One of the most important steps to take when starting a business is deciding on the process of choosing a business name. Unless your mind is creatively aligned toward words, choosing a business name can be tricky; choose a business name that’s too complicated or hard to spell, and your customers might not remember you. Choose a business name that’s too common, and you might not stand out from the competition.
Hopefully, you will be using your business name for many years to come, so it’s important that you pick the right one. Luckily, there is an easy solution: use a business name generator freely available online.
What Is a Business Name Generator?
A business name generator will take the input you provide and create a list of potential business names based on your criteria. Many business name generators will provide names and check domain availability for you. You may be asking yourself: is a business name generator free? And the answer is yes; the name generation service is usually free, with add-on fee services like customized names, branding or registering the domain, LLC, etc.
Most of the business name generators will request additional details such as industry, type, style and even the emotion you would like people to feel when they hear your business name. If you are stuck in a rut on selecting a business name, a business name generator will help you brainstorm business name ideas, or at the very least, inspire your imagination to create something unique on your own.
What to Consider When Choosing a Business Name
The inputs you provide to the business name generator will drive your results. Make sure that any keywords or themes you want are included up front, so that the names generated provide a voice to what you want your small business name to say. Once you have your business name generator results, create a shortlist of names that you like. Consider trying the generator again with a different set of inputs. Many of the sites allow you to “favorite” or “save” items as you go. Take advantage of the free options available to you.
Make sure that you end up with a shortlist of names that are memorable, easy to pronounce, easy to spell and don’t have any negative connotations. Make sure to avoid common elements of a bad business name. Do some research on each of the final name choices to give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that you won’t offend anyone down the road and that you can truly make your business name your own.
What Are the Best Business Name Generators?
Here are a few recommendations for the best free business name generators, with details about the strengths and benefits of each.
Allows you to enter multiple keywords prior to using the generator
Once the list is generated, you can filter by industry and results; website applies automated industry filters based on keywords
Check domain availability with GoDaddy
Using the keywords “small business side hustle,” we were able to get three pages worth of business name results, and clicking on one immediately gave us an idea of which domain names were currently available to register, as seen in the following screenshot:
Returns a single, different result each time you click “Get Name!”
Has a variety of different name generators from business to band to event planning company
Does not offer a domain name availability search
Business name generators seem to be getting more proactive in providing a visual interpretation of the results. Many sites have moved to logo-based results that can be readily customized. Some of the logo-result websites also have the option to work with a branding consultant. If you are a visually oriented person, having potential business names come complete with logos and a color palette could be helpful as you decide on a direction.
Or, if you are more of a verbally oriented person, the explanation of the meaning behind the names and logos could be more useful. And if you are just looking for some fun brainstorming ideas, the list of hundreds of names might be the most appealing option. No matter what you need from your business name, this roundup of business name generators offers something for everyone.
Ben Gran is a freelance writer from Des Moines, Iowa. Ben has written for Fortune 500 companies, the Governor of Iowa (who now serves as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture), the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, and many corporate clients. He writes about entrepreneurship, technology, food and other areas of great personal interest.