12 Tips For Naming Your Startup

Nida Bohunr | August 12 2021

In a recent study by the U.S. Small Business Administration, it was noted that barely half of all new firms make it past the first five years of their opening; many businesses fail and close down altogether.

This implies that everything you do and plan before getting your business up and running sets the course for later years. A very critical part of this planning process is choosing a name for the startup.

Though naming your startup might feel slightly less important than getting investors or securing finances, you will be unable to do any of that without first selecting a name for your company. So, when you are thinking of a name for the startup, choose one that connects well with your business idea and fits the brand identity you are trying to promote.

If you’re unable to decide on a name for your startup, here is a simple guide on what to consider before choosing a name.

The following are some of the tips to keep in mind when thinking of the best names for startups.


1. Take your time

A lot of business owners speed through the process of picking the correct name for their company. However, this cannot be rushed because it is going to cement your identity in your chosen industry. Your business name will be used everywhere, from promotional merchandise to campaigns and even your domain name.

Rushing through this important step could result in your business gaining a bland name that neither catches the customers’ attention nor the interest of potential investors. Though changing the name in the future is a possibility, it is costly and comes at the expense of the client base you have already established. Since your company will be recognized by the name you choose, don’t compromise on the name for the startup.


2. Get into the nitty-gritty

The significance of naming your business is rooted in the fact that you will make your first impression on clients and investors with that name. The name should describe your company, so you do not have to. You need to focus on detailing the goals, purpose, core values, and primary audience, but the name of your startup should communicate your field to the greatest extent possible.

A business plan is an excellent resource for coming up with the right name for the startup. Once you have your business strategies written down, you can get the inspiration to name your startup aptly. Drafting a business plan can help you examine the context of your company name in the market, the ways it will help build your brand identity, and how your narrative voice will influence your customers.


3. Brainstorm

Once you’ve figured out what you want your startup name to represent, you need to take some time to explore the best names for your startup.

Consider the keywords that define your trade or the commodities you deliver. Pick phrases that characterize your rivals’ services and products, as well as words that highlight the distinctions between your product and service offerings and those of your competitors.

Use terms that explain the advantages of someone using your services or products as well. Lastly, select words and expressions that provoke the emotions you want your consumers to experience when they come across your company name.


4. Use a thesaurus

Now that you have a list of words from the previous step, you need to expand it. This guarantees that you leave no room for doubt in your search for the best name for your startup.

Using a thesaurus, seek out synonyms or similar phrases for each of your chosen words. If you come across any that aren’t already in your collection, add them. You don’t have to be too particular, but if any names do not match your company or brand, leave them out.


5. Use a name generator

The next phase in the brainstorming session can be aided by technology. Trying to come up with the best names for your startup is a trying time for every business owner.

This is why there are several startup name generators available to assist you. Tools like Namesnack.com, Name Mesh, and Wordoid allow you to enter a few words into a dialogue box and get a list of company name suggestions.


6. Keep it short, simple, and easy

Take a look at the names of brands you like. They usually have a few characteristics in common: their names are simple, straightforward, easy to write, and memorize. For instance, Apple, Google, Tesla, and Slack are all innovative and thought-provoking names.

We came upon intriguing research performed by a UK insurance provider. They noticed that the typical company name in their vicinity was twenty-two characters long.

Obscure and peculiar names for startups may be hard to write and difficult to recall. Similarly, unusual names make it challenging to produce or foster a corporate brand strategy for your firm. Your company’s name should be easy to remember. Choose names that are spelled as precisely as they sound.


7. Don’t restrict growth

Your startup could be concentrating on doing something particular for now, regarding commodity, region, target market, or intended audience. However, this does not imply that you should name your startup something very specific.

For instance, if you start a fashion business, then restricting yourself to a company name that communicates that you sell limited products will be counter-productive. An example would be a store named ‘Jeans for Men’, which limits the target audience and the store’s capability of growing further in the fashion industry.

Choosing a name that is too specific or restrictive may result in problems later when you are trying to expand into new territories or markets. You don’t want to confine your startup to a single item or location.


8. Check the domain name

If you have decided on a name for your startup, the next step will be establishing it as your domain name. Check out an online tool like Domain.com to determine whether the domain is still accessible or not.

This is a common problem that corporations have to deal with; the domain name is unavailable so they either purchase it or settle for a ‘.net’, ‘.biz’ or ‘.org’. This becomes confusing for clients since ‘.com’ is the primary and well-established TLD (the Top Level Domain) on the internet.

In case your chosen domain name is already taken up, choose another name for your startup if purchasing it is not possible for you. It is suggested that you research domain name availability during your naming process.


9. Ask for feedback

You don’t have to go at it all by yourself when it comes to naming your startup, even if you have the say in it. However, if you have a team of employees or colleagues, consider making the process of naming your startup a group discussion.

Make a list of your concepts, thoughts, and ideas. Reduce the list to five or ten names. Then contact your relatives and friends. Ask them what they think about all the names on your list, and which name aligns with your brand the most.

This will give you an idea of the impact your chosen name will have on the target audience.


10. Make it catchy

The name of your startup must be memorable for customers. It shouldn’t be easily forgettable or so hard to understand that clients don’t bother learning it at all.

Even if your startup is in its formative development, you should plan for the future and think ahead about prospective marketing initiatives. Question how the brand name will fit into your promotional activities and think about whether or not it will be feasible for your team to come up with a corporate tagline that connects well with the name.

There’s no guarantee that the name you have chosen is catchy, but you can rely on your intuition and the feedback of others to figure the best one out.


11. Avoid trends

Though you want the name of your startup to be trendy, be careful when it comes to trends as they pass very quickly. Naming your business after a trend will be beneficial temporarily but it will quickly lose its appeal, so avoid doing this.

An example would be the flood of ‘.com’ after a business name following the boom of internet companies in the ‘90s. Once that boom faded, companies that retained the name became outdated and those that survive were quick to remove the ‘.com’ from their business.


12. Obtain a trademark

One of the more crucial steps to naming your business is to make sure that a rival company does not have the same name as yours. Filing for a trademark will protect your business name in the long run.

Trademark rights are acquired by being the first to use the mark in commerce. When you sell your products, you utilize trade names, use them in logos and on advertising materials. If you do not want to register a brand name, you can get common law rights to that name by using the name in the trade.

Check out USTPO.gov to determine if you can trademark your startup name or not.


The bottom line

Choosing the most appropriate or the best name for your startup is a crucial task for your business. This is your first chance to make a good impression on your prospective clients and investors so make sure that you make the best of it.

Happy name-picking!

See Also: Top 12 Best Tools For Startups In 2021


Author Bio

A highly skilled accounting professional at Monily, having extensive and diverse experience of working in US healthcare and agriculture industry. Nida is a CA finalist with expertise in Bookkeeping, Auditing, Bank Liaison, Tax Preparation, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable.