When to Capitalize a Business Name: A Guide

Are you unsure when to capitalize a business name? Many people know that certain proper nouns are always capitalized, but what about company brands or specific product names? If you've ever been confused about when to capitalize a business name, this guide is for you. In general, you should always capitalize any commercial or particularly well-known brand name. For example, Apple is always capitalized. However, generic or descriptive product names should not be capitalized unless they are in titles or at the beginning of sentences.

For example, in practical terms, this means that you would capitalize Apple but not computer. For example:

  • I bought some sticky notes at the store. (generic name of the product)
  • Could you buy some sticky notes at the office supply store? (recognized trademark)
  • Could you grab some sticky notes when you enter OfficeMax? (generic product name with the name of a brand company)
In many cases, you can probably tell by your own intuition when the name of a brand or product is a proper name that should be capitalized. However, when considering capitalizing the name of a product, there is one more point to consider: trademarks.

If you're unsure about whether or not to capitalize a brand or product name, it's best to check out the trademark information of a brand or company on their website. You can also consult with a trademark attorney if necessary. In general, these types of grammatical gray areas are fairly easy to resolve. If the existing article or discussions don't address an idea or question you have about the topic, use the comment box at the bottom of this page.

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