4 Things to Consider When Deciding on a Company Name

 In Starting a Business

When starting a business, many entrepreneurs do not know how to come up with a perfect business name, leaving out crucial steps. The right business name gives the company an identity and differentiates it from the competition. Taking into consideration the following four key factors when choosing a business name can greatly improve the impact the company has on potential customers.

This post is an extension of a blog post we published recently called Start-up Business Basics.

Will the Business Be Local, Regional, or International?

Deciding what countries the business will operate in is vital to picking the perfect business name. Companies that are planning on staying local can choose a name that explicitly relates to the specific region, anchoring the business to that location and impacting local customers.

If there is a potential for the business to go international or regional, then entrepreneurs should avoid a place-limited name, which can hinder the impact on customers in other locations. Business owners should contemplate the chances of relocation down the road and avoid names that could result in lower customer impact in a new region.

When starting an international business, entrepreneurs can learn from past mistakes of major corporations to avoid linguistic nuances in other cultures. For example, the Chevy Nova from General Motors would translate into something like, “It does not work” in Latin America or Spain. Entrepreneurs want to make an impact wherever they go, not insult a culture with their poorly thought-out business name.

Choose a Business Name that Is Memorable

Business names that are “flat” will not speak to the customer. Entrepreneurs want to choose a name that tells customers something about the business, whether it is a subtle hint about the services or a certain vibe the company gives off. Choosing a simple business name, such as “Computer Specialists” for an IT company, will not impact customers because it is similar to others on the market and is not descriptive enough to stand out.

Entrepreneurs should research past company names, such as PEPSI or KODAK, to give them an idea of potential business names that will impact customers. Simple words from the dictionary often make exceptional trade names as long as the name is not famous and expresses qualities associated with the business’s offerings. If the business is about outdoor activities or exercising, entrepreneurs should contemplate a name that portrays strength and energy. If the name involves finance or business, then the name should portray a feeling of integrity and trust.

Make Sure the Business Name Is Available

If the business name is not available legally, then the business could end up competing with a competitor’s name, resulting in legal issues. Before starting a business, entrepreneurs should check trademark databases like uspto.gov to make sure the business name is available legally and then fill out the trademark application to secure the name.

Owning a business with a .com name or picking a name that can be used as a domain name on the Internet provides many benefits, including security and a professional landing page for customers to look at. Domain sites like GoDaddy and WHOis.net are great sites that entrepreneurs can search through for available business names. If the name is not available with a .com ending, then business owners can check for any alternative endings, such as .co, .net, or .biz.

Pick a Simple Name

The business name should be simple enough for customers to remember. The simpler it is, the more memorable it can be. Giving a company a complicated name that consists of 14 syllables can result in a loss of customers because of the inability to pronounce and remember the name.

Entrepreneurs who are starting a business should make sure the business name makes a mark on their customers.

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