Guidelines for Business Names
The business name you use in local listings should be the same as the name your business uses in the real world.
Consistency and accuracy are the key here. Using a nickname for your business, or entering slightly different names on the local marketing platforms, could result in duplicate listings and may even lead to a drop in search engine rankings. Nicknames, or shortened names, also make it harder for people to find your business online, which is the opposite of what most business owners are trying to do when they claim their local listings online.
Local marketing platforms like Google, Bing, Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare and others want business owners to accurately represent their business names when they create or claim their online listings.
Including unnecessary information in the business name is not permitted on most platforms. On Google specifically, the practice could result in a listing being suspended.
When entering your business name in local listings, make sure not to include:
- Marketing taglines
- Store codes
- Trademark signs
- Fully capitalized words
- Business hours information
- Phone numbers or website URLs
- Special characters
Here are some examples of the business names that would and would not be permitted by Google:
- Not Permitted: “TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank”Permitted: “TD Bank”
- Not Permitted: “The UPS Store – 2872” Permitted: “The UPS Store”
- Not Permitted: “SUBWAY” Permitted: “Subway”
- Not Permitted: “Airport Direct 1-888-557-8953″Permitted: “Airport Direct”
For more information on representing your business name on Google, review these guidelines. Facebook maintains its own guidelines for naming pages on its platform, and Foursquare has published a style guide for adding and editing business names.
Because Google’s guidelines are quite extensive, businesses can feel confident in using those recommendations when naming their business listings on other popular local listing platforms.