Five Quick Tips for Coming Up with a Business Name

Part of the excitement of starting your own small business is coming up with a cool or clever business name, one that your potential customers will remember and that brands you positively in their minds for the long haul. These days it’s not enough to simply put up your shingle and name your small business after yourself, although that can be a great decision in certain circumstances.

No, in a world fraught with competition and where standing out online in particular amidst all the clutter is so important, a business name can make or break you. That’s why it’s important to get it right the first time.

Here are five quick tips for coming up with a name for your new small business:

1. Go with KISS

KISS (aka Keep It Simple, Stupid) is a great rule of thumb for all of us on a lot of levels. It reminds us not to over-complicate matters, and naming your business is no exception. Too many words in a business name can be a bad thing. Make it easy to remember and spell. The goal is to ensure your name starts a conversation; it doesn’t have to finish it.

2. Think Long-term

Being too descriptive can limit your future options for growth. For instance, tacking on “of (a particular city or area)” won’t leave you much room for expansion down the road.

3. Keep It Relatable

Whatever name you choose, there needs to be a logical connection between it and what you offer in the way of goods and services. It’s important to avoid names that are not clearly or even remotely related to what it is that you do. Additionally, picking a name that tells a story or has a good story behind it and therefore engages your customers can also be a real plus.

4. Use a Name Generator

If you need help coming up with a name for your new business opportunity or other small business, there are a number of online resources at your disposal, many of which are FREE. Here is a list of some of the top online name generators currently available to help you select your new small business, product and/or web domain:

Wordlab.com

Naming by WriteExpress

Panabee

Dot-o-mator

BusinessNameGenerator.com

Company Name Generator

5. Do Your Homework

Always research a name BEFORE you even think about using it, even if it means hiring an attorney. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website can also help you to determine if your proposed name is already in use.

How did you come up with your business name? Are there other resources that you found helpful in conducting your background research during the naming process? Any potential pitfalls?

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