“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name,” says the legendary philosopher Confucius. Yet, what’s the proper name for your business?
This is a question you might have mulled over for months or years. Monikers spin around in your mind like a washing machine on high.
Your search for the best business name ends here. We’ll share our top tactics on how to find a business name and determining its availability.
- Business Naming Strategies and Ideas for Your Company
- Is Your Name Available? The Importance of a Business Name Search
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
Business Naming Strategies and Ideas for Your Company
The greatest business names in history that became well-known house brands were born of a combination of these tactics:
1. Go for Legendary
The Greek gods and goddesses that inspired tomes, like Homer’s The Iliad, still motivate us to this day. How else do you think a brand like Nike came up with its business name?
The goddess of victory, Nike, was a personification of excellence in many fields, athletics among them. Once you know that fun fact, a brand name like Nike fits as well as a pair of their classic athletic shoes.
Perhaps you could allow Greek mythology to guide your business naming. You could even coin your company after the mythology of Celtic, Egyptian, Roman, Hindi, or Japanese cultures.
Let your values guide you toward a figure embodying what your business represents.
2. Be Punny
A good pun showcases expert wordplay and could help you discover your clever business name.
For example, a cleaning service could call itself Grossbusters. This amusing nod toward the classic film is one anyone would know.
A bakery could name itself A Parfait Storm, which mimics the expression “a perfect storm.” This is another name people will instantly understand.
A good pun shouldn’t go over your audience’s heads. If the general public can’t make heads or tails of your pun, it didn’t hit the mark and isn’t a good business name.
Not all industries are eligible for using puns. A lighthearted, more humorous approach to business names is fine for bakeries, clothing stores, jewelry shops, restaurants, coffee shops, cleaning services, furniture brands, gyms and fitness centers, bookshops, pizzerias, and barber shops.
However, businesses like law firms, financial services, and healthcare facilities should skip the puns.
3. Let Your Industry Inspire You
When naming your limited liability company, look inward at what passes for business names in your industry.
This tip helps with ideation, especially if you’ve hit a wall and still haven’t come up with the perfect moniker. You shouldn’t copy the names you see your competitors use but allow them to inspire you.
4. Simplify With Acronyms
A proposed business name needn’t be complex. The less wordy it is, the easier it will roll off the tongue, which explains why many brands have gravitated toward simplifications and acronyms.
For example, IKEA is an acronym. The I and K are for founder Ingvar Kamprad, the E is for his childhood farm of Elmtaryd, and the A is for his hometown, Agunnaryd.
MTV originally stood for Music Television, although it’s since moved away from its roots. However, since it’s become better known as MTV, its shift in content transpired smoothly.
Another great example of an acronym business name is IBM, short for the International Business Machines Corporation.
Acronyms sound distinguished and professional, making a less wordy name easier to express.
5. Make It Rhyme
You needn’t be a lyricist to unlock the power of rhymes. This smart business idea will lead to infectious results that your audience will enjoy repeating to everyone they know.
As a bonus, your brand name is also jingle-friendly, so writing commercials and radio ad spots should be less difficult.
Looking for some examples? You could call an events company Hectic Pyrotechnic, or a snowboarding company Dope Slope.
Creating a rhyming business name is a fun exercise your founders will appreciate. Put your heads together to create a rhyme with a business ideal or value you wish to portray.
6. Use the Power of Alliteration
Alliteration has snuck its way into some of the biggest brands on the planet. For instance, there’s Best Buy, PayPal, Dunkin’ Donuts, Gold’s Gym, LifeLock, and Coca-Cola. These business names sound smooth and are fun to say.
You can’t force alliteration; it must sound natural. And so, if your business name doesn’t conform to this convention, you can always explore the rest of the ideas on this list.
7. Consider Your Story and Values
Let your corporate story inspire your business name. What were the most important benchmarks of your story? Perhaps you can use them to create your company moniker.
You can go the IKEA route and name your business after important locales, such as the founder’s hometown or the city where you opened your first shop.
Consider your brand identity and values as you ponder business names. Whichever you hold nearest and dearest to your heart could become the basis of your corporate title.
8. Use a Business Name Generator
If all else fails, you can always rely on a business name generator to find the moniker of your dreams.
Today’s name generators harness the power of AI to create smarter, unique, and more intuitive names. You might spring for a paid service or use a free business name generator.
An example of the latter is Namelix. You can input several keywords, such as your location, values, or story, then watch as it churns out a healthy list of business names for your consideration.
You can even select the name style, such as non-English words, alternative spellings, real words like Apple, compound words like Microsoft, short phrases, or multiple words.
We put this business name generator to the test, using the keywords New York, farming, and homegrown.
Some business names recommended by Namelix include:
- Homegrown NY
- Foodie’s Farms
- Hoofed Homestead
Namelix lets you tweak your results by randomness, a common feature of a business name generator. If none of these names resonated with you, you could always search again, change your parameters, or regenerate a list.
Is Your Name Available? The Importance of a Business Name Search
As helpful as brainstorming or using a business name generator are when naming your business, you cannot legally use the same name as your competitors.
Ensuring you have an original business idea is as simple as searching for a business name to determine its availability.
You have several databases you can rely on to search for taken trademarks and registrations, such as the following:
- Office of the Secretary of State: Each U.S. state should have its own Office of the Secretary of State. Contact yours or visit its website to review the status of your business name.
- ICANN Registration Data Lookup: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, better known as ICANN, is a handy tool to ascertain whether you’ve selected a unique business name. Type the ASN, IP network, or domain name to find available domains.
- Trademark Electronic Search System: TESS is a tool made available by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You can search for trademarked design marks or words through this website.
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: USPTO is another resource for confirming the availability of intellectual property. You can also learn about maintaining a patent or trademark since someone could claim it if yours lapses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a business Name Have Value?
Business names certainly have value. They’re critical for a new business to differentiate and identify itself. Your name is an extension of your brand, a moniker encapsulating everything you do and stand for.
What Do I Do if Someone Took the Business Name I Wanted?
Since they claimed it first, you have two options. You can choose another name or find the trademark holder and request to purchase the trademark from them.
Regarding the second option, most trademark holders usually don’t agree to it. But in the event that they do, their terms might be costly.
Naming your business is one of the most important decisions you’ll make over the life of your company. It’s worth weighing carefully, pouring plenty of time and consideration into this choice.
You might use language devices like puns or alliteration to craft the perfect name or rely on a name generator to recommend suggestions. You’ll have great business name ideas before you know it!
What are your favorite business name ideas? Have you come up with a name for your own business? Let us know in the comments, and like and share if you enjoyed this article.