Wondering what to call your new start-up business is the first difficult decision many entrepreneurs have to make.  Regardless of what industry you are working in, many of the considerations you face in deciding on a name are universal to all new organizations.


First of all remember that you are naming a business.  You’re not naming your baby or pet so choose appropriate names.  Consider what you want your business names to say about your new company and whether the proposed name actually does this.   Test out your proposed name with friends and family or even conduct some market research on the street but don’t hesitate, if in doubt go with gut feeling.


When thinking through your business name ideas, you have to decide whether you are going to use your surname or an invented word or simply an industrial term.  When deciding, bear in mind how it will look when written down and also how it will sound when spoken.  If you are going to pick an industry related term then make sure that it is not too obscure or pedantic.  Unless your proposed customer base is from a very specific and narrow area of industry then it is best not to pick something that is confusing or simply a mystery to the general public.


Get a Legal Name


A basic to keep in mind and yet one that is often forgotten, do check that you can legally use the proposed business names.  This is doubly important if you are about to register websites or order expensive company fliers and promotional materials.  Check that your name isn’t too similar to any other, not just to avoid litigation but also because you want your new company name to be recognizable.  If there are five organizations with a similar name, are you sure that you will still get to number one with search engines?  If not, then perhaps it is time to think again.


Check any name that you get through a naming contest to see if somebody else has copyrighted the name. That way you won’t be faced with costly legal bills.


Finally when naming a business, or using a business name generator you have to consider the long term.  Is your name going to be timeless and long lasting or is it going to be modern, trendy and out of date before you’ve completed your first order.  What you think of as being really cool might look stupid to your customers or at least a gimmick.  Picking the wrong name means that you are left picking up the pieces, it is a lot easier to pick the right name from the start than having to go through a painful re-branding process later on.


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