How to Find a Business Name – The Things You Need to Consider

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There are many things you need to take care of when starting your own business. I won’t go into the specifics of that because you know exactly what I’m talking about. But let me just mention business plans, taxes, licenses, inventory, marketing, logos, etc. Therefore, choosing a name for your newly created business can be a stressful and time-consuming process. And there’s a reason for that; everyone wants to make sure the name chosen is just PERFECT!

Nothing wrong with that. Especially if you’re planning to build a brand over it. Well, we can talk about that for hours, but the goal here is to simply help you how to find inspiration for your business name. Hence, I will give you a little description of every point you need to consider when doing that.

Office Laptop

I wish I could do it for you. It’d be my pleasure to be the one responsible for choosing your company name. But it doesn’t work that way. I know there are websites out there that will mix and match words and give you samples and what not, but I’ve used them, and in my opinion they’re useless – they confuse you even more.

Mostly because YOU want to be the one responsible for choosing your “baby’s” name. It works like that at home, with your kids, your dogs, your toys (bikes, cars, boats), etc. So put that creativity to work; start making a list of names you’re considering, get other people to give you feedback, and most importantly, make sure the website domain for that name matches it perfectly.

Following are the things you need to consider when picking a name for your company.

Surname

Using the last name as the company name is probably the most popular strategy people have taken throughout history. I would say it was the only option a business person had in villages and towns all over the ancient world so that was a no brainer. Examples of that today are Forbes, Ferrari, Gucci, etc.

Even today, there are still a tremendous number of people using this strategy. You’ll see that when you go outside once again. The thing to consider if picking your last name is that it’s neutral. What I mean by that is that it depends on how it sounds. Is it easy to spell and pronounce? What about its meaning in other languages? In fact, this is something you need to consider for every name you pick. Do a Google search to see what comes up.

First Name

If surnames as company names are more formal, and are used to translate a sense of respect and honor, using your first name as your company name will be make your business more approachable and informal. Restaurants are the best example of that. Take Michael’s, or Roberto’s as instances.

Choosing company name

First + Last Name

Now, a lot of big companies use their founders’ first and last name. I’m sure you’re already thinking about some big names by now, but I will give some examples at the end of this paragraph. But before, let me just tell you these are conceived as personality-centered company names. Is there anything wrong with that? Not sure, but see how your name sounds. I would say you’d need to come up with a unique product, to match the uniqueness of your own self, along with your name. Just like Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Eddie Bauer and others did.

Place

“Washington Mutual” is the combination of the American state with some qualities associated with it. Think about the place where you’re creating your business, and if there is anything unique that you can relate to it. Start at your street name, then maybe your neighborhood, city, state, region, country, continent, world, galaxy, universe… oh Gosh, good luck with that!

company logo

Descriptive

A descriptive name could easily be considered the least creative on this list. Basically, you’ll use a couple of words to inform your market what your business is about. Again, just make sure you use the search engines in your favor. Think about what you’ll be working on. Who knows your company name is right in front of you!? Just grab it! “Whole Foods” did that, and did it very well.

Global

You could take the opposite route and choose a massive name just like General Motors did. Wow this name is faceless! But how great is it? It just amazes me how sometimes what you might consider the name with the least creativity becomes one of the biggest names in the world. It’s true GM ends up being a nick name for the company. But that’s even greater! Now you have two names and two logos to play with.

Abstract-evocative

This depends on the choice of the word. Take “Fortune” for example. I remember using synonyms websites when writing essays back at college days. And I still use it a lot today. Maybe that’s something you want to do. Isn’t it funny we learn different words every time we read the paper? Where do you think journalists get all those fancy words from? Just plug in an evocative word to these websites and you’ll see a whole list of options.

company name

Mascot/Symbol

In this case, the word will depend on the symbol. And “Jaguar” is the best example. The truth is, the company was formed as the “Swallowed Side Car Company” before becoming “S.S. Cars Ltd.” which created the “S.S. Jaguar” model. Its popularity influenced the name change due to the fact that S.S. wasn’t distinct and could be confused with other foreign names.

Idiomatic/Conversational

Now we’re starting to get where I like the most – the combination and invention of words. These types of names use a very populist, and broad market appeal. Not to mention a great deal of creativity. “Whataburguer” is an example. In this case, the owner must’ve just taken an expression from one of his customers, put it together in a word, to come up with its name. Try something similar and see what comes up. Make sure to write it down.

