Selecting a business name can often be one of the most difficult steps when starting a new business. You want something that’s memorable but short, even catchy, but also something that describes your business.
Although, having said that, there’s plenty of company names that are meaningless before the fact, but aptly represent well-known businesses today, such as Kmart, Big W, Pepsi or Evernote. Then there’s acronyms, such as ABC (Australian Broadcasting Association), NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) or BMW (Bavarian Motor Works), not forgetting made up words, such as IKEA, Adidas or Skype.
The problem is that in hindsight, a made up word or acronym doesn’t initially communicate what services you offer, so a descriptive business name is often best. On the other hand, when you’ve selected the right name for your company, you can then refer to it by its acronym, giving you the benefit of both worlds.
So if you need to select a business name for your start-up company, here’s five quick ideas to get you started.
1. Keep it simple
You don’t want anything too long or complicated and nothing that’s difficult to pronounce or remember. If you need to explain the business name or tell people how to pronounce it, then keep looking!
2. Keep it descriptive
With start-ups, it’s often best to think of a name that describes your services, such as American Airlines, Sports Illustrated or Pizza Hut. These names don’t require any explanation and are clearly understood. However, on the downside, descriptive names can be limiting, so you might need to give this one some thought.
3. Keep it creative
You can be both descriptive and creative! Think of Netflix, Flickr or Tumblr. These are misspelled brand names that are catchy, whilst still giving you an idea of their offerings.
4. Keep it generic
Some people use their own name or parts of their name as their business name, but this can backfire if you want to sell your business. Although there are many well-known brands that use their creator’s name, such as Armani, Bayer or Cadbury, it might not be such a good idea for a small start-up.
5. Keep it inspirational
If you’re lost for ideas, then what about a mythical name that’s relevant to your services or products? For example, if you sell beauty products you could consider Aphrodite Skincare (Aphrodite is the Greek Goddess of Beauty), a telecommunications company could be called IRIS Communications (IRIS is the Greek Goddess of Communications) or a solar company Helios Installations (Helios is the Greek God of the Sun).
Of course, if you’re completely out of ideas then you can try one of the many online business name generators that churns out business name ideas with little input.
Is your business name available?
Don’t forget to make sure that your chosen business name is available by running a search on the ASIC website. You can also register the name as a trademark, but first check that it isn’t already registered on the IP website. Also don’t forget to purchase a domain name to match, however if you have a long company name, you can get away with using an acronym that’s short and memorable.