Naming your business can feel a lot like naming your child…lists are made and whittled down according to the names feel right and those that don’t, the names that give the impression we want and those that might be misunderstood etc. Sometimes new parents find it so difficult to find just the right name that they put it off until after the child is born – often until weeks after!
With your business, you don’t have this flexibility. Many things rely upon the final selection of your business name. Until you have this, you can’t create your logo, set up your website, get your business cards, set up an email address or market your business in any meaningful way.
If you’re feeling uninspired or even a bit nervous about choosing your business name then help is at hand. Read on and we’ll guide you through the whole process so you can choose your business name with confidence!
Things to consider when choosing a business name
Unlike naming a child, naming your business isn’t as simple as looking through the ‘big book of business names’ and choosing your favourite. Your business name will be front and centre of your branding. It will generally be the first impression you give to your potential customers and so it needs to embody your brand characteristics. No pressure then right?
Then, if you can find that perfect name that fits your business, you need to ensure that you can actually legally use it!
By coming here, you’ve taken a great first step to the perfect business name. We’re going to take you through the rest of the journey to make sure you don’t miss anything along the way. You’ve got this!
What kind of business name do you want?
The first thing to consider when you’re choosing your business name is what kind of name you want. There are a few different categories that you could choose from. You may decide that your business and brand will be based around you and so one option is to just go with your name or a variation on that theme.
Alternatively, you could focus on what your business does and base your name on that. A third option is to choose a name that is more obscure but which reflects your brand image.
Something to consider when you are deciding which option to go for is how easy it will be for people to find you – especially if most customers will be searching for you online. If you’re a wedding photographer in Truro, then you ideally want people to find you if they type ‘wedding photographer in truro’ into search. This is much more likely to happen if you have the words ‘wedding photographer’ and ‘Truro’ in your name.
For example, ‘The Truro Wedding Photographer’. Or if you’re an accountant who focuses on small businesses then you might want to include those terms in your name. Using keywords in your business name isn’t the be all and end all but it can certainly give your SEO (search engine optimisation) a boost.
Is your business name available?
Once you have a shortlist of names that you like then an important step to take is to check Companies House to ensure that they are available to use. You should also check that you are not using any ‘sensitive terms‘ which are restricted by Companies House.
Choosing a domain name
If your business is going to have a website then you’ll need to buy a domain name. Your domain name should match the name of your business or people won’t find you and if they do, they won’t connect the website with you and your business. Before you choose a final business name, make sure you check that the domain name is available.
The best domains to choose are .com and .co.uk. If it’s possible to get both then it’s a good idea to do so because this will prevent someone else from using it in the future.
Creating a logo
When you’re choosing your business name, consider how it will impact your logo. If the name is going to form part of the logo, then think how this will look. Make sure the name isn’t too longwinded or difficult to read.
Even if your name won’t appear in the logo, there should be some correlation between the two because your logo is essentially the visual representation of your business name and brand.
Creating social media handles
In today’s online world, social media plays an increasingly important role in marketing. It isn’t necessary to be active in every social channel but it’s generally useful to ensure your business builds a following in at least a couple. So, when you’re choosing your final business name, it’s a good idea to check whether the handles are available in the social channels that you plan to use. Again, if your social handles differ too much from your business name it will cause a disconnect with your potential customers and may even mean that they can’t find you at all.
Where to find business name ideas
If you’re still struggling to find inspiration for your business name, then why not try one of these online tools to help generate a few ideas?
Naming your business needn’t be stressful. By doing the right checks you can feel confident that you’ve chosen a great business name that will help to strengthen your brand and set you up for long term success.