10 keys to finding better business name ideas

First of all, your company needs a business name! This may seem like a ridiculous and silly task, but it may be the most significant decision you make. The business name of your company has a significant impact on how clients and investors view you,

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First of all, your company needs a business name! This may seem like a ridiculous and silly task, but it may be the most significant decision you make.

The business name of your company has a significant impact on how clients and investors view you, and in today’s small world, it is a world-wide decision.

Right or wrong, the name you choose or do not choose, speaks volumes about your company savvy and understanding of the world you’re about to start. Here are some essential things I am looking for in the name.

1. Unforgettable and unique

In the business, this is called “stickiness.” But the problem of stickiness turns out to be kind of, well, sticky. Every company wants a  business name that stands out from the crowd, a catchy handle that will stay fresh and remarkable over time. That is a challenge because naming trends change, often year by year, making timeless names challenging to find.

2. Avoid unusual spellings

When planning a business name, stay with words that can be spelled by clients. Some startup owners try strange word spellings to make their company stand out, but this can be trouble when clients “Google” your company to find you, or try to introduce you to others. Stay with traditional word spelling, and avoid those catchy words that you love to describe at parties.

3. Easy to remember and pronounce

Forget made-up words and stupid phrases. Make your company’s business name one that clients can remember and pronounce easily. Skip the acronyms, which indicate nothing to most people. When choosing a name for a product or a company, straightforward and simple are back in style, and cost cheaper to brand.

4. Keep it simple

The shorter in length is the best option. Limit it to 2 syllables. Avoid using hyphens and other characters. Since some algorithms and directory listings work alphabetically, choose a name closer to A than Z. These days, it even benefits if the name can easily be changed into a verb, like Google me.

5. Make some sense

Infrequently, business owners will choose business names that are nonsense words. Quirky words ( Google, Yahoo, Fogdog) or trademark-proof names created from scratch (Aventis, Novartis, Lycos) are a considerable risk. Always check the international suggestions.

More than one company has been distracted by a new name that had negative and even obscene meanings in another language.

6. Let your name tell a story

What you name your company will undoubtedly have an impact on how you show it to the world, attract customers and gain attention.

Sometimes, it is worth to think outside the box. That has been the Matt Rizzetta’s experience, chief executive and president of a 20-person public relations firm located in New York.

He could have named his company Rizzetta Public Relations. After all, he had been told that when you were starting out, calling a company after yourself was usual practice. But instead of Rizzetta PR, he chose North 6th Agency, or N6A as it is known today. North 6th refers to North 6th Avenue, the street where his grandparents used to live in New York. The name was a dedication to his grandparents, whom he described as “hard-working immigrants” from Italy.

7. Make sure you can use it

Just as important as a company name idea that fits the personality and aims of your small company is figuring out whether someone else is already using it. Here is how to go about it.

  • Start with Web search.
  • When you incorporate your small company, you will need to check the certification process in your state, adding the requirements for registering your business name. This process varies by country; the SBA (Small Business Administration) website includes a list of these agencies.
  • The best method to check the availability of the domain name based on your aimed company’s business name is to check the sites of the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, better known as ICANN, which manages the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names, or InterNIC.
  • You can register your domain name with a domain name registrar. There is a list of ICANN-accredited domain registrars on the organization’s website.
  • It is also essential to create accounts on various social media platforms, such as LinkedIn Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • A significant step is finding out whether you can legally use a name for your company based on national trademark laws. For this, the best option is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Its website covers a step-by-step process of applying for a company trademark if the name you want is free.

This last point is the most critical, especially if you want to avoid legal headaches in the future. You have no doubt hear the horror stories of small companies that found themselves involved in legal battles with corporate giants over what these companies were called.

8. Favor common suffixes

Everyone will think that your company name is your domain name minus the suffix “.com” or the specific suffix for your country. If these suffixes are occupied for the name you prefer, choose a new  business name rather than settling for an alternate suffix like “.info” or “.net.” Get all suffixes if you can.

9. Do not box yourself in

Avoid choosing names that do not allow your company to move around or add to its product line. This means avoiding product categories to your business name or geographic locations. With these specifics, clients will be confused if you develop your business to different areas or add on to your product line.

10. Sample potential clients

Come up with several name choices and try them out on potential clients, co-workers, and investors. Skip your friends and family who know too much. Ask them about the names to see if they give off the impression you desire.