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Choosing a Business Name – The Final Check List

choosing a business name A business name has the capacity to drive customers to your business or drive them away to your competitors. So it is critically important that you make the right choice when choosing a name for your new venture.

But, in choosing a business name, what are the things to consider before making your final decision?

What are the final points to follow in order to pick the right business name?

Well, here is a 10-point checklist for you to use before finally settling on a right name for your new business:

1. Trademarks

When choosing a business name, it’s important not to violate another company’s trademark.

And so to avoid any violation, you should run a trademark search on the name.

For instance, if you’re in the United States, you can go to uspto.gov/trademarks to see if the name has been trademarked already or not.

It’s not advisable to choose a name that’s already taken as that might lead to legal controversies.

2. Domain Name Availability

In today’s world of business, online presence is essential for nearly every business. So when choosing a business name, remember to do a domain search on the name. You can do this simply by searching on Google or over at WHOIS.

The internet has grown so much over the past few years and so most domain names with two to seven characters have already been taken.

If you pick a business name that is already registered as a domain name, it is no cause to rule it out. Alternative options might be:

  • Purchasing the domain name
  • Getting creative with the name
  • If it’s only the .com version that’s taken, perhaps you can go with another extension like .net .org .co and .info.

Running a domain search on a name will allow you to know if the name is already being used by another company.

3. Social Media Profiles Availability

Just like web presence, social media presence is equally significant.

Before picking the final name, is the Twitter handle still available? Are there Facebook pages with that name already? What about YouTube, Instagram and the other social networks?

You want your business to stand out from the crowd as much as possible. A unique social media presence can go a long way in helping you achieve that.

On the other hand, picking a name that’s already taken on the social networks may confuse potential customers especially if the other company offers similar product/service as your would-be company.

Don’t know how to check for social profiles that have the same name as your intended business name? No worries! KnowEm.com can come in handy.

4. SEO and Keywords

Does the name have a relevant keyword in it?

If your business would require serious online presence to thrive, then incorporating keywords into your business name and domain can make your website to rank higher in search engines.

What’s more, keywords will tell people what your business is all about.

However, when it comes to keywords, broader is better.

Just because you’re planning to offer only one kind of service at the beginning doesn’t mean the business won’t expand in the future.

So, when integrating keywords, don’t niche down to narrowly; don’t use specific keywords and don’t mention a specific service.

Also, if you’re planning to expand beyond your city, don’t mention your location.

5. Easy to Spell and Memorable

Before making your final choice, two important questions you must ask yourself are:

  • Is the name easy to spell?
  • Will potential customers be able to remember the name?

A simple way to come up with a name that’s both spell-able and memorable is to follow the KISS principle.

You don’t want to spell and explain the name to people every time you mention it to them.

A name that’s easy to spell and simple to remember can easily be referred.

So:

  • Keep it simple and short.
  • Avoid made up words.
  • Avoid misspellings and don’t use words that people commonly misspell.

6. Simple to Say

Beyond choosing a name that’s memorable and spell-able, you should also consider a name that’s smooth to say.

If you’re considering word of mouth marketing (every business does), then your business name should be simple to say in order for people to easily mention it for referrals.

Can the name easily be said out loud? And does it sound good? If yes, check this one off.

7. Name Meaning and an Interesting Backstory

For every business name, there’s a meaning behind it and there’s a reason why the name was chosen.

In choosing a name, you should also consider the meaning of that name and how that meaning relates to your idea. If the name has a ridiculous meaning or a meaning that will deter customers, then it’s best not to go with it.

While backstories do not directly determine great business names, it’s still important that you have an interesting reason why you picked the name.

That’s partly because one of the questions you’ll be asked frequently is “how did you come up with the name?”

8. State Filing

Talking about location, think of the availability of the name in your local area. Sometimes, a business name may be filed for a particular state, but that doesn’t mean the name is not available in another state.

Check with your state filing office to make sure your business name is available locally.

9. Does it click with your idea?

The best business names are the ones that fall in place with your ideas. So, does the name go off well with the service/product you want to offer?
If yes, check this one off, too.

However, the essence of future expansion comes into play here again.

10. Finally, do you like the name?

No matter how viable a business name is, if you don’t like it, you’re likely not going to use it.

That’s simply because sometimes, a business name may be more personal than generic. Also, as the owner of the business, your business name more or less represents you.

So, the real question is: Does the name make sense to you? Does it make sense to your business? Do you like it? If yes, then it’s a winner.

Choosing a business name never seems easy for the new business owner. And, it seems even tougher in today’s crowded marketplace. The above 10-point checklist, if used properly, will definitely help you choose the right business name.