How to Name your Business – choose one that will work now–and in the future.
If you are like most small business owners, your company means a great deal to you. In some
ways, you even consider it your “baby.” You’ve planned for it since its conception, nurtured it from
birth, given it tender loving care, and have great hope for its future. It makes sense to name your business with
the same care that you would name a child.
1. Make the name a marketing tool. Avoid vague names by thinking about the key focus of your
business. “Pat’s Carpentry Services” is more descriptive than “ABC Industries.”
2. Some people like to include their first or last names in their business names. This can help
personalize your product or service, and it is easier to avoid conflicts with a business name that includes your
personal name. However, you risk a “bad” name if your business fails.
3. Make sure the name is easy to understand and pronounce. You want your business name to be
passed along easily by word-of-mouth. Oh, “Kolias” is pronounced “cole-e-us”, like the plant.
4. Those with unusual names know this can present a challenge but can also provide for a memorable
business name, once people have it in their minds.
5. Shorter names are usually more memorable and less likely to be sources of confusion.
6. Choose a name that you can live and grow with. Be forward-thinking in your choice of a business
name, so it can expand as you do. The name “City VCR Repair” can limit a business that wants to expand
to include laser disc players, camcorders, or other electronics equipment.
7. Choose a name that is broad enough to give your business “growing room” and narrow
enough to retain the power to communicate its focus.
8. Make sure the name will outlast current fads or trends. Twenty years ago “Jan’s Groovy
Clothing Design” may have sounded cool. (Actually, it still sounds kind of cool).
9. Make the name unique. As a small business owner, you will be required to file legal forms
indicating your business intent and the fictitious name you’ve chosen. Your name must also be unique, since two
businesses in the same geographic area cannot legally operate under the same name.
10. It is a good idea to prepare a list of three or four alternate names when you go to file,
in case your first choice is taken.
11. Try it on for size. In choosing a business name, jot down a list of possibilities and try
them out on friends and family.
12. Do not rush the process. Live with each possibility for awhile. Remember, you’ll probably
be using this name for quite some time.
13. Naming a business is not always easy, but it can be fun. Choose a name that will provide
a good image and will communicate your business purpose clearly.
14. Make sure you like it. After all, you will be spending a lot of time with this “baby.”
By selecting wisely, you will make your business name a valuable company asset and a phrase you will say with pride
for many years to come.