Starting your own LLC is fraught with important decisions, but one of the most fundamental is what to name your company. Of course, your product or service and the team you choose are central to your long-term success. But without a name that fits the image and mission you’re hoping to achieve, you’ll find it much more difficult to gain traction with your company.
So before you get your heart set on what to call your latest business venture, let’s run through some of the key points you should consider.
Simple Yet Memorable
Although you should carefully select your company name, you shouldn’t trouble yourself with over-complicating it. The best business names are those that have an elegant simplicity. Be aware of things like your spelling and grammar, since incorporating bizarre spellings and numbers (e.g., ”4” instead of “for”) in your name can backfire. Instead, opt for clever wordplay or alliteration if you’re looking to come up with a name that really pops.
Moreover, keep your intended audience in mind and create a name that will linger in their heads or otherwise draw their attention. If you’re unsure whether a name you’re considering is too quirky to connect with your prospective customer base, it probably is.
Compliant With the Law
Whenever anyone starts a new business, one of the primary concerns involves the legal requirements of naming a new LLC. For instance, many states require certain terminology to be used in a company name — even if that simply means including “LLC” in your official registered business name.
Alternatively, some terms (like “bank” and “insurance”) cannot be included in your company name. If they exist, these requirements are typically found on your state’s website. Be sure to check these rules so you can register your business name without incident. The last thing you want is for your LLC to start its life in conflict with the law, especially since a little bit of forethought is all it takes to prevent such issues.
While you’re looking up state regulations regarding your LLC name, don’t forget to check whether the names you have in mind are still available. Remember that your LLC cannot shared a registered name with another business; to avoid confusion, your business name also shouldn’t bear too close a resemblance to an existing company.
Running a simple business name search can go a long way toward protecting your brand. There’s no better time to bear in mind the importance of regulating your brand than before your LLC even begins operation — and that extends to your name, logo and even your tagline. If your brand is your corporate identity, don’t leave it vulnerable: carve out your own niche with a distinctive name.
Emotional, Not Descriptive
As much as you may want your mission clearly spelled out in your company’s name, be careful that you have the right philosophy in place when deciding on a corporate identity. Often, your business will be much more successful in connecting with your intended audience when you set descriptive language aside for something more emotionally driven.
After all, customers aren’t going to come to you because your name simply describes your job function. They come to you because of how your product or service directly benefits them. Keeping this fact in mind as you name your LLC can give you an edge in attracting customers. Just be aware of the connotation of certain words (especially within your niche) and play to your specific strengths.
Take Some Creative License
Even if you run through every word in the dictionary, you still might not land on the right combination of words to effectively represent what you’re trying to accomplish with your LLC. If that’s the case, maybe that’s because you haven’t invented the right name yet. As bizarre as it sounds, some of the most successful companies in history completely fabricated their now-iconic business names once upon a time.
Try combining some foreign language words into a new name, building a word out of meaningful initials or even drawing from your own personal experiences. The possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination. In today’s marketplace, such brand names aren’t only widely accepted, but encouraged. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more innovative way to satisfy all of the above criteria.
Starting Off Right
Once you settle on a name for your business, that’s just the beginning of the process. But you’re not alone in getting your business off to a great start! In fact, Incfile offers a wide variety of packages that can facilitate LLC formation for as little $0 (plus state fees). We’ll take over every step of the way, allowing you to focus on carrying out your mission and building your business from day one.