Choosing a business name is one of the most important steps of starting a business, but the challenging bit is choosing the perfect name that reflects the essence of your business. 

Some people instinctively know what the name of their business is going to be, others however struggle to decide on a name that truly reflects their business and its values. It can be a difficult decision to make, but it’s not something you have to do alone. Here are a few suggestions that may be able to guide you to a business name that encompasses the essence of the new business and brand you want to share with the public.

Think about the essence of your business 

One of the best ways to choose a business name is to consider the essence of your business and what it stands for. Consider your business mission statement, your business plan and targeted audience, as well as what your unique selling proposition will be. When choosing a name that can communicate to your target audience the essence of your business, think about what message you want to portray, do you want the business name to reflect the products or services it offers or do you want it to invoke certain thoughts and feelings in those who see it. Once you know the answer to these questions you will have some ideas as to what you want your business name to reflect.    

Brainstorming business names

Using the ideas of what you want the business name to represent, it’s time to brainstorm some business ideas with trusted friends or business associates. Creating mind maps, list-making, and word association are all brainstorming techniques that you can use to come up with as many possibilities as you can. During the brainstorming sessions, it’s important to keep in mind the essence of the business, that way all the possibilities will reflect the true nature of the business. 

Let it settle in 

Now review and analyze the different possibilities, remove non-contrenders and sort similar names. Consider whether the names reflect what the business is about, how closely it resonates with the business names of your competitors, is it memorable and easy to pronounce, and does it suit your business brand and tone. This is a timely process but it’s necessary to let the shortlist you’ve come up with settle in before making your final decision.   

Check the availability of the names you have shortlisted

Once you have settled on a few possibilities, you need to check the availability of those business names. The availability of your business name can be checked by searching the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office federal database, as well as by checking Google and other search engines to see if other businesses or companies pop up when you search your business name. If the names you have shortlisted have already been trademarked, or is an existing domain name, you may need to reconsider. Doing a domain name search is also important if you want your business to have an online presence. If the business name is not available as a domain, consider using abbreviations or hyphenate the business name. 

Register your new business name

The last step to protect your business name is to register it with the relevant state authorities. Depending on the legal structure of your business, you may have to register the business itself along with the business name. You can either reserve your business name, form an LLC or a corporation with it, or file a DBA in the case of sole proprietorships, to secure the use of your business name and prevent other prospective business owners from using it. To find out more about how to register the business name you’ve chosen, you can always read more.  

Choosing your business name the first significant step

Choosing a business name can be a timely process, but it is better to take the time and get it right from the start. It is important to find a business name that reflects the true nature of your business and brand. It is the first steps to launching your new business venture and by far the most exciting.