While the internet is a big place, so too is the human imagination, and the sad truth is the fantastic name you have thought of may already have been taken.
You’ll usually find on the first page of a Google search if that business name you love has already been grabbed and if that’s the case and then it’s time to be creative.
It may be that it doesn’t matter, if the name of your patisserie in Ballarat is the same that of as a landscape gardener in Wisconsin, then you can probably use it without any problems, particularly if you don’t intend ever to trade in Wisconsin.
You may also be able to use if there’s already a similar business in your area if you can show there is no risk of confusion. Before doing that, you should get professional legal advice and forget it if the name is being used by a large company.
If that’s the case, or the lawyer says ‘no’, then you will have to get creative. Open your computer’s word processer, type in the name and use the synonym function on the parts of the name. You may find a better name from just mixing and matching different words.
Altering the name, for instance so that “rescue” become “resq” or “easy” becomes “EZ” can work, but you may still cause problems if another business owner claims the similar title causes confusion.
For local search and social media sites you could even try adding your suburb or city to the name which will have the added benefit of making it more specific to your market.
Sometimes it is frustrating finding a name that hasn’t been used, but it makes good sense to get a unique, defendable name for branding, for legal reasons and for when you want to sell your business.