Make no mistake, choosing a name for your business will be tough, but also one of the most important decisions you make in regards to your business.
There are many do’s and don'ts when it comes to thinking of a name, and we’ve compiled some of the most important to get you started. Below are our eight "golden rules" to abide by when it comes to naming your business.
1. Easy to Pronounce and Remember
Your business name needs to be something that your customers can easily pronounce and remember. For example, acronyms can be tough and often mean nothing to most people. Keep it simple and straightforward — it will ultimately cost you less to brand and market.
2. Avoid Unusual Spellings
If your name is difficult to spell, your business could suffer. For example, if a customer is listening to a commercial on TV and overhears the name of the company, their next step is usually to search online to find out more. But if they can’t figure out how to spell the business name, searching for your product could land them on a competitor, causing you to lose potential business.
3. Unforgettable and Unique
Timeless names are hard to find. Every company wants a name that’s unforgettable and stands out from the crowd. Coming up with a name that will stick requires a lot of research, but once the name is determined, your branding, marketing and products and/or services will help make your name all the more unforgettable.
4. Keep It Simple
This seems like a no brainer, but the shorter the length of your business name, the better. Consider limiting it to two syllables. Avoid using hyphens or other special characters. Certain algorithms and direct listings work alphabetically, so consider choosing a name closer to A than Z. Simple names have even been turned into a verb, like "Google it," or "Venmo me." However, do not confuse simple with generic when it comes to business naming. Just because it is simple, doesn't mean it should be generic like XYZ Plumbing. Generic names are easy to overlook and you'll blend in with many other companies out there.
5. Not Too Descriptive
Stay away from a name that’s too descriptive. For example, Jim’s Donut Shop may not be ideal if you plan to sell other products than donuts. This will help you avoid costly rebranding if you shift away from your current core focus. Rebranding costs time, money and sometimes loyal customers.
6. Avoid Trends
Trends are temporary. What may seem popular today, may not be in a few years (so don’t name your business YOLO).
7. Avoid Abbreviations
More descriptive names tend to be around two to three words for a business. It can sometimes be a bit of a mouthful and easier for customers to abbreviate into a simple acronym. Your business could become more anonymous if this happens.
8. Conduct a Business Name Search
Lastly, but certainly important, you must conduct a business name search to ensure the name you have for your company isn’t already being used. Once confirmed, reserve the name online before you begin the incorporation process.
What's Next After Naming a Business?
Once you’ve chosen your name, conducted a business name search and incorporated your business, there are a few things to consider as you move forward:
1. Secure Your Domain Name
A domain name is very important. It adds credibility to your business and helps build your brand. There are many tools out there to help you find an available domain name, such as Instant Domain Search. Once you’ve selected your name, don’t forget to register the domain so it’s yours securely.
2. Grab Your Social Media Spots
Check to make sure you can secure your name or handle for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. Social media will most likely be a large part of how prospects and customers find you. Especially as a new business starting out, social media is an effective and cost-efficient way to promote yourself and connect with your customers.
3. Incorporate Your Business
Once a name is chosen, don’t forget to incorporate your business. There are many advantages, with one of the most important being that it will limit your personal liability. Forming an LLC will protect your personal assets, give you easier access to capital, enhance your credibility and help you gain anonymity. This is a very important step when starting your business.
If you’re not sure where to turn to begin the incorporation process, look no further than Incfile. With our easy LLC filing and company formation process, you can start your business today for as little as $0 + state fees, and receive a free year of Registered Agent service.