Naming your business
Naming your business is possibly one of the most important and challenging decisions you’ll have to make before you even start operating. Cool and catchy business names attract customers and are memorable so you’ll have them coming back and recommending you to their friends and family through word of mouth. To make it easier for small businesses to select the best company name, why not use the Fiverr Workspace free business name generator that will help you come up with unique, cute or fun ideas for naming your company or brand.
3 most important reasons why your business Name is important
Many entrepreneurs compare starting a business to having a child, and just like with a newborn who’s just beginning in life, you must find the right name for your new business to give it the opportunity to grow and develop in the right direction. Why? Three main reasons:
#1 First impressions count – your name is the first thing customers, potential employees and the community will see. Make it memorable, evocative and make sure it’s something you can live with!
#2 It’s your main asset – you’ll be investing in it by using it in your online and offline communication, stationary, business correspondence etc. It’ll be the face of your business to the outside world so choose wisely.
#3 It sets you up against your competitors – your name will establish you as a unique entity or brand, so make sure you position yourself well.
What is the Business Name Generator
Here at Fiverr Workspace, we have developed a tool that allows you to enter a number of words associated with your business, industry, goals and get suggestions for potential business names. You can generate any number of proposals, or if you want to change the initial words you entered, just go to ‘start over’ and enter a new set. It’s easy and free to use and even if you end up not selecting one of the proposed names, it’ll give you plenty of ideas.
How to come up with a business name
Once you understand how important it is to select the right name for your business, here are some of the steps to consider so what you decide to call your company is not just a cool and catchy business name but is also unique and distinguishable.
#1 Ideas, ideas, ideas – brainstorm as much as possible by using the company name generator, a dictionary/thesaurus or just coming up and writing down random words or expressions from employees, friends and other sources. The more ideas you have, the easier it will be to come up with the final name.
#2 Make a list – once you’ve identified the best contenders for naming your business, list them and perhaps run them through the random company name generator for getting further refinement on the ideas for naming your business. While you do that make sure that your final selection answers the questions of whether the name makes sense for your business, is easy to remember, spell, use online and also is it universally applicable in all the markets you’ll be operating in.
#3 Align with your business plans – apart from the creative side of things, you’ll also need to evaluate your company name ideas along the lines of your business plans, objectives and strategy. This applies equally to small companies, freelancers, entrepreneurs and all the way up to big international corporations. However, if you are in the US and are registering a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a C-Corporation, there are strict guidelines and rules that apply and must be followed for these more formal business structures.
#4 Check if it is available – before you get really excited about all your great business name ideas, you’ll need to check if these names are available. A good place to start is TESS (The US Trademark Electronic Search System) or find a local equivalent in your own country.
#5 Register your name – once you’ve ascertained how you’ll be naming your business, it’s time to really get down to business and register your name, trademark and domain name for your website. Make sure that you double check spelling, check for cultural sensitivity in every area/geography or industry you operate in and follow all the requirements so you are 100% sure you have done it correctly as a lot will depend on your business name.
Business names types
According to the US Small Business Association, it’s paramount to select a suitable business name which is in line with the types of goods you supply or services you provide.
Here are the different types of business names that you can select and what protection and opportunities each of these types will provide you with:
- Doing business as (DBA) name – this is the name you trade under, are known as or would like to assume. It doesn’t offer you protection but it might be legally required by your local authorities at city, county or state level;
- Entity name will offer you protection at state level and certain states might require you also to register a legal entity alongside your company name;
- A Trademark will offer you protection nationally (federal protection) which means that you can sell your goods and offer services under this name without worrying s a protects you at a federal level and also applies to different product names, names of sub-entities or brands you might own;
- Domain name – if you want to operate as an e-commerce or other online business or simply have a website (and who doesn’t nowadays), it’s best to register a domain name aka website address or URL. It’s fast, simple and increasingly cheaper unless you want to use specific extensions or register outside US, where you might be subject to local requirements such as registered company in the country etc.
Business names tips
If you’ve never named a company before, you might think it’s easy. Using a small or random business name generator can certainly save you a lot of time and hardship, however tip number one is – never underestimate the challenging nature of naming your company! Here are a few other top tips to help you along the way:
Tip #1 What do you want your name to be associated with? Do you want it to sound trustworthy, fun, whimsical, cool, cute or all of the above?
Tip #2 Keep it simple, short, spell(checked) and make sure it’s easy to remember. You don’t want to overcomplicate it with fancy new spellings or by adding 10 words to a name. Nobody will remember the name, which will affect your business and your bottom line.
