One of the most important decisions in starting a business is choosing a business name. Every company wants a name that stands out from the crowd, that will remain fresh and memorable over time.
There are a number of rules for naming your business but here are some tips to assist you in the decision-making process.
1. Go Back To The Basics
Review the foundation of your business. Consider your mission, vision and target audience and create a list of guidelines so you can refer to them during the process. Try to adopt a business name that provides some information about what your business does and reminds customers what services you provide.
You may conduct brainstorming sessions with the key decision-makers, to come up with as many business name ideas as possible. It is a better method to involve only the fewer, the better and select just the people you feel to have the company’s best interests at heart.
3. Choose Words That Make Sense
Quirky words or trademark-proof names concocted from scratch like Novartis, Aventis, Lycos are a big risk. Always check the international implications to avoid embarrassment by a new name that has negative, obscene connotations in another language.
4. Avoid Unusual Spellings
Choose words that can easily be spelled by customers. Unusual word spellings can be troublesome when customers ‘Google’ your business to find you or try to refer you to others. For instance “Kool” vs “Cool”.
5. Easy To Pronounce And Remember
Keep it simple and straightforward. It is great for a name to have a special meaning or significant story that can be used to tell the company message. But if the reference is too obscure or hard to spell, the customer will simply pass you by as irrelevant.
6. Keep It Simple
The shorter in length, the better. Limit it to two syllables. Avoid using hyphens and other special characters. Ascertain algorithms and directory listings work alphabetically, pick a name closer to A than Z. Some aspiring entrepreneurs simply collide two words that look and sound awful.
7. Don’t Box Yourself In
Adding your geographic location or product category to your business name will cause trouble in the long run. With these specifics, customers will be confused if you expand your business to different locations or add to your product line.
8. Make Sure The Name Is Available.
Before you announce your business name make sure that it is not already trademarked by searching the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You should also run a series of searches with Google and other search engines for your desired business name to make sure there isn’t another company already using your name.
9. Favor Common Suffixes
Everyone will assume that your domain name is your company name minus the suffix ‘.com’ or the standard suffix for your country. If these suffixes are not available for the name you prefer, go through your shortlisted names and pick a new name rather than settling for alternates like ‘.net’ or ‘.info’. Get all three suffixes if you can.
10. Register It
If you have an LLC, a corporation or a limited partnership in the U.S., you will need to register your business as well as a business name with your state authorities. If your business is a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, you generally don’t need to register your business entity with the state, but instead with the city where your business is located.
After all these steps, if you feel that you have chosen the wrong name and then go forward and change it. Choosing a business name can be a lengthy, worth-while process for carving out your own niche in the business world.