Business development 26 August 2020

A definitive guide to business name idea generation, checking and registration

Business name idea generation
Choose, check and register a great business name
you’ve got the business idea, you’ve worked out the model, now you need a great business name to really kick things off. Finding the right name for your new business can be daunting, but it’s worth taking time over, even if it takes longer than you first thought.

A well-considered, clear company name can be a powerful marketing tool. This guide will provide some pointers on ways to come up with a great name for your business, how you can check the name is available and, finally, how to register your business name and make it official.

Follow a link to jump ahead or read on for all the information:

? 7 Steps to coming up with a great business name
? How to choose the right name for your business
? Brainstorming tools and resources
? Companies House rules
? How to check if a business name is available
? Register your business name
? Buy your domain name

7 Steps to coming up with a great business name

1. Draw up a list of words relating to your business service and brand identity. Make sure every word on the final list conveys the correct connotation and implication, with no potential ambiguity. Check a thesaurus to see if you have missed any words which may make better choices.

2. Take your completed list of words and delete any words which carry negative connotations, next remove any words which are unfamiliar or difficult to pronounce.

3. Take your favourite words and create a list of potential name ideas.

4. Review the list, keeping your brand objectives at the forefront of your mind as you go. Be ruthless make sure all the names on your list meet legal requirements, and check availability of domain names and social media handles.

5. Once you have a shortlist of business names you like, give them a test-drive with friends, family and colleagues. don’t be afraid to ask people what they really think better to find out how the name lands before you commit to it.

6. Consider how the business name you are left with will look and feel once it’s time to go to market. Make sure the name will achieve your brand objective and be well-received by your target audience.

7. Rinse and repeat. Go through this same process as many times as you need to. Take your time to make sure you get it right, before you commit. When you’re ready you can register the name and buy the domain.

How to choose the right name for your business

As you begin working out what to call your company there are several things you need to bear in mind before committing to a final decision.

The Codfather, Wok This Way, Lawn & Order and MORE

44% of British consumers say they would strike up a conversation over a punny business name. Meanwhile, one in five admit to avoiding a business just because of its name.

Here are the 20 quirkiest business names in the UK.

Keep it simple

Pick a name which is easy to pronounce and spell. You don’t want to spend time continuously explaining how to say or spell your company name. And you want people to be able to search and find your business online with ease.

Select something scalable

Choose a name which will encompass future business growth. Avoid using a specific city or focusing on a single product in your business name. Giving your business a name which is too defining may cause problems in the future if you want to expand your offering.

Give the right first impression

Your company name will act as the first impression of your business. Make sure you hit the right tone, whether that’s professional or something a little different, and that the name will work across your website, marketing and signage in terms of design.

Pick a name with meaning

Businesses with names which are made up like Google? or Yahoo? can seem appealing, but these ultra-short names can be incredibly expensive to brand. Not only will the domain name cost you more due to the shortness of the URL, the branding required to make a meaningless name relevant in your industry will cost both time and money. Instead, aim for a name which conveys something meaningful and relevant to what you do.

don’t be dull

Aim for a name which is instantly informative about what your business offers. The aim is to stand out from the competition while still sounding professional, trustworthy and reliable. Your name needs to sound like a firm your customers would be happy to be associated with.

Make it catchy and memorable

In an ideal world, you need a name which is interesting while avoiding anything too unusual. Whatever you land on, you want your future employees to tell other people where they work with zero hesitation and, more important, a name which will resonate with your target market.

Say it out loud

Make sure what looks good written down, sounds good when spoken aloud. You don’t want to find that it’s hard to tell what your business is actually called, or how it is spelled when someone is talking about it.

Be sure you can live with it

This is your business and youll have to live with the name for many years to come. Take the time to make sure you’re happy with your final choice and that it does a good job of resonating with your customers too.

Brainstorming tools and resources

From online business name generators to branding agencies dedicated to helping you find the perfect name for your company, there are plenty of ways to get a fresh perspective on things.

Useful online tools:

Shopify Business Name Generator will help you generate business name ideas and, if you land a name you like, will instantly check if the domain name is available to buy.

NameMesh is a brand name generator which will come up with ideas for your business name based on keywords you supply. It also checks domain name availability.

SquadHelp is another AI powered name search with the option to upgrade to a crowdsourcing feature and let creative experts help land your perfect business name.

If you’re determined to come up with your own business name without resorting to algorithms and AI, VisualThesaurus is a fun and interactive way to play with words. It works by creating word maps to help you visualise your concept in a fresh way, while still retaining the original meaning and intent of the feeling you want to capture.

And, if you’re really stuck, and have cash to spare, there are agencies who will work with you to come up with the perfect business name and brand proposition. Otherwise, if you want the help but are short on budget, you could hire creative freelance help through sites like Fiverr, Upwork or Peopleperhour.

Companies House rules

If you are planning to establish a limited company, you will need to take the naming rules of Companies House into account. This means you must avoid using:

? Sensitive words, of which there are over 200
? Any name which suggests connection to the government or local authorities
? Any words which may be considered an offence, i.e. breaking the law
? Any words or phrases which might cause offense or risk upsetting someone

How to check if a business name is available

Companies House