Starting a Business? Important Guides to Naming Your Small Business

/ 01:58 AM January 26, 2019

At any point in your life, you have probably been asked to suggest a name for a child, a pet dog, or even a luxury car. Most likely, you have recommended monikers that are both unique and have special meanings to them. Picking a good name when starting a business, however, is at as easy as many people think. While many entrepreneurs instinctively know what to call their startup business, some soon-to-be business owners struggle to come up with a catchy name.

To get you out of this predicament, I have created guidelines to naming a business. Here’s the complete checklist.


The Basics of Naming a Business

When starting a business, every entrepreneur wants their business name to be as memorable as possible to fortify the company’s brand. Ideally, business names should also resonate to the intended audience and capture their attention. Surely, coming up with the perfect business name can be frustrating, especially if you don’t even have the slightest idea.

But don’t panic! Understanding the basic principles of naming a business can help you overcome this challenging phase.


1. Reviewing the Foundations of Your Business

To start the naming process, review the core principles of your business. These should include the mission statement, business plan, and your distinct selling proposition. Prioritizing your target audience is also a must.

Furthermore, ask yourself what message you want to portray through your business name. Note that it’s important to be aware of what your customers will think or feel then they see your business name. Apart from this, pay attention to the names of your competition. Identify which names you like and dislike.

2. Brainstorming Session for Business Names

After determining the foundation of your business, it’s time to gather as much ideas as possible. Be more creative and free-thinking as you can be during this stage to have a variety of options. Brainstorming a business name, however, is better done with the help of a colleague or partner who knows what kind of startup business you want to establish.

Some of the most effective brainstorming techniques include brain dumping, list making, mind mapping, and word association.

3. Narrowing Down Business Name Options

After creating a list of business names, analyze and review the results. Look for the names that best capture the essence of your business. You can then go through the list again and remove the names that you don’t like. Remember that you don’t have to come up with the decision right away. A business name is one of the most important aspects of your business. The last thing you want to happen is choosing a name that you aren’t sure about.

4. Business Name Availability

Once you have picked the best business name, find out if it is still available or not trademarked. Use the federal database called Trademark Electronic Search System. It’s also necessary to run a series of searches with Google and other search engines to ensure its uniqueness.

5. Registering a Business Name

Check the general guidelines when registering a business name. For instance, a corporation, a limited liability company, or limited partnership in the U.S., you will need to register your business with your state authorities. On the other hand, businesses with sole proprietorship or general partnership needs to be registered in the county or city where they are located. Do some research to avoid any conflict.


Popular Business Name Styles

Every entrepreneur wants their business name to stand out to establish the company’s brand. Most business names, however, are based on different business name styles, including using mainstream words, the owner’s name, and trends. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular business name styles.

1. Unique Business Name

Under this naming style, words are often made up or not frequently used. These can also have special meanings with them. The downside of using unique names, however, is they may be difficult to pronounce or spell.

2. Mainstream Business Name

Some business owners use ordinary words and turn them into a brand. Most mainstream business names are easy to pronounce and spell. The drawback: this type of name are easy to forget since it may have multiple meanings.

3. Based-On the Owner’s Name

Simply use your given name.

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