Choosing a name can be the most exciting part of starting your business but it can also be the most frustrating part too. It’s difficult to choose a good business name especially in today’s world where a lot of names are already taken. A good business name can help the business become successful just as a bad one can make it unsuccessful.

Think about what your business is. If it’s only focused in the local area then consider initials, your own name or the name of the area. People can feel confident if you have your own name behind the business, especially a local one. People also like having the area in the name as it feels more of a local business.

Random or Relative

There are normally two ways to name a business. You can have an informative name that helps define what your business offers such as “London Computer Repair” it provides the location but also gives the customer exactly what you offer or something a little less informative but still keeping it relevant like “Rightmove”. The other way to go is picking a random but memorable name such as “Google”. Unless you have a large budget to market a random name it might be worth sticking with a name that tells people about your business. Another form of a random name would be your own name. Many large businesses are just named after the founders names. Random doesn’t mean that the business didn’t have reason behind the name, it just means that it has no relevance when the consumer hears it.

Amazon

Represents how large an online bookstore can be to one in a physical shop.

Coca Cola

Named after the coca leaves and Kola nuts that originally flavoured the drink

Garmin

Named after the two founders names merged, Gary Burrell and Dr. Min Kao

IKEA

The initials of the founder Ingvar Kamprad and the Village he grew up in Elmtaryd A

Vodafone

Short for Voice, Data, Telephone.

Smaller two words businesses

CarBuyer

A website that gives advice for people who are looking at purchasing cars

AutoTrader

A website that allows people to buy and sell vehicles

Rightmove

Property search website

Zoopla

Another property search website

Businesses can range how they are named but a good way to start is to note down what your business is about, for example if you’re wanting to start a photography business then one of the main words would be photo/ photography. You can then come off that and have words like camera, zoom, shot, image. You could use just one word or merge it with another which could be your own name or an adjective such as sweet, professional, expert, quality etc. Ending up with a name like Expert Image.

Name Generators

Be sure to make use of free online business name generators. There are a lot out there such as the shopify business name generator or Panabee.com. Just input a few keywords that you’d like to communicate in your business and it will generate tons of names containing those keywords and similar ones. If it doesn’t come up with a suitable name often it will help your thought process a bit more to help you come up with one.

Hire Help

You can hire companies and individuals to help you think of a name for your business. Hiring a company can be very expensive and can reach up to six figures. On the other end of the scale you can check out Fiverr gigs, there’s people on there that will help you come up with several names for your business. Just give them a brief and a words that you might have been thinking of and see what they come up with. It might be worth a go for $5.

Competitors

If there are competitors in your new business then analyse their names. Look at what they’ve chosen, if there’s a name you like think if there’s any variation of that. Again often it just about stimulating your mind to different words and ideas to help you eventually think of the something that catchy and sticks.

Online

Being online is a necessary step for pretty much every business. If you think you have a name worthy of your business then be sure to check that’s its available as a Domain and across all social media platforms. If you’ve picked a competitive name that others have used too you may find it difficult to get a good online presence. Nothing is worse than having to modify your business name for your website domain to your twitter username.

Trademarks

Check that your name is not trademarked by going to www.gov.uk/search-for-trademark or if you’re not in the UK your country’s relating government site. If it is, it’s not the end of the world and it can be quite common. Try and think of a new one if your name is trademarked by a business that is quite well known, operates in the same industry you do or in the same area. As long as you have good reason and are clearly not trying to impersonate another business there should be no problem.

Hopefully you’ll think of several names that might work. It’s good to test these names with not only friends and family but you could try a bit of primary market research such as focus groups. Overall think to yourself which name best fits your business? Deep down you’ll have a favourite and most entrepreneurs will go with their gut feeling.

Once you’ve confirmed your name, Congratulations! It’s the first real start to building your business. Enjoy the next step of designing your brand.