10 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Name for Your Company

Share this article

Yesterday, as part of my series on starting a business, I provided a general outline of things you need to think about when you develop a name for your business. Once you have your plan in place, here are some tips to help you find a business name that will add to your success. 1. Check on the Competition: What kind of names do your competitors have? Make a list and compare them to spark your own ideas and to help you develop a name that really stands out from the crowd. 2. Think about Your Target Audience: You want your business name to resonate with the people you are trying to reach. Use what you know about your target audience to measure the relevancy of any names you come up with. 3. Embrace Your Creativity: While you want your name to be easy to pronounce and remember, don’t skip over the value of creating a name that is completely unique. Not only can this make your business more memorable, but it can also provide a great opportunity for a back story, if your creative name has a special meaning. 4. Look at It from All Angles: Think about how the name will fit into the everyday operations of your business, and what it will make others think and feel. Make sure it coveys a clear message and that you are aware of all of the possible connotations that may influence how your business is perceived. 5. Don’t Limit Yourself:
If you choose a name that identifies exactly what you do, such as Joe’s Logo Design, you might be limiting the future growth of your business. Sometimes it makes sense to be a little more general, such as Joe’s Graphic Design, so you don’t have to revisit and possibly revamp your brand down the line. 6. Get Input: Once you have a few possibilities, bounce them off of friends, family, colleagues and potential clients if possible. Ask for their initial impressions and suggestions they may have, and then add their feedback to your process. 7. Visualize the Brand: Your business name is more than just a name, it’s a big part of your company brand. Think in terms of your domain name, your marketing materials and how the name will essentially translate into all aspects of this new brand you are creating. 8. Use Tools: During your brainstorming phase, use some of the tools that are available to get inspired. A thesaurus is a must-have, and here are a few online tools to try out: 9. Keep It Short: Your business name won’t necessarily be more effective if it’s short, but it may be easier to remember. You can also consider using an acronym, but be careful – unless there is an obvious and memorable tie-in, using an acronym can make your name too generic to be relatable to your target. 10. Sleep On It: Put your shortlist of names aside for a day or two and then come back to it with a fresh perspective. You may feel differently about a name you loved before, or your working list may help you develop a new and perfect name when you review it again. I used many of these tips years ago when I started my business, avertua. While it may not be the perfect case study in business name development, my business name has sparked many questions about where it came from (I made it up), what it means (it’s my take on what I provide: “a virtual solution”), and how to pronounce it (ah-ver-choo-ah). My goal when creating my business name was to get people intrigued and to be memorable, and it appears I’ve been successful in doing that. How did you come up with your business name? What tips would you add to this list? Additional Resources:
Image credit: L_Avi Comments on this article are closed. Have a question about starting a business? Why not ask it on our forums?

Frequently Asked Questions on Choosing the Perfect Company Name

What are some creative ways to come up with a business name?

Brainstorming is a great way to start. Gather a team and start throwing out ideas. Don’t limit yourself at this stage; the more ideas, the better. Use tools like business name generators to spark creativity. Look at different languages, play with words, and consider puns or rhymes. Remember, the name should reflect your business’s personality and appeal to your target audience.

How important is a domain name when choosing a business name?

In today’s digital age, a domain name is extremely important. It’s not just an address for your website; it’s part of your brand identity. It should ideally match your business name to maintain consistency and make it easier for customers to find you online.

What are the legal considerations when choosing a business name?

It’s crucial to ensure your chosen business name isn’t already trademarked or used by another company. You can do this by conducting a trademark search. Also, certain words may be prohibited or restricted in business names, depending on your location. Consulting with a legal expert can be beneficial.

How can I test the effectiveness of a potential business name?

You can conduct surveys or focus groups to gather feedback on potential names. Social media polls can also be a quick and easy way to gauge public opinion. Remember to test the name among your target audience, as their opinion matters the most.

Should my business name be descriptive or abstract?

This depends on your branding strategy. Descriptive names can be beneficial as they immediately convey what your business does. However, they can limit flexibility if your business expands or changes. Abstract names can be unique and memorable, but they may require more marketing effort to communicate your business purpose.

How can I ensure my business name is memorable?

Keep it simple, short, and easy to pronounce. Avoid complex words or phrases that may be difficult to remember or spell. The name should also evoke positive emotions and associations related to your business.

Can I change my business name in the future?

Yes, it’s possible to change your business name, but it can be a complex process involving legal changes, rebranding, and informing your stakeholders. It’s best to choose a name that can grow with your business to avoid this.

How can I protect my business name?

Registering your business name and obtaining a trademark can provide legal protection. This prevents other businesses from using the same or a similar name, which could cause confusion among customers.

Should I include industry keywords in my business name?

Including industry keywords can help customers understand what your business does and improve search engine optimization. However, it’s important not to sacrifice creativity and uniqueness for the sake of including keywords.

What should I avoid when choosing a business name?

Avoid long or complicated names that are hard to remember or spell. Stay away from names that could limit your business growth or expansion. Avoid using trendy words that may become outdated quickly. Also, be mindful of any negative connotations or cultural sensitivities associated with your chosen name.

Alyssa GregoryAlyssa Gregory
View Author

Alyssa Gregory is a digital and content marketer, small business consultant, and the founder of the Small Business Bonfire — a social, educational and collaborative community for entrepreneurs.

business startupsmall business
Share this article
Read Next
Get the freshest news and resources for developers, designers and digital creators in your inbox each week