Choosing a name for your salon
What's in a name?
Well, quite a lot, actually. You are probably aware of how important it is to find the right name for your salon. Indeed, you may already have thought of a good one. If not, now is the time to work one out, as you will need it from now on.
The name of your salon is the plainest way of telling the outside world who you are, what you do and how you do it. What image do you want it to convey? Are you planning to attract a young and zingy clientele? Or are you looking for a steadier, more mature sort of image? Perhaps you are planning to offer extra and unusual services for your customers. If so, can you think of a name that reflects this?
What sort of name can I use?
The name you choose should be brief and memorable. If it can catch people's attention, it will linger in their minds for longer. That's why catchy, joky salon titles are so popular: they do tend to stick in the memory. But make the name too clever, and you may put off the more mature customers who may feel that your style is a bit too radical for them. It depends on whom you are trying to attract. Consider the following names:
n Sizzer Trix n New Creations
n Hair by Design n Central Hairdressing Salon
n The Kutting Krew (prop. R.J. Seymour)
n Betty Hair Stylist n Wendy's
Which of these salons would suit which sort of clientele, do you think? Which might appeal to the young, for instance, or to the middle-aged? Where would someone with the time and money to afford an expensive treatment be likely to go?
So, can you see how important choosing the right name is?
Are there any names I mustn't use?
If you're a sole trader or a partnership, there aren't a lot of restrictions. But you have to be careful about one or two things.
First, you must avoid names that are offensive in any way. Common sense should tell you what's OK in this respect.
There are some words you can't use without permission, for example
§ National or International
§ English, Welsh, etc.
§ Institute, Council, Federation, etc.
§ Charity, Co-operative, Trust, etc.
§ Anything suggesting a royal connection
§ Anything implying that you're carrying out any business other than hairdressing or whatever other services you're planning to offer in your salon.
The name of your salon shouldn't imply that you're a bigger organization than you are, and it mustn't mislead people into believing that you offer services that you don't. If you have any doubts about this, then have a word with your lawyer.
Finally, you mustn't use a name that might lead people to confuse you with someone else. This is known as 'passing off'. Don't, for example, try calling yourself Harrods, as you will end up being sued by someone very much bigger than you are. It's important, therefore, to make sure that you don't use the same name as anyone else in your area. Look through the Yellow Pages for your area (and the nearby ones) to check that you aren't copying a name someone else is already using.
Disclosing the salon ownership
If you use your own name as a title for your salon, it's obvious who's running it. If, for instance, you wanted to call your salon by your own name, like
§ R.J. Seymour
§ Ray Seymour
then it's obvious who owns the business. Similarly a partnership that calls its salon by the names of the partners is equally obvious, e. g .
§ J. Jones and G. Brown
§ Jones and Brown
It isn't so obvious, though, if the owner uses a name such as
§ Seymour's Salon
§ J. Jones and G. Brown Hairdressing
and, of course, those salon titles that don't give any clue to the owner's names at all.
When it isn't so obvious who runs the salon, you will have to make it plain in other ways.
First, the name or names of the owners must be shown plainly on all your letters, invoices, receipts, demands for payments of debts and orders for goods or services. This is just a question of making sure that your name, or names, and the address of your salon, is printed on all your stationery.
In addition, you will have to have a prominent sign in your salon giving your name and those of your partners, if any, along with the address of the business. The National Hairdressers' Federation produces a simple certificate for you to complete and display.
You don't have to formally register the name of your business. This makes it difficult to find out easily if others in the neighbourhood are using the same name. But it can be expensive changing the name later if you are forced to, so it's a good idea to do all you can to avoid any problems.