How to choose a Company Name?


Once you give something a name it becomes real but choosing the right name is not easy.

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We’ve worked with a lot of new businesses and been asked many times to help with naming, domain registration, logo design and overall brand development, so here are some things to think about when choosing a new company name.

Contents - What to think about when choosing a company name

  1. Start with the domain name

  2. What do you want to communicate and to whom

  3. Spelling & pronunciation

  4. Future proof your name

  5. Research the competition

  6. Application - where will the name be used?

  7. Be consistent

  1. Is a suitable domain available?

    Don’t invest hours thinking up the perfect name only to find the domain is not available.
    Domain names are much more difficult to secure than a limited company name, so start with the limiting factor - the domain name!
    Even if you don’t have or need a website day one, it’s very likely you will need one in time, so secure the domain now, don’t wait until you need a website as it may not be available then.

    The ‘Top Level Domain Strategy’ (TLD). Do you need the .com or is the more useful? Consider less obvious options; .design .shop .tech
    Choosing this is as important as the rest of the naming process.

    Be aware of what is already registered and who owns similar domain names. For example if you decide on a domain but the owner of the .com uses the same name and is a direct competitor this will cause confusion for potential customers and potentially hinder your marketing efforts.

  2. Think about what you want your name to communicate and to whom

    Do you want to be obvious or obscure but memorable?
    Do you want to be on-trend or traditional?
    Think about how you want (or need) to be perceived, your name is a major part of your brand and must represent you appropriately within your market.

  3. Think about spelling and pronunciation

    As more and more businesses rely on the web for selling and marketing, having a name that can be found online is so important. We’re not talking about your Google ranking here but making sure the spelling doesn’t hinder the chances of you being found in a direct search.

    Verbally ask opinions, ask people to repeat your name and write it down, if common mis-spellings or mis-pronunciation occurs you may need to have a rethink.

  4. Think about the future

    It’s very difficult to change a company name once you are established, it’s costly, time consuming and could be damaging! So think about your vision for the future and make sure your name will be appropriate should you move location or expand your offering into other products or services.

  5. Research and then research some more

    Knowing your competition is vital at this stage. Compile a list of your competitors names, then stay right away from them. You don’t want to be confused or mistaken for one of your established competitors (unless your aim to to literally take them head-on but that approach is not what we’re covering here).

    Differentiation is good in a name, even if your offering isn’t unique. You want to create your own identity so your marketing efforts are promoting your business not your competitors.

  6. Think of where and how your name will be applied

    You may decide to have a logo designed or create a simple typographical version of your name but think of where and how it will be used - a website, business cards, packaging, vehicle livery, signage…
    A short name is usually going to work better and give you more flexibility, so if you have a long name decide now if you want to abbreviate or shorten!
    Which leads us to….

  7. Consistency

    Once you’ve decided on your name, be consistent.
    In the early stages of launching you are building brand awareness so consistency is key.
    Will you shorten the name, for example - xxxx Limited or xxxx Ltd or just xxxx
    Legal use of the name for invoicing etc is different to how you market yourself day to day.

Every name is real. That’s the nature of names.
— Jerry Spinelli