How to Choose a Name for Your Business

You’ve got a great idea. You may even have a product ready to sell. But there’s just one problem, what are you going to call yourself?

Here are a few quick process tips to help you along the way to choosing a name for the next great small business.

1.     Set your guidelines. What do you want your name to convey? Are you a B2B business selling services to other companies that needs a serious, clear name? Maybe you’re a consumer facing business that’s looking for something memorable and whimsical.

2.     Brainstorm! Come up with a list of thirty, forty, fifty possible names. Nothing is too silly or too far-fetched. Don’t try to do this all at once but in two, three, or even four sessions. If you have a business partner or somebody else you trust ask them to contribute as well.

3.     Cull. Select your five to ten favorite names. Have somebody else select five to ten as well. Have both of your rank them then go ahead and sort your lists by giving 10 points to your top choice, 9 to your next, and down the line. Combine the scores and sort them in a spreadsheet.

4.     Do your research. Okay, so now you’ve got your favorites, it’s time to make sure they’re available. Use a service like GoDaddy to see if your potential brand names are available for domain registration. Feel free to append your brand name with other words, including the services you offer.

Next, do some additional research to make sure that there’s nobody else using your preferred name in your area of business.  

Try as best as you can to get a .com domain.

5.     Cull again! Eliminate all the names that you can’t register a domain for. There’s no reason to choose a business name you can’t actually use. Then take the available brand name with the highest rank and voila, you’ve got a name.

Now that you’ve got a name, let’s talk about your marketing strategy, SEO, and more.