Choosing a business name is arguably the hardest part of creating a business. You need a name that is catchy, while also communicating what your business is about, being different from those of your competitors, AND still meeting legal requirements. There have actually been businesses in the past that have failed due to not having a name that’s effective enough. So here are a few tips that can help you name your business today.
Check legal requirements
BEFORE starting your hunt for a perfect name, it is essential to have an idea of what type of business structure you want to have. This is very important – often people decide on a name, and then after they’ve done so they realise they can’t have it, because different business structures have specific name requirements for their businesses. For instance, if you’re starting an LLC, you’re required to have the words limited liability company, or some sort of abbreviation of this, as part of your business’ name, and you may not have factored that in, leaving your name to be too long, or just not sounding as catchy anymore. So always check the requirements according to the type of business structure that you would like to have.
Be descriptive, but just the right amount
When choosing a name you need a good balance of everything. You don’t want a name that is too vague, or a name that’s too specific. Generic names, like Joe’s Cleaning Service, are not just boring, but aren’t catchy, so they’re easy to just slide past. It’s all about balance.
Use related words, in a creative way
You might be thinking of shoving in extra words that are related to your business, into the name, hoping it will come up when people search things related to those words. But using keywords now makes your name seem plain and boring. On the other hand, choosing a synonym of a keyword you were thinking of using, works well – as long as it provides an insight into what your business is about well. A play on a word is a great idea too, as long as it’s not so far fetched that the original word is hard to perceive.
Don’t copy your competition
If you want your name to fit into the industry you’re trying to get into, you might try and use other names in it for inspiration, and hope to create a name similar to theirs. But you should avoid choosing a name that’s too similar to other businesses in that industry. You want to stand out, and using a name that’s too similar can appear to be unoriginal, and you’ll look like every other person in the business. As well as this, it could mean potential customers get your business confused with your competitor’s, and could even end up using them instead then for repeat work.
Check for domain name
Once you’ve narrowed down to a few options, you need to make sure the name you want is available – check if the name is trademarked or acquired by another business.
Another great idea is to check your name is available as a domain name. You might not have thought about having an online presence yet, but in this day and age such a presence is absolutely vital to reach a lot of the market.
If the name you really wanted isn’t available online, don’t fret. You can add small modifiers, which could be related to your name or a slight change in it, or use a different type of domain selection, instead of a .com. Take care to not deviate too far though, as you want your domain name to be easy to remember and still relatable. If your name is available though, you want to buy it straight away. It will likely cost you, and you may not plan on having an online audience straight away, but trust us: it’s a huge help in the future.
TRUiC has a helpful business name generator, which is a great way to start off when picking a name. Visit their site for more.