Guide to choosing a business name

What's in a name? Quite a lot actually. One of the most important decisions you will have to make is what to call your new business.

These ten tips will give you some good ideas.

  1. Made-up words can make good product or business names. They may not arouse any positive feelings about your business, but they are also unlikely to create negative ones. If you are going to register that name as a trademark, you will stand a greater chance of success in doing so, if it is a made-up word.
  2. If you are going to use an existing word, if possible try it out on potential buyers to check that you will not create a bad impression simply because of the name.
  3. Use brainstorming sessions with family and friends as well as colleagues to produce a list of names for consideration.
  4. Check that the name you prefer is not used by another product or business in the same or similar market.
  5. Avoid initials: it is difficult in the short term to create a comfortable feeling about a business or product with initials.
  6. If you think that some of your business will come through Yellow Pages or other alphabetic listings, choose names beginning with A.
  7. Check that the name you choose does not mean anything nasty in a foreign language (for example, look it up in dictionaries in the library). If you are interested in selling throughout Europe, consider whether your proposed name is suitable.
  8. Very complicated words need careful consideration. If a customer
    has to ask you to spell the word when it is first mentioned, this can be a positive reinforcement for recognition in future. But, if it is just too difficult, it may be a disadvantage.
  9. A name which uses all capital letters, for example, FLAG, can stand out in a chunk of written text, giving the name prominence.
  10. Finally, ask yourself if the name seems right for the image you want to project.

See also: How to choose a great name for your new business

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Business names

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