Tips for Naming a New RIA: Marketing, Part 1

November 30, 2021 |

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In our previous blogs, we laid all the groundwork to start a new RIA including a business strategy, budget and a legal structure. Congratulations, you’re now an independent RIA! Well, almost. The old adage “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t work in most businesses, advisory included. So the next step is to start getting the word out through marketing.

Historically, advisors have struggled with how to market themselves properly. If this is the first time you’re on your own, you probably never had to worry about this — that was the marketing department’s problem. But it’s yours now, and your marketing strategy could be the difference between profitability and failure for your firm.

Marketing is a broad topic, so we’ve split it into four parts to make it less overwhelming. Here, we will lay the groundwork for your marketing plans and focus on the execution later. You don’t need to spend a fortune on marketing to be successful: you just need to be strategic.

In this article, we’ll be covering naming your firm and applying for a trademark. In our next article we will focus on designing your logo and website and registering a domain name.

Naming Your RIA

You may already have your firm’s name set since you’ve registered your business with the state. However, if your legal business name is difficult to pronounce or doesn’t relate to wealth management, you can register for an alternative name (also referred to as a “fictitious name” or dba “Doing Business As”) with the state you organized in, which allows you to use that name in all activities.

When deciding on a name, check whether a .com domain is available for the name you’re considering. We recommend using it is by far the cheapest at less than $10 per year, per domain (and often cheaper during sales). It is getting increasingly difficult to obtain short unique domain names in the .com domain, so be prepared to spend some time here. Avoid the new domain names like .finance or .business, etc., and .net or .org if possible since they’re not as recognizable by consumers.

People will default to .com, so if they can’t remember your domain and you’re not using .com, those people are probably going to end up there and not on your site (the last thing you want to do is give business to a competitor).

A common practice is to use your last name, as in “Jones Wealth Management”. While this is the simplest way, it may not be a good long-term decision if you plan to expand your firm by bringing in other advisors.

Financial Planning magazine proposed another option:

“… one perhaps with the greatest flexibility, is to pursue an evocative name. This is a word or combination of words that evokes the brand positioning of your firm on either an emotional or intellectual level. Procyon Partners was very precise in the selection of their name, finding a navigational binary star comprising two closely orbiting stars — an ideal representation of the firm’s dual complementary focus on institutional consulting and private wealth management.”

An additional suggestion from the FP article to select a descriptive suffix that explains your business without limiting it. Common examples include Partners, Wealth Advisors and Financial Group.


There’s one final thing you need to do before moving on to building your website, and that’s trademarking your company name. This gives you legal protection from others using your brand and its IP without your permission. It is not cheap, but the peace of mind is worth it.


Marketing is critical to the successful start of your RIA. Unlike some other much more turnkey businesses, you will need to do a lot of active marketing to ensure success. What we’ve shown you here are the building blocks to a successful marketing effort.


The Shoestring RIA is a series of articles written and published by the BillFinTM team at Redi2 Technologies designed to help RIAs as they start out on their own. We recognize just how challenging it is to venture out and build a successful business. Our articles will be focused on helping these new businesses with a wide range of topics.



The 26 Steps I Took To Set Up And Launch My Own Independent RIA

First Year Budget Template

Costs to Register as a Registered Investment Advisor Firm

Understanding the Costs of Starting and Running an RIA