You’ve determined the breadth of your company, from how to fund it to the digital content you want to create. But there’s one thing you’re still stuck on, and it’s the most difficult of all because of its exposure and permanence: deciding on a perfect business name.
A company’s inability to launch can be attributed to a name that is too obscure or unrelatable.
However, this isn’t meant to be discouraging. If you’re having trouble naming your new business, you’re not alone. Professional naming agencies spend six weeks to six months on the process.
Here’s a list of things to consider when naming your company, whether you’re starting from scratch or already have a name in mind.
See if the name has already been taken
Once you’ve come up with a couple of names you like, check to see if they’re already taken.
A fast search on your chosen search engine might help you figure out whether there are any other businesses or websites with the same name as yours. To avoid any potential snags, later on, broaden your search both locally and abroad. You should also check the website of your government to determine if the name is still available.
Panasonic was unable to use its initial brand name (National) in the United States when it expanded internationally because the term had already been taken by a US manufacturer. As a result, the business began branding its export items as “Panasonic.”
Researching different marketplaces ahead of time can save you time and money in the long run.
If you’re a startup or a small business, social media will be critical to your growth because it’s a free marketing and sales tool that’s replacing many old marketing methods. Check to see if your preferred handle is available on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as others.
Having a single name that you use everywhere is vital for developing a brand presence for your company, which may lead to more followers, service sign-ups, and improved conversion rates.
Last but not least, see if your company name is available for registration as a domain name, as you will most likely want to create a website, and you will need a domain name to do so.
If the .com extension that matches your intended business name is already used, consider a country-code extension such as .ca or .us, or one of the hundreds of other options presently available.
While trademarking your business or brand name isn’t required, it does provide legal protection in the event that someone else tries to do business under your selected name.
Trademarking is a technique to avoid squabbles with competitors, as well as any legal ramifications that may arise.
Online tools can tell you if your company name has been trademarked, depending on where you are located.
You can also submit your company or brand name for review to see if your proposed trademark is distinctive enough to stand out. You can then apply to register your trademark once it has been confirmed. In most countries, a trademark grants you exclusive usage rights.
Are you completely stranded? Use a name generator
If coming up with a perfect business name leaves you stumped, seek assistance. If you’re utterly stumped, there are plenty of free resources available to help you get started.
Name generators like Namelix can help you come up with short, memorable names by simply typing in a few essential words. If you have an idea for a name but are having trouble seeing how it might come to life or be branded, Fiverr can help with design or concept creation.
You might also choose to name your company after yourself.
Consider whether allowing the company to use your name and identity, with the possibility of it evolving in a different path in the future, is a risk you wish to take. There are advantages and disadvantages to doing so, and if you go this path, be aware of the potential ramifications when it comes to licensing and trademarking your name.
Make it simple to say and appealing to a worldwide audience
The following advice on naming a company is more practical. Make sure the name is straightforward to speak and spell, and that it doesn’t have any potential multiple meanings. Other problems to avoid include:
- Unpredictable word and number combinations
- Difficult-to-remember or purposefully difficult spellings
- Long or ambiguous names
Put the name to the test
You’ve decided on a name and double-checked that it’s available. Now all you have to do is put together an informal or formal focus group.
Reaching out to your existing network is the simplest method to do this. Friends and family can help because they are the primary audience for first impressions:
- Do they know how to spell your company’s name?
- Is it relevant to what you do or offer?
- Does it strike you as gimmicky?
Consider holding an online focus group or organizing a survey to test the name with more people than just your overly supportive buddies. You should also conduct a web search to discover if the name has any bad connotations in other languages.
Use these suggestions to come up with a fantastic business name
When it comes to picking a perfect business name, you are the one who must provide the ultimate permission. Will you grow tired of this moniker if you succeed and it follows you for decades? Is the name appealing to your target audience? Will it fast become outdated or difficult to comprehend? Consider some of your favorite and most memorable brand names and compare them to your own. After you’ve done your homework, make your decision with confidence.