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Business and website name

Ok, here go’s. My business is a registered LLC, Iv’e got the
license, pay the taxes. the whole smear. I have a nice business name
that I have always thought rather elegant, easy to remember and
works beautifully with my logo. My business name is Silver Quail and
my logo is (yes you’ve guessed it. a quail) I designed it my self
and it’s quite nice. I even have a tiny sterling quail tag I
designed to hang on my necklaces and bracelets. Pretty snazzy! Iv’e
always received many complements. My jewelry business is a very
small jewelry design studio, and sales up to now have been localized
within a tri state area via art shows, etc. However I am preparing
to launch a website (better late than never), in conjunction with a
modest marketing campaign and a bit of wholesaling to stores,
galleries, etc. So you might ask what’s your point? While working
with my website designer I was asked to look at websites I liked to
get some ideas, and in doing so I discovered something I hadn’t
noticed before. Everybody seems to use their own name as their
business name, website url, etc. Is this the new trend? Is this what
is considered professional? Better question. Is not using your own
name unprofessional? Does it have anything to do with the type of
jewelry you do? ex: crafty, beadwork, art jewelry, fine jewelry and
so on. Am I over thinking this? Is it that big a deal? Before the
website is finished and I go to the expense of getting all my new
marketing materials done up, I’d like to be sure. Now is the time to
make any changes, if I’m going to make them! I suppose I could add a
DBA to my business and have my website url as
but I really don’t want to lose my quail logo, and it wouldn’t make
very much since to pair the quail with my personal name (no real
relation). I had always thought of my quail logo and tag as an
excellent way to help to brand myself and jewelry, but in doing a
bit of internet perusing it seems that using your own name is also
branding and apparently a pretty good way to go. Of course it helps
if your name is a bit sexy which leaves mine out. ha ha. Is there a
way I could use my own name as the website and url, as well as on
cards and other marketing materials and still use something along
the lines of silver quail designs in conjunction with the logo on
the same materials? So any marketing gurus out there? Help?

Sincerely, and sorry about the long ramble.
Leslie Schnitman

in Asheville, NC a rock shop that sells rocks, minerals, gemstones
and supplies for jewelry making is called “Silver Armadillo.” Nothing
to do with the owner’s name. Silver Quail is fine, use it for your
online shop, you are creating your brand name. Don’t change it or
people will not know where to go, etc.


Hi Leslie,

In Australia, if you are a business trading under your own name,
there is no yearly registration fee. If you are a business using
your own name plus: i. e. Joe Bloggs Designs, then you are required
to pay, as with a trade name such as Silver Quail.

moniker for the simple fact of saving money, since there are so many
other costs involved.

The down side is having a common name, and thereby confusing
potential customers when they search for you, or a difficult to
spell name, which people may not readily remember without the aid of
a business card etc.

Good luck. K.

Use both. Register the domain names and and get your website designer to set one of them
up as an alias of the other. That way, whichever address someone
types in they’ll end up in the same place (your website).

Use your quail logo and the name ‘Silver Quail’ on your website but
make sure your name is on there too - prominently - and you get the
best of both worlds.

Using your name for your domain name is one of the ways of getting
your name ‘out there’ and helps to get your name known (as in you,
the artist) whereas Silver Quail is your brand.

Pat Waddington

Everybody seems to use their own name as their business name,
website url, etc. Is this the new trend? 

As your last name is not easy to say or spell, I would stick with
The Silver Quail. Don’t worry about other people using their names
for their website.


Dear Leslie, I like the way you have done it until now. Here is my
view on the matter. Who do you want to be famous, your shop or you?
If you have the goal of becoming a top name artist, use your name,
if you have a goal to eventually sell the business, or to leave the
running to someone else, use the Quail name. I once raised rabbits,
and the moment I dropped my business and clubs, someone else grabbed
the name and rode a short trail, and when she was done, she had
destroyed my good reputation. My shop is Alaska Stixs n Stones. I
use the stixs part in my sign to denote knitting and crochetting
sticks. It is a great sign, and hope that I can have it made into my
banner on my Etsy site. Best of luck, and hope that you find the
market you are looking for. blessings pat


I think Silver Quail is a nice business name.

A lot of people would like their business name ( added at
the end) to be their website address. The problem is that someone has
already registered for their website. You could
always make some variation of silver quail that might still be
available. It appears that is also taken (but
no site up yet, perhaps that is you?).

You could use silverquail. net, silverquailjewelry. us (depending on
where you are). But at some point those kinds of URLs become
difficult for potential customers to remember and type.


