Choosing a Business Name
Before you decide on a business name for your company, here are some tips you may want to consider in choosing the right name for your business:
- Avoid hard to spell names – You would not want potential customers to have a hard time searching for your company online, and it would be inconvenient on your part if you continuously correct misspelled versions of your company name. Just keep it simple.
- Don’t pick a name that could potentially limit your company’s growth – Don’t choose a name that limits your business to a specific state or a particular product. Just imagine if the founder of Amazon just named their business “Online bookstore”.
- Search your chosen business name online – Conduct a thorough internet search of your chosen business name. Most likely you would encounter another business already using that business name. Even though it would not matter much, but you may want to consider renaming or “tweaking” the name of your business.
- Get the .com domain of your business name – In this age of the internet, people who are potential online customers, tend to associate “.com” named businesses as more established businesses as compared to businesses that have a “.net”, “.org”, or “.biz” domain extensions. Most probably your preferred domain name would have already been owned by someone else, but fortunately some domain owners are willing to sell their domain at the right price..
- Use a name that conveys meaning to your business – It would be ideal to choose a name for your business that would convey something positive or something meaningful in relation to your business. Get a business name where people could understand what your business is all about. You may find it amusing, but you would really know that a business name like “Hooters” is not a business associated with owls. Although such business names are catchy, but it would also cost you a lot more to brand such a name. A name like OnlineTickets.com is one such name that does not only convey what the business is all about, but it is also helpful for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
- Conduct a trademark search – Try to research online if you could make your business name into a trademark. Because turning your business name into a trademark means that you get exclusivity for your name. No other company or product can use your name for whatever purpose (e.g. nobody can market “Coca-Cola” shoes)
- Conduct or a Secretary of State search – Make a thorough search of the Secretary of State’s records to make sure that your company name is not similar to any other name that has already been registered. You may need the services of an attorney to conduct such kind of search.
- Assess if your company name is catchy – Finding a catchy name is what sells in today’s market (remember Hooters?). But obviously you would not want to choose a name that is too “outlandish”, like naming a bakeshop “Taste my cakes” You would want to choose a name where your future employees would not hesitate in saying where they work at, and also a name that would resonate with your target clientele.
- Get feedback on your chosen name – Come up with some potential names for your company and run them by with members of your family, or friends, or your business partners. Make sure that whatever name you choose would not have any negative meaning or connotation. One example of this is a popular Japanese brand of pretzel stick called “Pocky”, when it was marketed in the Philippines it did not do as well because people there made fun of the name because it sounded a lot like the local term for the female genitalia.
- Make sure that the name sounds good when you say it aloud – Your company name may sound good on paper, but probably it doesn’t sound as good when said aloud. And when it is said aloud, make sure that people won’t have any trouble spelling it.
- Try brainstorming to find the right name for your business – There are a lot of online resources that could help you with this like, VisualThesaurus.com, Shopify Business Name Generator, NameMesh.com, and Naminum.com
- Make sure you are satisfied and happy with the name you chose – As the owner of your business, you will have to live with the name that you chose for your company for a long time. Make sure you are happy with what you chose and you believe that it will resonate to your potential customers.