What’s in a name? A lot, especially for startups. The choice of name can make or break your business. Getting found online is your top priority.

And of course, it’s hard to overestimate the importance of a startup name, which is why naming a business can feel so harrowing. A great name can help push your company to the next level, but a terrible one can sink you before you even start. So the question is; how do you find a great business name?

While there probably are as many approaches to coming up with a company name as there are failed startups, one great place to start is with idea generators. These quick, handy online tools spit out word combinations that can be a great jumping-off point for you and your team.

First impressions always count, and on average, it takes a person just seven seconds to form a lasting impression, so your startup won’t want it to be negative. Once an impression is created, it’s hard to shift it significantly – and more so when its customers are voicing their negative feedback on social media.

Choose a name your intended customers will not ridicule for its inappropriateness, bad humor, or association with a nightmarish event. Fail to get this right, and your business will always be in damage control to protect its sales and reputation.

Plus it may become harder to attract staff, and when you do, they may burn out if their role includes hours each day minimizing the negative impact of your business name.

Furthermore, not only will your staff be unproductive explaining why your business has its name, many customers may be turned off before they contact you or make a purchase.

There are several things to consider when determining your company’s name. Relevance, brevity, and catchiness are probably three of the biggest essentials. If you’re not certain how to get started with naming your business, here are a few of the steps to follow in the pursuit of inspiration.

Top tips for finding a great business name

Don’t Be Too Generic

You want to make sure the name is easy enough to identify and understand, but not generic enough that consumers cannot discern the name from the product offered. There’s a fine line that should not be crossed.

Stay Away from Convoluted Names and Phrases

Hard to spell and hard to pronounce words may seem somewhat sophisticated but they’re far from a good choice for branding purposes. A good name is easy to say and easy to spell. This is particularly important for companies that want to make their businesses findable online (and who wouldn’t want to do that?).

Don’t Rush It.

When it comes to naming new products, companies will spend sometimes months and go through thousands of options before arriving on the one that they’ll ultimately go with. Don’t rush this process because it’s ultimately much more costly to have to go back or change, or ultimately fail because the name did not resonate enough with your target demographic.

Make It Relevant and Catchy

Even if you go for a completely made-up word or a non-existent variation of an actual word, you should pursue industry relevance and catchiness. Brand names often provoke specific associations because of what they sound like. Keep this fact in mind when considering the right title for your startup.

Use a name that conveys some meaning.

Ideally, you want the business name to convey something meaningful and positive related to your business. Can people instantly get what your business is about? Make sure your chosen name conveys the meaning of the business and is helpful for search engine optimization purposes.

Think of Your Online Presence

If your startup isn’t properly represented online, it’s as if your company doesn’t exist. A business that is yet to select the right brand name should keep an online presence and search engine friendliness in mind. 

You can start your research the other way around. A tool like InstantDomains.com allows you to input your idea and instantly check the domain availability. You can also find premium names for sale and useful alternatives, in case the name is already taken.

Conduct a Trademark Search

While looking into creating a name legal backing isn’t the most creative aspect of naming your business, but, this is one of the essentials aspects you have to go through if you want to avoid legal trouble in the future.

Regardless of your location and the direct competition you’re competing against, there are certain words and phrases you cannot include in your title. Things can get a bit confusing here because some exceptions do exist and in these instances, you’ll be free to use somebody else’s trademark in association with your business.

Make Sure That the Name Represents Your Business

This is the title your startup business will operate under during every single day of the company’s existence. Thus, one of the final essentials you’ll have to go through is making sure you’re personally happy with the name selected.

A good startup name represents your business and everything it stands for. It’s a true reflection of the core values and beliefs that make the particular concept special. It can be difficult to pack a word or a phrase with so much meaning. Still, the title has to be representative of the spirit of the brand – youthful, innovative, sophisticated, environment-friendly, etc.

Don’t be afraid to tweak the concept if it doesn’t meet all of your criteria. Work on it until you feel personally satisfied and happy. Getting feedback from others is always great to see if you’re on the right track. At the same time, you shouldn’t settle for something that you don’t fully believe in.

Choosing your startup name can be a fun process but you may also experience a degree of frustration during the brainstorming session. Slow down, take a breath, and let your creativity flow. It’s ok if you don’t like the original ideas you come up with. These can always be modified, fine-tuned, or scrapped altogether to pursue something better.


In conclusion, choosing a name for your business should be fun and the process enjoyable, but often it’s rushed without careful thought, and this is when the outcome is negative. Avoid leaving your business name to the last minute. This is a project that must cover all bases from being unique, and memorable to represent what your business stands for, i.e. its values, and also its solutions.

Therefore when choosing a business name, you need to be thorough and inclusive, with your intended customers, so they too enjoy being part of the journey. Above all, make sure you register your business name after making your final decision.

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