Leslie - when I googled Silver Quail, I turned up two websites with
that name, more or less. and silverquail. uk. You
have an interesting challenge to differentiate your site from theirs.

To use your name on the same website, you just need to acquire the
url,, and have the url point to the website.

You can use either name in your ads for the same site.

If you have another name - maiden name perhaps - you could use that.

Here’s how I did the name thing. I used the name of the town in
Denmark where my maternal grandfather was born and had a smithy. I’ve
branded my work with that simple seven letter name. My name now is
easy to spell for Germans, but if folks know how to say it, they
can’t spell it. So my website has two urls, my name and the town. For
those old fashioned females out there, if you take your spouse’s name
when you marry, you might think about what happens if you change
spouse. Your business name goes up in the ether.

Having had several names, it seemed sensible to have a business name
independent of legal name. The problem was so bad for me that back
in the dark ages when we engraved our name on our skis, mine said
Judy Who.

I am not sure why one would use their own name as a URL. If your
sales are local and you are a well known artist/designer/person and
have a following, I would agree.

If you are a business looking to grow and have something to sell
later, I would think no.

The most difficult business to sell is one that is based on owner
name/reputation. The new buyer may not have that expertise. The
following the owner has built may leave to follow his/her next
venture or go somewhere altogether.

A business based on a business name and reputation will most likely
follow the business as long as the standards remain high. Many new
business buyers look to immediately cut costs and lose customer’s
from that, but that is another story.

Your URL should be something easy to remember, spell and be
reflective of your jewelry. Silverquail(dot)com is taken,
SilverquailLLC is not.

Sexysilverquail is also available. I would not go there though! SQ
is taken. Silverquail. biz may be available. Silver-Quail may be

Sterlingquail may be available. You can’t always get the URL you
want, but if you try sometime, you may get something close. Be
careful of plagiarism as in the last sentence! You may also want to
get a copyright on the name if it is available, state and Federal.
Worldwide is too difficult and expensive to enforce.

My feeling is you can feed your bank account or feed your ego. I had
25 years in brokering real estate and businesses prior to this. In
fact, my jewelry business came about by accident as an experiment for
business brokerage in teaching one how to revive or break into an
unknown business field.

A past customer may remember your cute quail name jewelry, have the
tag or box, but may not remember your first and last name. My
customers only know my first name. I don’t give out my last name,
only my business name. That they remember. Me they forget as soon as
they put on their jewelry!

Brand yourself, or brand your business. To each their own.

Here is a another fly in the business name ointment.

Henry Dunay the famous NY jewelry designer can no longer use his own
name to sell his jewelry. Henry Dunay Jewelers went bankrupt a few
years back at the height of the recession and another company bought
it. They now own his name.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer

Using ones name verses a company name is due to legal issues. No
matter what there is no issue using your real name. It is your name
no matter if it is the same as a trademarked, copyrighted name. Thus
Norm McDonald can use the name McDonald’s. It’s his name. I think it
was in the early 90’d that McDonald’s sued a man over this very
thing, and ultimately lost. Yet you can use a company name like
Silver Quail IF no other company exists with that name. Even one that
has incorporated. Do a search of your company name. If someone else
is using that name, send them a letter and explain yourself, and ask
for permission. Most will grant you the right if you are non
competing. The trouble comes where you may be in competition.

They can come at you and sue you for more than you have made during
the full time you have used that name. Then you have the companies
that will want money for the right to use their name, or a percentage
of your sales.

Even putting the DBA cover your butt notice on your website will not
save you from legal hassles. It just announces you are using that as
your main name. If no one is using the name of Silver Quail, register
the name, and you will be fine.

Aggie the old lady trying to figure out what she wants to do when
she grows up!

If you use your own name you will be in good company.

Harry Winston
Van Cleef & Arpels
David Webb
David Yurman
Robert Lee Morris
H. Stern
Even Benvenuto Cellini used his own name.

If you think Schnitman is not sufficiently sexy, change it. That’s
what Henry Dunay did. Henry Loniewski didn’t think his last name
would be good for business so he changed it to Dunay, his mother’s
maiden name. You could translate your name for business purposes and
be Leslie Cutman or Leslie Cutter.

Elliot Nesterman

Long ago when the Internet was taking off in the 90’s, I read
somewhere that you need to register your business name or your own
name, to avoid having someone else take it. Years before I even set
up my website, I registered my business name, both with the
Secretary of State office anddomain. I also found out that if you
don’t lock in your name, someonewill take it and often open a porn
site or some other site, so I lockedup both my name and my business
name as domains, so that I don’t worry about losing them. It’s not a
bad idea. I know people have taken their names as domains and have a
webpage for years with no activity, just to keep their names from
being taken.

