As an independent financial advisor, you can brand your business as you choose, whether that is utilizing your firm’s established brand, your own unique brand through the creation of a DBA, or a co-branding approach. A DBA (Doing Business As) is a business name used to market your practice. For example: Sunshine Financial Group.
Creating a DBA is done through a streamlined four-step process:
- Choosing your DBA name - Naming your business is often the hardest part and should be done with the future of your business in mind. It includes:
- Finding a name that is creative and unique to you and your business, does not infringe on another business name and is without regulatory concerns.
- Consulting the Practice Development Team to identify strategies to help you create a name and for direction to stay within regulatory guidelines.
- Do preliminary research on your own before consulting your Practice Development Team for guidance and resources.
- Explore the trademarking process, including benefits and hurdles, and determine whether that is a good decision for your business.
- An attorney specializing in copyright and trademark law can help you understand the level of risk associated with your chosen name.
- Obtain the required legal registrations, whether you are forming a legal business entity or simply filing the DBA name with your local government. An attorney can help with any legal processes.
- Complete a questionnaire to formally declare your DBA and assign titles for everyone involved.
- Consult the Practice Development Team for guidance through requirements and best practices for building your brand.
- Finalizing your marketing materials prior to your official launch.
- Developing a prioritized branding timeline and communication plan.
- Taking the time to write your story, update your business’s look and feel, reinvigorate your team and share with your clients.
- Maintaining brand consistency across all client- and public-facing communications.
- Meeting with the Practice Development Team to ask questions, discuss policies and look at examples from other DBAs.