Coming Up With a Company Name That Works For You

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By Roberto Neuberger

One of the first major decisions you are going to have to make when starting a business is the name. It can be more important than you think, because once you pick a name, it becomes your company’s brand. A company’s name is its first impression, and chances are you want that first impression to be a good one.

Things to consider when creating a company name

Think about what the name says.

The name you choose will immediately tell people about your company. Think about these two names for a costume supply company: PartyTime Costumes and Costume Boutique. They may have the exact same products, but their names give customers different expectations. Your company name should reflect what you do and how you do it. What does your company name say about your business? And what will that name look like on a billboard?

Is your name available?

Just because you’ve come up with the perfect name for your business doesn’t mean it’s available. A unique name has a higher chance of being available than an ordinary one. Even if you come up with a unique name that no one else has, if it’s considered too close to sounding or looking like another company’s name you may not be able to use it. You’ll have to conduct a thorough search before printing out any letterhead.

Don’t be too cute.

Customers have to be able to read the name to be able to remember it. A toy store that specialized in educational toys called itself CreaToyvity. No one got it right the first time, which was frustrating for customers and for the store’s employees. If you use a foreign word in your company name, it’s probably a good idea to make certain it’s common enough so everyone knows what it says—unless you are targeting a specific ethnicity. Don’t try to capitalize on a trend, because trends fade away and you’ll be stuck

Give your name meaning.

Apple Computers is probably not a good example of this, but it turned out pretty good for company co-founder Steve Jobs. No one could come up with a name for their new
company, and in frustration, Jobs named the company after his favorite fruit—an apple.

Resources related to Corporate Names:

  1. Free Company Name Availability Check
  2. Free Ebook: How to Select a Corporate Name