Now, I am known as my name, but on paper, I have a business name,
that gives me more creditibly when I’m trying to register for expos,
open wholesale accounts, so forth. If you are known by your name,
then use that as your business name, and that is your “brand”. If
you are known as your business name, then use that. You may even
want to go further and set up a LLC to protect yourself. Otherwise,
use whatever you have fora business name. JOy

Henry Dunay the famous NY jewelrydesigner can no longer use his
own name to sell his jewelry. Henry Dunay Jewelers went bankrupt a
few years back at the height of the recession and another company
bought it. They now own his name. 

If he was the owner of that jewelry business, and it was in turn
purchased in a bankruptcy, he in essence sold his name. Debbie
Fields a good friend when I lived in Park City Utah has the same
problem. She can no longer claim the business name of Mrs. Fields.
Good news for her is she divorced Randy and can use a different name
now. Just googling website names in not good enough. Just because
there is a domain name open does not make it legal to use. It does
give you a starting point to who else is using the name. 50% of the
time you might slip by. It is the other 50% that will bite you
legally. Then there is the problem of people hurrying as soon as they
get a whiff you might be creating a website, and purchase every
derivation of it, only to try and resell it back to you at a big
profit. That happened to me personally eventhough no one outside of a
very small handful of people knewthe name or the business that would
be tied to it. I was offered the chance to purchase it back for a few
thousand dollars. Words of old wisdom. ALWAYS cover your butt legally
even it means you have to giveup something you really were attached
to. Do not trust that your plans might not be sabotaged. Register
names! Copyright written articles! Patent any techniques you develop,
Trademark your phrases, or identity words. If they are special they
should beprotected. If not it all can be done by someone else. Getthe
online forms and do it allyourself. The government does take the
forms and sends you back the certified notices you need. Doing it
yourself may take longer, but saves you a ton of money. There is the
argument that you did use it first. The hoops you have to go through
to proveit are massive. Then they could have others say they had it
back further than you did.

The only safe way is to make sure you have done all the legal right
steps. I don’t want to scare you off. Go for it. Just do it the
rightway. Aggie who never wants to see another court room!

I have a funny tale to add to this topic. I started my business in
the early 1980’s. I viewed the pieces I made as as “enhancements” to
life – serving pieces, lighting fixtures, etc. and called it that.
Once the internet came to be a necessity and I was looking for a
domain name, I googled “Enhancements” – well, let me tell you – My
face was red for a week!

I use my name as my URL…

Deb Jemmott

Can you tell us where we can download the forms? Also is it necessary
to be an american to register the forms?

Many thanks for help in this area.


I can only speak for the USA. My understanding is if you do the paper
work in the USA, the signatories of the WTO are supposed to adhere to
them. BUT that is a big but. That is only as good as another
government allowing it. As to where to get the forms, there are pay
for forms that will help you with instructions. One that I know of is
legal zoom. But again you can go to the government websites and down
load them for free, and with a bit of on line instruction that is as
easy to read for me as Chinese, you can do it all for yourself. All
that is need is to send them off with the correct and the
filing fees. Some are in the hundreds of dollars, others a few
dollars. But none of them cost the thousands or more an attorney
would charge you.

Aggie, whose son found her a taser on line that is part of a walking
cane. I just wanted a cattle prod.

This is a frustrating topic. Someone else has with my name, and
is doing nothing with it. I went with “”, and learned
shortly after that someone else had tried to get it too, but I beat
them. Still, I want my name back! I can see some advantage to using
both your own name and a business name, if you can lock up both. You
might want to use different names for different circumstances.


Allan. you may contact the owner and see if they will let you have

Some companies buy names which have expired and hope that you offer
them money to get it back.

Other names are held as investments.

I locked up mine, wife’s and two children’s names when they were
still too young to speak. who knows what may come.

Far better than buying someone a star in the heaven’s I think, yet
just as etherial.

Ric Furrer

I just wanted to give a huge thanks to everyone who has responded to
my website inquiry. So much wonderful and suggestions.
and so valuable!..and yes Whit, is mine, and
I went ahead and purchased a second domain using my name. The more
the merrier!.. hmmm. if I can just find time to make some jewelry to
stick on it!..

Leslie and the elf’s. pardon. I mean studio assistants!..