Coming up with a name for a new firm or solo practice can be an exciting challenge. A firm’s name often acts as a first impression on the community and serves as an identity for the lawyers practicing there. The firm name will appear on letterhead, in email signature blocks, on business cards and in court filings.

A firm’s name carries reputational value and is critical for branding and marketing. But the process of naming a firm is not only a creative endeavor: there are ethical rules dictating how a firm may be named. Whether a lawyer is opening a solo or small firm, or a larger practice is changing its name, here are some tips to consider while going through the naming process.

Consider the Restrictions on Trade Names