Naming Your Business

How To Name Your Business

Naming your business is a very important task when creating your brand. Long gone are the days of naming the business after yourself or your family name. You need to have a name that describes the nature of the business so your customer can easily and quickly identify what you do. You also want to give your business a name that creates a brand story right away.

Ask yourself a few long term questions when deciding on a name. What if my business becomes a franchise, will the brand name have legs? What if I sell my business to someone else, will the name still be relevant? Franchising Sally’s San Diego Café may not work so well in Kentucky. You may not want to sell your company if it’s titled after you either. Cakes by Sally Suthers may be fine when it’s run by you, but what happens if someone else is running the company using your name?

Here are a few filters you need to think about when naming your company:

1. It should be easy to say and easy to spell. Say you are talking to someone about your hair salon, HyLyts, only to have them get home, try to find you on the Internet and never, ever find you.
 
2. This goes without saying, but don’t start your business name with the letter “i”. Apple has cornered the market on that, leave it be.
 
3. When starting your business don’t name your business after yourself unless you can find a very clever way to use it. Mrs. Tammy Freeze could own Freeze Air Conditioning, Ms. Janet Day might own DayTime Concierge Services.
 
4. Do not come up with a random name that means nothing because you think it sounds cool. You will be doing your business a huge disservice by alienating all of your potential clients by trying to explain and re-explain what you do and what the name means. Do you know what the company “Praxair” does? Neither do we. (They are an industrial gas company. We know you were about to Google it.)
 
5. Do try and invoke some personality into your name.
 
6. Everyone loves a bit of humor. Smush Pest Control or Stiff Neck Ironing & Laundry Services will elicit a snicker or two.
 
7. Don’t forget to think about how your business name will translate into a URL. Search domain names before deciding on the final name. You can search available domain names at places like godaddy.com and register.com.
 
8. Be sure to search your state’s fictitious business names to make sure the name you select is available. Some states will have an online search and some states will require you to send in a form. You should be able to read about fictitious business names on your Secretary of State’s website. If it’s taken you will need to rethink your business name.
 

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