The name you choose for your startup might substantially impact its success. For example, the improper name might result in impassable business and legal obstacles and failure to connect with customers. In contrast, a clear and potent title can significantly assist marketing and branding activities.
Here are 12 helpful recommendations for coming up with a winning business name:
1 Avoid difficult-to-spell names
You do not want potential clients to become confused about how to locate your company online. (I never understood why the name “Flickr” was chosen for the photo-sharing website.) You desire to avoid constantly correcting the misspelled version of your business name. Could you keep it simple?
2 Do not use a name that could hinder your company’s growth
Choosing a name that is too specific may bring complications in the future. Imagine if Jeff Bezos had chosen “OnlineBooks” instead of “Amazon” for his company. Therefore, avoid naming your company “Wedding Dresses of San Francisco” or “LugNuts Unlimited.” You do not want to restrict your business to a specific product or city.
3 Perform a thorough Internet search
After selecting a desirable name, run a web search on it. Typically, you will discover that this business name is already in use. Even though this is not a deal-breaker, it should give you pause.
4 Acquire the.com domain suffix
As opposed to.net,.org,.biz and other potential domain extensions, I recommend that you register the “.com” domain extension for your business. Customers often associate a.com with an established company. The.com name you desire is almost probably already owned, but many domain owners are prepared to sell for the right price.
Consider purchasing the desired dot-com as an investment. You may check the availability of a domain name on websites like GoDaddy.com or NetworkSolutions.com. If the domain name is taken, you can frequently utilize the “Whois” option at GoDaddy or Network Solutions to find its owner and decide if they are willing to sell it.
Additionally, reserve your selected company name on major social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
5 Utilize a name that provides meaning
The perfect business name should convey something positive and significant about the company. Can buyers understand the essence of your business immediately? Although meaningless titles such as “Google,” “Yahoo,” and “Zappos” have some appeal due to their catchiness, it will be far more expensive to brand them.
Canny.com, Cling.com, Afire.com, and Administer.com are plain, uncomplicated, and appealing domain names. On the other hand, a domain name like “OnlineTickets.com” is excellent since it accurately describes the nature of the business and is SEO-friendly.
6 Search for registered trademarks
Perform a search on USPTO.gov to check if you may obtain a trademark or service mark for the name.
7 Investigate with the Secretary of State
Since you will likely form your business as a corporation or an LLC, you should check the Secretary of State’s records to confirm that your business name is not confusingly similar to one already registered. If the proposed name is too similar to an already registered name, the Secretary of State may refuse registration. Again, your business attorney can help you do such a search. (See “Ten Significant Legal Errors Committed by Startups”).
8 Consider whether the name is memorable
No one wants a boring name for their company, and you don’t want anything too “out there” either. You want your employees to be able to recognize their place of employment, and you want your brand name to connect with your target market.
9 Obtain feedback on the suggested name
Create five to ten names and then get opinions from family, friends, and esteemed coworkers. Also, request feedback from your target audience. Additionally, ensure the name has no bad connotations (such as when GM titled their new automobile model “Nova” without realizing that the word meant “does not go” in Spanish).
10 Ensure the name has a pleasant tone when pronounced aloud
Occasionally, words seem acceptable on paper but sound awful when pronounced. And when people say the name of your business, ensure that no one misunderstands the spelling.
11 Use available resources for name generation
Several websites may help you produce name suggestions, including:
- VisualThesaurus.com (gives you a visual around a keyword)
- Shopify Business Name Generator (generates business name ideas and checks domain availability simultaneously)
- NameQL.com (provides a startup company name generator)
- Naminum.com (allows you to create names based on a theme)
Even professionals in name branding, such as Alexandra Watkins of Eat My Words, exist.
12 Ensure that you are personally satisfied with the name
As the business owner, you will have to live with the name for a long time, so you should be happy and confident that it will connect with customers. So take the time to do things correctly from the beginning.
Naming your startup business can be a daunting task. It’s essential to choose a name that is unique, memorable, and representative of what your company does. With so many businesses competing for attention, it’s vital to consider the naming process and come up with a name that will help you stand out from the crowd.