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OpenStudy (anonymous):

Hi, I'm working on a website. The web designer wants me to write "company" at the end of the business name every time I state the company name for SEO, but I believe it's grammatically incorrect. For example: The Jones Electric company does great work. The Jones Electric company will treat you like family. Shouldn't it be: The electrical company Jones Electric does great work. Electrical company Jones Electric will treat you like family. Granted, it still sounds terrible please advise on whether company can go after the company name or not. Thanks!

OpenStudy (anonymous):

Helloo If the company name is "Jones Electric Company" then yes it goes after. HOWEVER If the name is only "Jones Electric" then the company goes before the company name. Hope this helps

OpenStudy (anonymous):

This depends on what the legal entity type is. If the company is an LLC. and is registered in its respective state as such, you would write "Jones Electric, LLC." You're permitted to just say "Jones Electric" and do business under this name (putting a "TM" after the name indicates that you intend to use the mark to do trade, but haven't yet registered it). While I'm not a lawyer and this isn't legal advice, I do have a small business and as far as I know, there is no legal requirement to put "company" after the name of a company.

OpenStudy (anonymous):

Gingerrrrrrrrrr, thanks. This is what I thought. Do you know why this is the case and how I can back it up with proof? For example, how is it different than saying Toyota truck or Coach purse? I have to prove to the web designer and client that this is not just grammatically awkward, but grammatically incorrect.

OpenStudy (anonymous):

The name of the business is its trade name. The name of the businesses products may or may not be trademarks. Trademark protection involves always using a generic noun after the trademark: Kleenex tissue, Xerox copier, and so on. The trademark, in other words, is being used always as an adjective. The idea is to discourage people from using the trademarked term generically to stand in for anything in that category: "Kleenix" for "tissue" in other words. I don't believe that a trade name is treated in the same way -- the names of companies are routinely used as nouns. But this is sticky territory, potentially loaded with legal implications. Does the company have an attorney who dictates how the name should be used? I haven't got a lot of experience with trade names, but the companies I have worked for have used their names in the way that Unexpected EOF notes. And as she/he is a small business owner . . . well, that speaks volumes. If there is a corporate attorney available for the company you are writing this for, though, you should speak with that person. There are books that explain how to use and protect trade names and trademarks. I imagine you can also find something online.

OpenStudy (anonymous):

And I left out an apostrophe in that last post. <sigh>

OpenStudy (anonymous):

Well the company name is Jones Electric so company can't go after. The company UPMC is not UPMC company. If you were to put company after the name, then your changing the name. What if the name was Jones Electric INC. Company CAN'T go after it would not work. It would be "The company, Jones Electric INC....." Understand? If not i can explain more. Redwood Girl also is very helpfull. You can look at her answer also if confused.

OpenStudy (anonymous):

Also, if the designer claims that putting "company" after the name is good for SEO, he or she is selling you a bill of goods. No SEO that I know of works that way, and you'll get a lot more mileage from having a high-quality site without spammy keywords thrown in to achieve some ethereal "better" SEO grade. If your search engine of choice picks up on "Jones Electric," it'll do that regardless of whether "company" comes right after it. There are other ways to "tell" Google that your site is a company website. Let us know if there are more questions about the company name! I can scrounge up a few links on the topic.

OpenStudy (anonymous):

That's an excellent point, with respect to SEO. I'd not picked up on that in the initial question, which I scanned rather quickly.

OpenStudy (anonymous):

UnexpectedEOF, the web designer is trying to be clever by using the business name to achieve the SEO "electric company." This is another issue, as it's technically an electrical company.... Redwood Girl, thank you for the detailed trademark explanation. I think that will be something they can understand. (I hope, anyway.) It's a small company so there's no corporate attorney. If I'm understanding what you and Unexpected EOF are saying, the business could get into legal trouble by putting "company" at the end of the name? Gingerrrrrrrrrr, it does sound like it's changing the company name. I think that's why it doesn't sound off to the web designer's ear. It's one of those things where I *know* I'm right, but how to prove it? *sigh* I've been googling information about appositives for the last six hours!! I appreciate all your help. If you have any additional links or explanations, those would be appreciated, too. Thanks!

OpenStudy (anonymous):

Um, well, I don't know that you'd get into legal hot water by adding "company" at the end of the name. I don't know enough about it. I was just saying that there is a legal DBA for the company, a legal trade name, and that trade name is to be used in a certain way. Wherever I've worked, these guidelines have always been very clearly spelled out: you use the company name in this particular way, and in this particular way only. But I have tended to work for larger corporations, with perhaps more at stake with respect to brand recognition. If the company name does not include the name "company," I have never seen the case where that name needs to then be tacked on. I think the upshot of what I'm saying is, you need better advice than we can give here -- particularly in the abstract, with a false name -- to determine how the company name ought to appear. UnexpectedEOF has more direct experience with these issues, being a small business owner. You ought to work with whatever the actual legal name of the company is, and then solid guidelines on the use of trade names.

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