How do you find a good company name for your business? In this article, I'll share some guidelines to keep in mind when looking for a name, as well as some business name ideas.
Hopefully, you have a pretty good idea of what kind of business you want to create at this point.
This step of the entrepreneurship journey is about finding a brand and picking a domain name.
Finding that perfect name requires a bit of patience, creativity and luck.
Many of the really good names are taken.
But don't let that discourage you. Let your mind wander long enough and sooner or later you will come up with a name that you love. You just have to brainstorm quite a bit to get there.
Choosing a name requires a lot of abstract thought processes. But there are a few things you can keep in mind to help you narrow it down. In this article, you'll learn how to find a good company name. Let's get into it!
When it comes to choosing a name for your business, there are no right and wrong names. Most names can work with the right angle.
Things to keep in mind when choosing a name
Here are some practical questions you should ask yourself before you start thinking about names.
1. Should I buy existing or find available domains?
Regardless of what business you're opening, you most likely want to get your hands on the domain name.
First question you need to ask: how much do you want to pay for your name?
You have two choices:
- Buy a pre-existing domain.
- Find an available domain for $10 per year.
If this is your first business, I recommend that you find a name that is available, i.e that costs you $10 per year.
When starting your next business in the future, you can consider getting a premium brand.
2. Check availability
It might take some time to find a good name that's actually available.
It's not easy, but eventually you'll find the right one for you.
Search for domains here:
You might also want to check your local business register to make sure the company name is available. However, you'll usually find variations that will work as a legal name.
3. Brand or keyword?
Do you want to build a name based on keywords, or do you want to build something more brandable?
Using “MountainBikesForKids.com” can work well in many ways, but you'll have a hard time turning it into a recognized brand.
Upsides of keyword names
- Everyone knows what your business is about.
- Google might rank you higher on keywords related to your name.
- Conversion rates might be higher.
Upsides of brand names
- Easier to gain trust and get recognition.
- Easier to expand to more products.
- Looks more professional.
You decide, there's no right and wrong.
4. Local or global?
Should you go with a local or a global name? It depends on what your plans are, and what market you're in.
Upsides with local names
- Good if your local market has enough potential.
- People in your country will probably feel more familiar with the brand.
- Higher trust, which might affect your conversion rate.
Upsides with global names
- Good if you're in a smaller niche that doesn't have too much potential locally.
- Ability to expand to new markets without rebranding or creating new brands.
- You can become recognized worldwide.
Brainstorm business name ideas
Spend 30 minutes brainstorming different names. Start writing up different words that you associate with your future brand, and see how you can play with the words to make that into a name.
Make a list of some business name ideas that you don't necessarily love, but could consider. The important thing is to get the ideas flowing and come up with a whole bunch of different name ideas.
Later on, you'll use these ideas to come up with the final name – a name that makes perfect sense.
To help you get some ideas, look into these business name generators.
Business name generators
This is the best generator to come up with business name ideas. One drawback of using this generator is that most names are already taken (some can be bought directly from Namelix).
Novanym combines clever AI with human branding expertise to generate unique and evocative business names.
Shopify is known for its eCommerce expertise, so why not try out their free name generator when starting your business? Once you've picked out your name they offer a free 14-day trial so you can set up your store, making it as easy as possible to get going.
Worldlab's business name generator can assist with not just naming your business but also product and domain names. With over 7 million to choose from you should be able to find something that fits your brand and there's a community of Worldlab users to help if you join their free forum.
5. Business Name Generator (BNG)
BNG's name generator tool offers a range of filters to help you get a more tailored search. Choose the number of characters, words, industry, and even whether you would like it to rhyme or not.
Ideas & tips to find a good business name
Here are a few general guidelines to keep in mind when creating your brand. You don't necessarily have to tick each one of these, because it really depends on your industry and goals.
Guidelines to apply where possible:
1. Simple names
Avoid confusing or complicated names. Despite how intelligent a long and complex name sounds to you, most people are more attracted to simple names. There are exceptions, but in general, the simpler, the better.
According to this article, stocks in companies with simpler names increased 33% more than more difficult names.
2. A name people understand and can pronounce
Stay away from names that might sound clever to insiders, but others have a hard time understanding.
People generally prefer names with words that feel familiar. Amazon, for example, is easy to remember. Berkshire Hathaway, another of the world's largest companies, is not nearly as well known despite having the same revenue.
3. A name that explains what you do
It might be an edge if you can find a name that explains what you do. “A Man With A Van” is a great example of a name where people instantly associate it with the service provided.
4. Names that trigger emotions
Some businesses can really benefit from having a name that awakes emotions. If your cat is sick and you see the website “catrescue.com” – that might appear highly relevant to you on an emotional level.
5. Avoid long names
Avoid long names overall – no more than 20 characters. The shorter the better.
6. Don't use hyphens
Avoid the “-” symbol, both in your official company name and domain. It just doesn't look good.Mark lesson complete