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How do I find out if there's another business with the same name I want to use?
How do you register a business name so another business can't use it?

I spent hours thinking of domain names and checking if they exist. I finally came up with what I think is a pretty good one that hasn't been taken. But it's a general purpose name. Like it doesn't imply offensive t-shirts or girly t-shirts or any specific category. Do you think that's good? Or should I have a brand name that implies a specific category, and then have different brand names for other categories? Maybe I could have a general purpose t-shirt web site and then under that I could make different brands for different categories? I've done some reading on marketing and they say you shouldn't have very different products under one brand name. It's bad marketing. It confuses the consumer or something, and ends up decreasing sales. I wonder if the same applies if you have different categories of t-shirts under one domain name. I noticed T-Shirt Hell has very strong branding, because they only have offensive t-shirts.
 

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Bougie said:
How do I find out if there's another business with the same name I want to use?
One way is to do a trademark search:
http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=login&p_lang=english&p_d=trmk

Although that still won't cover EVERY business name, only the ones that are trademarked.

How do you register a business name so another business can't use it?
You would need to register a trademark. Although businesses still might use the name for different purposes if it is a really generic name like APPLE.

But it's a general purpose name. Like it doesn't imply offensive t-shirts or girly t-shirts or any specific category. Do you think that's good?
Sure, why not.

Google doesn't imply searches by definition.

Amazon doesn't imply books by definition.

Through their use and strong branding, they now are almost synonymous with their respective fields.

Or should I have a brand name that implies a specific category, and then have different brand names for other categories?
It's totally up to you and your preference.


Maybe I could have a general purpose t-shirt web site and then under that I could make different brands for different categories?
That's also a possibility.


I've done some reading on marketing and they say you shouldn't have very different products under one brand name. It's bad marketing. It confuses the consumer or something, and ends up decreasing sales. I wonder if the same applies if you have different categories of t-shirts under one domain name. I noticed T-Shirt Hell has very strong branding, because they only have offensive t-shirts.
I'm not sure if that same marketing suggestion also applies to t-shirts.

ChoiceShirts and T-ShirtKing both sell a wide varieity of shirts, from christian, sports to offensive.

You can create a brand that your site is a source for t-shirts or you can be even more specific like t-shirthell to brand your site as a source for offensive t-shirts

Both are valid strategies. It all depends on what your preference and goals are.
 

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Rodney said exactly what I was going to -- both methods do work and have their own advantages. If you're going to list them all on one site, you might want to avoid COMPLETLE conflicts of interest -- say, really offensive shirts and Christian shirts together -- but you should do fine having them on the same site if they're categorized.
 
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