You’ve thought of a great idea for a new business, and you are raring to go.
Just one problem: what shall we call it?
The things you should think about:
- how long is the name?
- is it too specific?
- is someone already using it?
- is the website domain name available?
- is it a trademark?
- is it already used by a registered company?
Don’t make it too long.
- John Smith IT Services (Nottingham) Ltd may be an accurate description, but you will soon get fed up with typing it. And you will type it a lot.
Is it too specific?
- Remember that circumstances change, and businesses change over time.
- The name that describes exactly what you do now may be awkward if your business changes direction.
- And you don’t want to go through all this again.
Is someone already using the same name?
- Do a web search: anyone in the same line of business?
- Look it up in phone and business directories
Is the website available?
- Suppose you want to call the business wonderbiz.
- You don’t have to insist on getting wonderbiz.com: for a small business, wonderbiz.co.uk will be fine. But if wonderbiz.com is also available, grab it to keep someone else from using it.
- You can check here to see whether wonderbiz is available.
Is it someone’s trademark?
- You do not want to be sued!
- If, say, a builder has registered wonderbiz, you may be safe to use it in a completely unrelated field such as childrens’ wear.
- But take advice, please. I am not a lawyer.
- Check here to see whether the name is a registered trademark.
Is it already a company name?
- Check here
Stuck for a name?
- It’s likely that the first names you think of will fail at least one of the tests.
- In that case, think about branding
- Are you selling to consumers or to businesses?
- Does it matter if your name is a made-up word? You can use a slogan to say what the business is about.
- You can often brainstorm a name by putting two unrelated words together – bluntfrost for example, or papercrunch!