Advice for choosing a company name

Many entrepreneurs fail to comprehend the impact a good name can have on their business. Instead they busy themselves perfecting products and packages and devising marketing plans – all of which are obviously important elements of launching a business – while neglecting this most important of factors until last.

Make no mistake, the name of your company will have a huge impact upon potential clients’ perception of your business and getting it right can help to accelerate the growth of your business exponentially. Every business has different needs when it comes to a name, so there are no strict rules for what does and does not work in this sense, but here are a few important points to consider before settling on a name.

It needs to sound good when you say it aloud

It can be easy to lose perspective on this when you are constantly writing down so many potential names. You must remember the main aim is to have people talking about your business – so you need to make sure that the name isn’t difficult to read or could be considered a bit of a tongue twister. It should be immediately obvious how to pronounce the company name on first glance.

Make sure you can trademark the name

There is a tendency for startups to overlook this step in the beginning, and some even end up having to choose a new name at a later stage to avoid legal issues. Making sure your company name can be trademarked will protect it in future – something which can prove beneficial if the company goes on to be very successful.

Test it out online

Online presence is now huge consideration for startups – so do a bit of research and uncover any potential issues with your company name before it’s too late. Is it search engine friendly? Ensure nobody would struggle to spell your name and avoid substituting characters – steer clear of using numbers in place of letters or text speak for example. Are there any other websites using a similar name that you could be mistaken for? Is the name available on the main social media channels? Check also if your company name is available in the Companies House database. Does the name make for a good domain address? These are all questions you need to ask up front.

Unique is good, unusual is not

In a name you want to find something a little bit special to help you stand apart from the crowd, rather than another generic name with no imagination. Be careful when choosing this, as it can be easy to mistake unique for something which is actually just a little bit too out there which may confuse people.

Have a story

All of the best startup names have a story attached to them which can add to the myth of the company a little bit. What you don’t want is to be asked about the origins of the company name several years down the line and not really have anything to say about where it came from other than ‘uhh, we just came up with it’ – a story for your company name can be a huge help with marketing.

Don’t make it location restricted

While you might be a London based company just now, remember that if things go to plan you will likely want to expand beyond your current area. So do not call the company something like ‘London Tech’ – you will only have to rebrand down the line which will cost time and money which can easily be avoided.

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