Choosing a Company Name

This is often the hardest part, The idea is usually very simple; in fact the setting up can be made to be very simple too. What can take the time and pain is choosing the right name.

Below are some tips when coming up with a company name:

Don’t

  1. Use your own name. It makes the business look small and ties the business and operations to you. Future sales and restructuring can leave your name and reputation tied to something you no longer control.
  2. Try and be funny. Puns and wordplay may bring a short lived smile in low end retail, but not in the corporate world.
  3. Make it too long. Think about the web domain and email addresses, there aren’t many short domains available but no one wants to email m.poppins@supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.com.
  4. Clash with an established business, especially in your sector. Do your research, google the name, check companies house, trademarks and copyright.
  5. Be location specific. Business is more global than ever, putting a city, region or country can be very limiting.

There is no magic wand when coming up with names and due to the sheer quantity of companies out there, many straight forward names have already been taken. Below are some themes that may get your creative minds thinking!

  1. Merged / Mashed names. This has the advantage of a greater chance of domains being available, being short and representative of the service.
  2. Random names, as used in the examples above. Apple and blackberry have nothing to do with their products, just please don’t think of a word and then put an I in front of it or berry after it.
  3. Initials can work well. The names of a number of established business’ seem to have been replaced and rebranded with their initials M&S, PWC & EY (Marks & Spencer, Price Waterhouse Cooper and Ernst & Young)
  4. Go Latin, take the words you like in English that are over used and see if they work in another language.
  5. If the above doesn’t generate much that works for you then you can fall back on the business relevant terms and phrases. With these you will have to consider suffixes (Partnership, Consulting, Solutions, etc) as so much has already been used, you may struggle to get companies house to accept them but we can always try.

There are many useful resources available to check your chosen name. You can log on to companies house and domain registers as well as numerous name generator websites, search the names you like to check for clashes.

Just remember, when it comes to setting up a business, this is the hard part!

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