The Name Game: Choosing a Trade Name for Your Brokerage
| October 22, 2013
When opening either a mortgage or real estate brokerage, one of the toughest decisions is often what to name it. A brokerage’s trade name can go a long way in generating business. There are, however, things to consider beyond a catchy name.
- Don’t Choose a Trade Name That Already Exists – As clever and unique as a broker may think the name of their new business is, it is always a good idea to look into if a business is already operating by the name that has been chosen. In Alberta, you can perform a trade name search at a local registry office. You can also conduct a national trademark search with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Talking to a registered trademark agent to discuss what kind of parameters should go into your search is also a good idea.
- Separating Yourself – Industry professionals cannot choose a brokerage name that is confusingly similar to an existing brokerage as this is against RECA policy. When RECA staff process an application to open a new brokerage, RECA will notify the would-be broker if the name they have chosen is too similar to an existing brokerage. RECA will not approve a brokerage trade name if it is too similar to an existing brokerage. By ensuring that brokerage names are recognizably dissimilar, RECA assists consumers from being confused or mislead.
- Choose a Trade Name that is Easy to Protect – Choosing a name for a brokerage that is too, descriptive can actually be harmful in the trade marking process. For example, trade marking a mortgage brokerage simply called, “The Mortgage Company,” can be problematic and near impossible when looking to have exclusive rights to use and market that name. If an industry professional is indeed looking to trademark their brokerage name, the more unique it is, the easier it will be to obtain exclusive rights to it.
- Keep it Simple – Whatever you choose for your trade name, remember that all advertisements will have to display the brokerage’s trade name in full. If your brokerage name includes the word “Limited” or “Incorporated,” for example, your advertising will need to as well. This can become cumbersome in your advertising where space may be at a premium or expensive, and you may regret it down the line. Keep this in mind when registering a trade name.
So, while a catchy, easy-to-market name may be what a broker really wants, it is important to remember to consider the implications of your choice before setting up shop.