Choosing your Business Name

For most, naming your company is as important as naming a child! There are a number of important you should consider before choosing the name. People are fascinated by the story behind a name, so if you’re able to demonstrate how and why the name came about, it will give it all the more meaning to those who are interested.

 

1. Copyright

Before you consider if the name you have in mind is right for your business, it is important to check whether the name has already been taken or subject to copyright. Use Companies House to check current or dissolved company names, and gov.uk which gives detailed advice about trademarks and copyright. Don’t get your heart set on a name to later find it is not legally possible to pursue.

2. Relevance

Does the name you choose have relevance to the industry or business you’re in? It is not necessarily important whether it does or it doesn’t relate to the business type, but if you are stuck for ideas, one way to start brainstorming is to list all the relevant words or phrases within your target market. Often a simple play on words can be an effective strategy for choosing a company name.

3. Meaningful

When looking for name inspiration, think about words, phrases or initials that are meaningful to you. However just because a name you have chosen holds meaning, it may not mean anything to anyone else. This doesn’t necessarily matter, but bear in mind that not everyone will have the same emotional response to it as you. On the flip side, if the name is suitable it can be rewarding to know the name has a personal relevance.

4. Translation

Does the name you have chosen have any meaning in other languages? A quick search in Google will reveal what the name would be translated in other languages to avoid any embarrassing confusion in the future. Of course this is also very important if you are considering trading overseas either now or in the future. Alternatively, if you’re looking for ideas, you could search for the translation of relevant words or phrases to give you a unique twist.

5. Longevity

If the name you like represents a phase, fashion or fad, consider how things might change in years or months time. In addition, think about different directions in which the business might move and how that could affect the name. Does the name use your maiden name or is it specific to an area or location. All these things have the potential to change and could render the name irrelevant.

6. Availability

Check domain providers such as names.co.uk for availability. In addition, check social media channels for availability of names. If the name you have chosen has already been taken, consider how you could still claim it by adding extensions such as ‘the,’ ‘UK,’ or ‘co’ for example. It is also essential that you search to the company name plus reviews to ensure that there are no companies with a similar name to avoid negative mistaken identity.

7. Aesthetics

Does the name lend itself to a logo design that is particularly aesthetically pleasing. What initials does it provide, shortened version could there be, or images does it conjure up that could be used in the logo.

8. Ease of use

How easy is the name to say? Try using it out loud for a while before settling on the name. Try practicing answering the phone or talking to people about the company name. You’ll be using it several times a day for the next x number of years so it is essential that it doesn’t cause problems with pronunciation.

9. Memorable

Some business names are more memorable than others for a variety of reasons. Does your name leave a lasting impression or is it too complex for people to remember. It is especially important whilst you are growing your reputation that potential and existing customers can remember and recognise your name. The name needs to be unique but not too unusual – a fine balance to find.

10. Representative

Does you or business name actually represent how you wish to be viewed as a company? For instance, is the name professional and sleek or fun and jokey? Or perhaps it bucks the trend and mixes up the two. Wright Hassall Solicitors is a great example of how humour can be used successfully. Don’t forget your name will often be the first way your business will be judged, and will create that all-important first impression.

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