Remember when Little Mix were first put together on XFactor and were ceremonially named Rhythmix? No? Well, it didn’t last long thanks to the Brighton based charity who already had that name and threatened legal action unless the band changed theirs. Although it’s hard to blame the band for this, how were they to know, it is a good warning for everyone else. The name you choose for your band is important, for many reasons, and it’s important you get the right one, you make sure no on else already has it, and you register it as yours.
The first thing you need to do is make sure the name you want to use for your band isn’t already in use, and that means by any kind of business, not just another band. It’s pretty easy to do this now, all you have to do is google the name and you’ll soon find out if anyone is trading or using that name as theirs. Do this before you use the name. It’s going to be very difficult to change the name once you already have fans who associate it with you and your sound. McDonalds have been stopping, or attempting to stop, other businesses from using anything that starts with the prefix ‘Mc’ for years. Sometimes they win, sometimes they don’t, but it will save you a lot of headaches if you think about this stuff when you first name your band.
Most bands won’t bother doing this straight away, but you probably should. It’s easy to trademark your name and it covers your back in case anyone else tried to use the name after you. It’s recommended that you do this early on as it can take a while for your registration to go through. You can do it online and it only takes you a matter of minutes, so no stressful procedure. Of course you don’t have to wait to use the name and once you’ve applied you can always present that as proof you have trademarked it.
Perhaps most importantly of all, think carefully about the name you choose to represent you as a band. You are going to have to take a vote on any names that are put forward by members of your band, you all need to agree on this as it’s the face of you as a group. Although band names like The Arrogant Worms might stick in people’s minds and could bring attention, is this how you want to present your band? It can be a good marketing tactic and strange band names do create interest, but the question is how serious do you want to be taken? If the Goo Goo Dolls had stuck with their original name of The Sex Maggots, would they have gone so far? And what about back when Nirvana were called Fecal Matter? It’s hard to imagine these bands gaining much success with their pervious names.
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