Tip #3 Do your homework – don’t just rely on great ideas (from free business name generators, your friends, family, employees, films, songs, etc). Make sure your name is not registered in the city, county, state or country (or countries) you will operate in. Since you’ll be building your business around it, a name is not to be underestimated and you’ll be investing a lot of time, effort and money into it.
Tip #4 Avoid generic words – yes, it’s true that many great companies (Apple and Adobe spring to mind) use simple, generic, one-word names, however it’s generally not a great idea to start up as such. In the same way, avoid geographic names (continents, countries, cities) as well as colors, foods, etc. If you insist on naming your business based on some commonly used noun at least add something distinct or quirky after it (a restaurant called ‘Plate’ might not be very memorable or unique, but call it ‘Plate-ly’ or ‘Plate Ninja’ and that’s a different matter altogether).
Tip #5 Don’t just follow the fads – just because a word or a way of naming your business is fashionable now, doesn’t mean it’ll be the case in years (or even months) to come. Be careful not to fall into the
Tip #6 What’s your competition doing – you don’t want to be a carbon copy of your competitors, that’s why you need to study what they do. Research your close and not so close rivals, learn from what they do well and also from what they are not so good at. This will give you great insights into how to come up with a unique and creative business name that will serve you on your way to growth and excellence.
Business Name Ideas
If you want your business name to sound catchy, cool or strictly professional (which doesn’t necessarily exclude the first two by the way), you will greatly benefit from getting ideas not just from your immediate surroundings or your competition. Look far and wide and let yourself be inspired.
Here are a few creative, sometimes whimsical or completely ‘down to business’ ideas that just show how much you can do when creating a business name. Here are just a few examples of what you can do when using company name generators, your experience, imagination and your network of contacts to run your ideas past:
Funny – if your industry (such as Entertainment, Fashion or Toys) allows it you can bet on the fun factor. Here are the examples:
- Zealous Zebra (children’s books/stationery)
- Fashion Ninja (apparel)
- Truly Entertain You (Film or Music)
Cute – these are particularly suitable to certain industries such as Kids fashion, Confectionery and many others:
- Cupcakely Cherry (Bakery)
- Pink Proseccolly (Bistro/Bar)
- Shooey Shoes (Kids shoes)
Professional – when you know your target audience wants to keep it strictly professional, then you have to explore the industry and what it can take:
- Plutus Financial (the Greek God Plutus was associated with Finance)
- Alpha City Lawyers (shows you’re the best)
Unusual – this is where you can really go wild, regardless of your industry as long as you think that your target market can take it. You can invent new words or just mix complete
How to Register a Business Name in the USA
Registering a business name is not just about how creative you can get, you’ll also need to cover a lot of ground in finding out about the legal requirements and the administration associated with it. Practically speaking, you’ll need to consider what your business is and what you want to achieve.
- Business type – this refers to what business structure you’ve chosen to operate as.
- Limited Liability Company – favorite for small businesses as it helps protect your personal assets against legal action. Check what the business name registration rules are for your state. Regardless of where you are, it’s a legal requirement that the name contains the ‘LLC’ abbreviation;
- C-Corporation – a more complex business entity, the c-corporation protects your assets as an owner even further. Like an LLC, there are state or federal requirement, but the most frequent one is that your name must contain words (or their abbreviations) such as ‘corporation’, ‘limited’, ‘incorporated’ etc. and of course you mustn’t repeat a name already registered as a c-corporation in your state.
- Sole Proprietor or Partnerships – for most small businesses, freelancers or entrepreneurs just starting on their own (or with friends, family, colleagues) these two types will be the preferred choice when registering a business for the first time. This doesn’t mean that there are no rules. For example, they must contain the name of the owner (in sole proprietorships) or at least one of the partners for the latter. However, you don’t have to trade as ‘Jones & Sons’ or just ‘Smith’ (nothing wrong with it of course if you want to). Registering a DBA will allow you to choose a trade name of your liking by which you want to be known.
- Business goals – just as with the business type, it’s important to know what are the goals of your business. If you want to operate only in your small city, then following the requirements of your city, county or state might be sufficient. However, if you want to expand nationally or internationally there might be more rules to apply and you could benefit from the services of others who can guide you through the process.
Regardless of what your business is, choosing a name is an important step. All the time and effort invested will be worth your while when your customers, employees (and competitors) remember, respect and recall your name easily.