.
Tax and Accounting Software
Wave Apps [0$]
A great, simple, online tool for managing invoices.
Wave is a company that provides a suite of financial services and online software for small businesses. Wave is headquartered in the Leslieville neighborhood in Toronto, Canada. The company manages more than $244 billion in income and expense transactions for its customers, including $16 billion in annual invoicing.
Note: Although we use Wave for invoicing, in most cases, I’d probably recommend using Quickbooks and we’re likely switching over shorty.
Turbo Tax [0$ Personal |$169.99* Federal |$54.99* State]
Buy Turbo Tax from Cosco, it’s cheaper.
TurboTax® is the #1 best-selling tax preparation software to file taxes online. Easily file federal and state income tax returns with 100% accuracy to get your maximum tax refund guaranteed. Start for free today and join the millions who file with TurboTax.
Quickbooks [Variable Pricing]
Not very cheap. Note 2 versions of software, online and desktop. See below for help deciding which is best for you.
QuickBooks Online VS QuickBooks Desktop
QuickBooks is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. QuickBooks products are geared mainly toward small and medium-sized businesses and offer on-premises accounting applications as well as cloud-based versions that accept business payments, manage and pay bills, and payroll functions.
Afrah Financial was organized in 2018 as a full-service CPA firm with the aim of supporting small to medium size businesses by providing suitable solutions for everyday business and accounting related matters.
Under the direction and guidance of Mosheh Afrah, CPA, its founder and managing member, the firm specializes in assisting start-up businesses and entrepreneurs make proper financial decisions and implement the best solutions to succeed and thrive in today’s fast pace world.
Creating A Website
Setting Up Your Web Host [20$ per month]
I can help you with that! Contact me for me for more info.
Building Your Website
Oh hey, I can help you with that too! Fill out this form, and I will reach out to you ASAP.
Google Analytics [0$]
Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic, currently as a platform inside the Google Marketing Platform brand.
We’ll be needing this for later.
Google Search Console (Webmasters) [0$]
Google Search Console is a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites.
We’ll be needing this for later.
Google My Business is an Internet-based service for business owners and operated by Google. The network launched in June 2014 as a way of giving business owners more control of what shows in the search results when someone searches a given business name.
Yup, we’ll be needing this for later too.
Facebook Page and Instagram Page [0$]
Do I need to explain this? Company pages on both social platforms.