Mutated Word

This is nothing but the combination of two or more syllables of different words. Mobil is a great example. Its original name was “Socony Mobiloil”, which lost the first name and the oil from the name before the logo was redesigned at the company’s 100th anniversary.

Composite Word

Microsoft combined half of the word microcomputer with half of software to come up with the most renowned and biggest tech companies the world. This name is so perfect it took me years to realize that. It just sounds like a regular word, doesn’t it? Maybe you want to think about your industry and do the same. Who knows you’ll be the next Bill Gates!?

Company brand

Invented Word

Invented words are usually very techie and quite inhuman. But again, does it sound good? Is it not offensive in other languages? Do you like it? So go for it! The good thing about invented words is chances are the domain is readily available to be picked. What an example “Viagra” is!

Initials

These can be considered faceless and easy to forget. Chances are you or your kids initials are not as appealing as “IBM”, “DHL”, or “MGM”. I’m sure it’ll take a while for it to get to these big companies’ level. In the past, “AAA”, or “ABC” were very popular because they’d be located on the first pages of yellow books. But those days are gone. Use your creativity for a great name instead.

Numbers

Similar to initials, if not worse. “7 Eleven”, “76”, “49ers” are some examples. They’re just too odd and quirky. These names make me wonder what they went through before they established themselves. In your case, I would say you’d need to have a great argument to use numbers as your company name.

How I picked my Business Name

I’ll be honest with you. For my wife’s yoga website, we were able to come up with a name that we enjoy a lot. We used a combination of three descriptive words that matched each other greatly. But as for the name of this website, I wish Digital Marketers would be available but it’s not. So, I am in the process of picking a new name for it. By the time you read this article, you might still see amazinglaptoplife.com

Everything is fairly new. As I mentioned on the first paragraph, there are a lot of things we need to take care of when starting a new business. The same thing here. Let me just quickly share with you what I’m doing; I’ve been learning from Wealthy Affiliate how to launch my first online business.

Simply put, they helped me to design my first two websites (my wife’s included), as well as teaching me how to create relationships and earn commissions on referrals I give to companies through my website.

Learn more about Wealthy Affiliate and how they can help you starting your own online business with minimal investment.

 

 

14 Responses

  1. terri

    This post is so timely…I am in the process of considering this right now…and you’ve suggested some great brainstorming ideas. Thanks, Marcus!

    • Marcus

      That’s great Terri. Yes, you should sign up and see it for yourself. The first week is completely free so take advantage of that. Send me a message using the platform to let me know you’re in. It’ll be my pleasure to give you some directions. Good luck!

  2. Bobbi

    This was an amazing post, very well written and informative. I am kinda upset that I didn’t read this before I picked the name of my website. Thank you for this, really awesome!

    • Marcus

      Oh Bobbi, glad you liked it. And I’m sorry I couldn’t help you earlier. Save these tips for your next business then.

  3. Deepika

    Thank you for giving a direction. Will look at all of these probable options while choosing a business name. It does become difficult online because of availability of names. Cyber Domain Squatters make life even more difficult.
    Cheers!

    • Marcus

      Yes Deepika, it takes a lot of brainstorming and mixing and matching words and feedback from friends. But if you make it a regular process, your name will pop up out of nowhere

  4. Mr. Progress

    Wow, great extensive article with a lot of options. There are several I didn´t really think about before. As it is very important to choose your company name well, I will review this lists several times before choosing. Thanks for the information!

  5. Joe Bryan

    Marcus,

    I really like your webpage and what you are trying to accomplish with choosing your own “business name” and making it your own. I love how you have presented your layout and the ways you are trying to help others by providing them ways to take the time to discover themselves

    • Marcus

      Nice Joe. The cool thing about this is that it’s all based on experience. I’ve gone through the same process and wanted to make sure I’d help the next one to jump on the boat. Take care

  6. Luiz Oliveira

    Aloha Marcus,

    Useful topic! I like how you broke it down. I have helped a few of my friend write a business plan and some of them had a really hard time. Often, I told them to wait to until we are done writing it.

    • Marcus

      That’s great Luiz! Hey, thanks for stopping by and dropping a line my brother. Hopefully this post was helpful to you guys coming up with some ideas for your business name. Let me know

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