Naming your company tips can help you figure out the perfect name for your business. It's important to use these tips to make sure your name is catchy and easy to remember, while clearly stating what your company offers.

Tips for Naming a Startup Business

The name you choose for a startup business can impact its success. Choosing the wrong name can be more problematic than you may realize. A poor choice of business name can result in challenging legal and business hurdles, as well as make it difficult to connect with potential customers.

Spelling and Meaning

When you're naming your business, the first tip is to avoid a name that is hard to spell. Finding your business online is critical, so customers shouldn't have trouble knowing how to spell it. It's also frustrating to constantly have to correct a misspelled word in the business name.

Your business name should also hold some meaning. It should invoke positive and meaningful feelings in relation to what your company will offer.

A good startup name is also catchy, but not too crazy. You want to make sure that any employees you hire will be proud of the name of where they work. The name should also resonate with members of the target audience without sounding boring.

Make Sure It's Available

You will also need to make sure the name you want for your business is available. Start by searching the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database to find out whether an identical or similar business exists with a registered service mark or trademark. Along with reviewing the USPTO database, you should also search the internet for existing businesses. You could find that another business already exists under a similar or identical name. Although this doesn't necessarily mean you can't proceed, it should make you think about the potential drawbacks.

Reserve and Get Feedback

If you don't find anything too similar to your business name in the USPTO database or in your online search, the next step is reserving the domain name. It's best to reserve the domain name that ends in “.com” since it will be easier for customers to find than other domain extensions, such as:

  • .biz
  • .net
  • .org

Additionally, a website that ends in .com tends to be viewed as belonging to a company that is more established. If the domain is already taken, you may be able to purchase it from the owner.

After you have come up with a few business name options that you like, go through the list with trusted colleagues, family members, and friends. You may also want to conduct some market research to get feedback from members of the target audience.

Look into any potential negative connotations with the name you've come up with as well. For example, General Motors named a new vehicle the Nova, but that word in Spanish translates to “doesn't go.”

Say the name out loud to be sure it sounds good when spoken. As you speak the business name, make sure it also doesn't evoke any confusion in the spelling.

Take Advantage of Resources

Many websites can help you come up with new business names. Some of these sites include:

  • NameMesh.com (online business name generator).
  • VisualThesaurus.com (provides a visual for a specific keyword).
  • Naminum.com (business name generator based on a certain theme).
  • Shopify.com (business name generator that also checks the availability of a domain name at the same time).

Avoid selecting a business name that could limit the growth of your organization. For example, you might want to leave off the city name in case your business expands beyond a single area, or avoid including a specific product in the business name since this could limit what you might be able to sell in the future. When Jeff Bezos started Amazon.com, the website only sold books. Imagine if the name had been limiting, such as OnlineBookseller.com.

The next step in naming your business is searching the Secretary of State's database in the state where your business will be registered. Most startups are structured as LLCs or corporations, so it's important to make sure the name you choose won't be so similar to another business in your state that it causes confusion. When a name is too similar, the Secretary of State's office likely will deny the business registration request. An attorney can assist with the search through the Secretary of State's database.

If you need help with naming your company tips, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.