The choice of your business name is very crucial. It is a marketing decision driven by your vision and mission statement. It is advisable to take proper time to decide on the nature of your business name, taking account of your vision and mission. Also influencing your choice of business is the legal angle and ramification. Normally a business name is unique, expressive, attractive, memorable and has a leading combination of the alphabet so that it appears high in the eye and thought of your target audience. In summary business name should exclude names that are offensive, immoral, criminal, already registered and misleading.  

Here are some points to consider as you choose a name:

  • Figure how your name looks: On the web, as part of a logo, on social media.
  • What is your goal in business?: Will your name look corporate or no? Does it reflect your business philosophy and culture? Does it appeal to your market and audience?
  • The uniqueness of your name?: Pick a name that has not been claimed by others, online or offline. A quick web search and domain name search can help. Do a name search in your country ministry of commerce.

Check for Trademarks

Trademark infringement can carry a high cost for your business, so make sure you do trademarks check.

If You Intend to Incorporate

If you intend to incorporate your business, you’ll need to contact your state filing office to check whether your intended business name has already been claimed and is in use. If you find a business operating under your proposed name, you may still be able to use it, provided your business and the existing business offer different goods/services or are located in different regions.

Pick a Name that is Web or Internet Friendly

To be online, you must have a website address. Your business name needs to be unique, available and internet friendly. It should also be rich in key words that reflect what your business does. To find out if your business name has been claimed online, do a simple web search to see if anyone is already using that name.

Next, check whether a domain name (or web address) is available. You can do this using the WHOIS database of domain names. Click here


Mistakes To Avoid When Naming Your Business

Mistake #1: Involving a set or group of persons in your decision.

One major mistake is to involve a lot of people, friends, relatives, family members etc. This can be very dangerous and many of these individuals or groups of individuals do not initially understand your vision or mission. They are neither key player nor contributors to the business in any way. It is better you involve key decision makers or those who understand your passion and purpose of going into business. Yet the few this number the better.


Mistake #2: Using Prefix or Suffix approach of creating a name.

Beware of using prefix from successful business or trying to use a common name. Many aspiring entrepreneur simply take part of an adjective and weld it into a noun, especially joining the two words head on to create a new word. Though the new name seems unique, but it is not pointing to your unique selling proposition. Rather be very simple, such that your goal is understood by your audience without any difficulty.

Mistake #3: Using words so plain that it will never stand out in a crowd.

Don’t use a plain word that will be lost among competitors. For example General Motors, General Electric and so on. But once you have competition, it requires differentiation. Imagine if Yahoo! had come out as The name would be much more descriptive but not memorable. In naming your business it is best you carve out your niche by displaying your uniqueness. Nothing does that better than a well-conceived name.


Mistake #4: Limiting your Business Growth through Geographical Boundaries.

It is better you avoid geographical entity in your business name. In the desire to start a new company, many businesses choose to use their city, state or region as part of their company name. This might be good in the beginning; it often becomes a hindrance as a company grows. it also limit your service and offering.

For examples Lagos-Biz Computer Ltd was growing beyond their industry and their state. To avoid limiting their growth, they became Innovative Biz Ltd.. Also Kentucky Fried Chicken is now KFC, de-emphasizing the regional nature of the original name. Both of these companies made strategic moves to avoid stifling their growth.

Mistake #5: Turning your name into a cliché.

Since many companies picture themselves as the top in their industry, our society and world is full of names like Summit, Apex, Pinnacle, Peak and so on. While there's nothing inherently wrong with these names, they're overworked. Instead, look for combinations of positive words and metaphors, and you'll be much better served.


Mistake #6: Making your business name so obscure, customers will never know what it means.

Avoid making your business name so obscure that customers find it difficult to know what you are offering.

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