How To Come Up With A Business Name

A step-by-step guide to creating the perfect name for your business

Finding a legal name for your company is one of the most important steps in creating your business as it affects your branding and your image as a company.

With so many small businesses in the US it is getting harder to find a suitable name for your company especially if you want to use real words. You can always make up the name of your business but that can be trickier especially if you want your name to sound good and be easy to remember. Below we have a step-by-step guide with what you need to consider when choosing the correct name for your business. You can also visit the TRUiC website for a more in-depth guide on how to name your business and find all you need to know about naming your business as well as state requirements for the business structure that you will use.

1. Follow the Naming Rules for your Business Structure

When choosing your name you should first consider the specific rules that you need to adhere to according to your formal or informal business structure.

If you have a formal business structure like an LLC or a Corporation then your name may need to have the following:

  • An LLC name needs to include “limited liability company” or one of the abbreviations LLC or L.L.C.
  • Words such as Bank, Attorney, University are restricted and might require extra paperwork to include in your name
  • Your name cannot have words such as FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc as they can be misleading and confuse your business with a government agency
  • for a Corporation, the name must contain the word corporation, company, limited, or any abbreviation of the above.

For informal business structures such as a Sole Proprietorship, your name needs to be the owner’s surname. If you want your name to be different from your surname you need to file for a DBA.

2. Choose the best Brand Name for your Business

How am i going to do that you might wonder – well you need to do a lot of brainstorming and submerge yourself in the creative process of choosing a name that is the perfect match for your business. You should strive to come up with at least 4-5 catchy business names that you can then further narrow down to based on various factors we will discuss in this section such as the relevancy of the name to your business. The brainstorming session should last about 45 min and it is advisable to take breaks and feel as comfortable as possible so you don’t block the free flow of ideas.

After you’ve created a list with 4-5 catchy names that you’ve narrowed down to from a long list of possible names you might want to consider the following in order to weed out the names that are not serving your brand and might cause more harm to the image you are trying to build than good.

  • make sure that your name is simple and memorable
  • that it sounds nice phonetically
  • is the spelling simple and is it easy to pronounce
  • check that the name doesn’t mean something negative in a different language
  • check if your name is just following a trend that might not have the longevity and timelessness you are looking for
  • ask to find out how your name sounds to other people
  • is the name representing who you are as a business – are you sending out the right message
  • make sure it doesn’t contain obscure words that are hard to spell or pronounce, you want your name to be easy for people to understand
  • also don’t choose a name that is too descriptive about what you do, it lacks in originality and is not memorable

Those are just a few things to consider when choosing your business name that might make the process a bit easier. Finding a name that embodies what your business is all about can be daunting and can easily lead you down the wrong path if you are not careful. You might have a great idea and business plan but if you get your business name and branding wrong it might lead you to fail.

3. Check if your Business Name is Available

Even if you’ve adhered to the previous two steps and chosen the perfect name for your business based on branding and marketing requirements but also your business’s specific structure – if the name you have chosen is not available then you will need to start over.

You also do not want to choose a name that is too similar to another business that is operating in your specific state as that can be misleading and give people the wrong impression.


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