How To Come Up With A Great Company Name?
Whether you want to operate your business as a limited company or as a sole trader, it is essential that you can come up with a name for your enterprise. Although it may appear that it is a minor decision, however, for most businesses that are just starting out, it can probably take them a number of days or even weeks to settle on a company name that they are happy with.
Company Naming Tips
- You can visit the Companies House site or any other company formation specialists and look for available names. The first thing that you must do is to make sure that your proposed name is available.
- Your preferred name should be business-like since your credibility will be ruined if you choose an unprofessional name.
- The name of your company must match to the type of your business. It should have the right tone. For instance, if you are a software engineer, then you should choose something that is more technical. On the other hand, a retailer should choose something more eye-catching.
- When choosing a name, make sure that it is not so similar to a current live company name. This is one of the naming rules established by the registrar of companies.
- According to Companies House, you should avoid using words and expressions that are considered sensitive.
- Keep in mind that you must also find suitable domain names that can match your company name. This will serve as the online identity of your business. It would be wise to protect your online identity against prospective competitors who can probably benefit from acquiring your domain name.
- If you are planning to do your business internationally, then you should double-check to make sure that your proposed name can’t cause mass offence abroad!
- Obviously, you must avoid any names or expressions that are trademarked.
- The practical way of choosing a name is to think long-term. Are you planning to expand your business into new areas or provide new services in the future? If so, then you should not focus your name options mainly on what your business provides right now.
- Brand names can be used for business purposes or when you are operating multiple businesses through a single company. Hence, the name of your company will likely be less important than the brand name.
Limited or Ltd Does It Matter?
Some companies choose to use “Limited” while others prefer to use “Ltd.” to suffix their company names. Obviously, you might be wondering what is the difference between these two. Well, there is simply no difference at all! It is basically an aesthetic choice and it does not have any effect on how you operate your company.
Bear in mind that these two suffixes are entirely interchangeable. Also, there are a variety of transformations that are available. For instance, if you register a limited company named “Nate’s Bouncy Castles”, then you could either use “Nate’s Bouncy Castles Limited”, “Nate’s Bouncy Castles LIMITED”, “Nate’s Bouncy Castles Ltd.”, “Nate’s Bouncy Castles Ltd”, “Nate’s Bouncy Castles LTD.” Any of these variations are legally acceptable.
Sensitive Words And Expressions
One of the obvious rules for choosing company names is to never pick a name that appears to be offensive. However, aside from this, there are a lot of “sensitive” words and expressions that you cannot use unless you are qualified in some way, or you have obtained approval from the government or any professional body.
Some examples of the words that require permission are dentist, chemist, assembly, association, and other related words that suggest a connection with the Government when one is nonexistent.
If you need more help on this, then you can refer to guide GP1 found on the Companies House website. This is the approved guide to company naming and incorporation.
Things To Consider When Naming Your Company
The general rule is it should not be more than ten letters and as much as possible it should not be more than two syllables. Having a simpler name is much easier to remember. So, it will be easier to search for on Google. An example of a company that has a long name is the Southern Ohio Amalgamated Steam Traction Engine & Boiler Manufacturing Company. If they have not stopped operating in 1927, then for sure they have come up with a different name by now.
Organic brand searches occur when somebody enters the name of your business in Google and lands on your website. Most often this can provide an average company website with 10% to 50% traffic. It is important that your name must be spelt easily and it should not be too similar to the other results or else you will probably lose some of your potential visitors.
The best thing to do is to make a quick search before deciding on your company name. In this way, you will discover the competition you will have in Google results. If you can see that there are large, established companies out there then perhaps it is time to rethink.
The name that you choose should invoke some kind of connection or understanding. One good example is PayPal, “Pay” describes what it does while “Pal” invokes the idea of a relationship.
How To Choose The Name For Your Company
In order to make this process a bit easier, here are some simple, quick techniques that you can use in coming up with a company name.
The “Name + Profession” Approach
Matter-of-fact, reliable, and uncomplicated. This strategy might be a bit dry, however, it’ll do the job. Just take your name, then affix what you do on it.
The “Sector + Animal Name” Approach
If you want something that sounds more fun, then you can add the name of an animal. You will discover that it can really work wonders. Some great examples for animal-based company names include Wombat Clothing, Gopher Money, and PolicyBee. Just keep in mind that you should choose an animal that people loves. Obviously, nobody would probably choose to hire Dung Beetle Consulting!
The Portmanteau Approach
If you are a new media expert, then you should choose a more suitable future-proof business name. Why should you use those empty old words to represent yourself when you can create new words that will make people wonder.
Look at how Disney invented the phrase Imagineers. For sure, you can also combine your own two words so that it will precisely describe your two professions. For instance, if you are a web designer who also does some consultancy, then you can be considered as a Web Consultigner. If you are a photographer by day and also works as an Engineer by night, then you can register as Enginography Ltd.
The “One Awesome Word” Approach
Are you looking for a business name that is simple yet screams authority and a hard-to-buy domain name? Well, just choose a brief, snappy adjective or verb and you are good to go. Some great examples are Indeed, Boost, Wham, or Stomp.
If you are having a hard time coming up with with a cool word, then all you have to do is watch one of the fight scenes from old Batman shows.
The “Ideas Above Your Station” Approach
Ambition is something that every freelancer or entrepreneur should have. Surely, this is an essential thing. Similarly, if there a job that you really want, employment coaches would probably advise you to dress up for that job. When it comes to naming your company, then you could probably base it on what you hope it will develop into, instead of what it is now.
“East Swindon Web Design” does not sound so powerful than “The Website Mega-Warehouse International Ltd.” Although you must be careful not to get carried away too easily.
The “What Do You Do Again?” Approach
Perhaps you want your business to sound mysterious, enigmatic, and cool. Maybe you are the kind of firm that runs the business from the top-floor office in the big City of London. And your company is always earning lots of cash. If this is the image that you want your company to have, then you could use names such as “The [blank] Group” or “[blank] Solutions”. For sure, it could be a bit confusing for those who have never heard your business before. But let’s face it, these people could not probably afford your fees.
Do’s And Don’ts For Company Names
If you want a name that sounds unusual or wacky, then here are a few Do’s and Don’ts that you need to follow to ensure that you won’t get carried away.
DO Misspell The Name
Most often, it is worthy to slightly misspell a word rather than paying off somebody for a domain. There are quite a lot of great examples for this, for instance, Digg, Reddit, and Flickr.
DON’T Make The Spelling Too Irregular
A good example would be Diigo, which is an annotation service. Take note, that two “i”s have the same pronunciation of one “i”, or an “e.” Hence, this can cause some confusion and you are making people search for the wrong thing.
As much as possible try to avoid putting a lot of letters and just hope for the best.
But sometimes you can take chances by taking your creativity far beyond. A good example would be oooooc.com. Aside from being difficult to type, it does not even tell us anything about the service. Will you be able to remember the number “o”s there are?
DO Use Fascinating Domain Extensions For Your Benefit
When it comes to the Top-level Domain, it seems that the .com is completely saturated. Keep in mind that there are others that you can choose from. Last.fm, which is a music discovery service would be a good example. Each year, more and more Top-level Domains are available. This can give you more room to create a perfect name for your company.
DON’T Be Reckless With Your URLs
You should consider how it will look and how people are going to read them. Perhaps you might have noticed that g and q are quite similar when they are found in underlined links. Do you think that this can be too confusing to people? You must be very careful, so you can avoid ending up like the unlucky owners of penisland.net and whorepresents.com.
DO Test Your Ideas
You could ask some opinions from your friends and family and ask them what they think of the name. Or you could make a survey and assess opinion on social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. You could take it a step further by going out in the public and ask the opinions of the people on the streets. After all, these are the people that you want to impress.
DON’T Overthink It
Although your business name is significant, yet the perfect option might be out there. It would be better to pick a name which you feel good about rather than forcing to use a name bound by certain rules such as these.
How To Change Your Company Name
In case you are having second thoughts about the company name that you choose, then you’ll be glad to know that it is quite easy to change names.
All you have to do is obtain the approval of the company’s directors. Then you must submit Form NM01 along with a little fee to Companies House.
However, changing names have their downside. You need to spend a lot of time updating every single contact and customer you have to let them know about your new identity. You also need to inform your accountant as well as the tax and regulatory authorities.