Choosing a Name for your Business

A business name establishes your unique identity in the industry. Your name is how people are going to identify you in your industry. It will be associated with your brand identity. This is what makes choosing a business name important. In this article, we are going to talk about ‘name choices’ in the business world.

Your business is like a child to you. Be careful about what you name it. Of course, you can change your business’ name later on but you should have a strong, compelling reason to do so. Constantly changing names just because you can would not make your business memorable for others. Though yes, you definitely can change your business name. Many successful businesses have chosen and changed their names. A famous example is Google, which was called Backrub in its initial stage (Source: Business Insider).

Businesses usually change their name when they want to change their branding strategies or to give their business new brand identity. If you think changing your business’ name is going to be profitable for you, then go for it.

Let’s see more about how you can choose a business name!

1. Follow the Legal Guidelines for Choosing a Name.

Every country has some legal guidelines for businesses in choosing their names. South Africa is not an exception to it. You can find a complete guide to that here, thanks to SME South Africa. Also, once you choose your business name, you should register your business. Once you register your business name, nobody can legally copy it and run a different business under the same banner. Your business name is your identity and it should be protected legally.

2. Compelling Connection with Your Business.

Although not necessary, the name should have some kind of compelling connection with your business. It should associate with the products, practices, or services your business offers. When people hear your business’ name, they should immediately think about or close to what your business has to offer. It does not have to be literal, but keep it somewhat associated with your business.

However, regardless of the point, understand that this is not necessary. Some entrepreneurs choose to name their business after their family names and it just runs fine. So in the end, it is up to you whether you want to consider this point or not!

3. Make use of Stereotypes.

Oxford defines stereotype as “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.” There are stereotypes in the business world too. For example, a high-end restaurant would tend to have some exquisite French or Italian origin name. Or, a news agency might have some ‘truth’ or ‘light’ related name. There are plenty of such name stereotypes to explore. You can definitely take advantage of such in choosing a business name that’s catchy and unique.

4. Make it Memorable but not too Unique.

A business name should be unique enough to be memorable, but not too unique. A memorable name will constantly remind your target audience about your business. Mix it with good products and services, it is going to make its mark in no time. Going for too unique names can be difficult and obscure for people to understand. The second rule of making a name memorable? Make it easy for people to spell and pronounce it out. So do not stress on making your name too unique or too obscure. Even if you are borrowing a name from another language, do not borrow an obscure name.

5. Don’t Rush on Finalising a Name.

When you choose a name, let it settle down for a few days. Who knows, you may not like the same name afterwards or you may come up with an even better one. This is exactly why we suggest to experiment around names and come up with multiple solutions. And once you finalise a list, let it settle down for at least a week. See if you still like it, or if you think it still suits your business. It is very important that you, as an entrepreneur, like the name you give to your business. After all, you are going to run it and you do not want to be dissatisfied with the name, right?

6. Get a Second Opinion.

Getting second opinions on choosing a business name is not actually a bad idea. Besides, it will also help you with understanding how the particular business name makes people feel. Take opinions from your family, parents, colleagues, and importantly, from your target audience. It will greatly help in choosing an appropriate name for your business. Conduct small, fun surveys, collect data, and see how a name would fare for your business.

Also, if you feel like you can not come up with any good names, then do not hesitate to ask around. Your partners, family, and friends care about your well-being and they will definitely be glad to help you out on this one. It’s just like choosing a name for a child. Your business is going to be your child, and you can definitely take opinions from your near and dear ones.

7. Don’t Stress over it.

Name choosing should be fun! If you don’t feel creative over choosing names, please take a break. Don’t stress over it and don’t think too hard on it. Names do matter and they do help in making a unique identity for your business. But it is also true that businesses with not-so-unique-names also do fine on their own. In the end, it all breaks down to how you handle the quality of your products and services, and what your customers talk about it. If you must choose a name, don’t overthink, don’t stress, and take your time. It is important for your mental health.



And that’s about it. Your business name is going to be your business’ identity, so make sure you think thoroughly about it. Follow the 7 points given above and you should be able to come up with a pleasant, memorable name for your business. Though more importantly, you should stress about providing an excellent service for your customers. In that way, even if you don’t choose an attractive name for your business, your audience is going to make it sound attractive. After that, you can think about rebranding and changing your business’ name to make it more successful.

Digital Lime Green can also help you in this matter. We are a small web design and digital marketing agency that also helps businesses with logo designs and branding. If you must require logo design services, take a look at our Logo Design Package and see if you have everything you needed. If you need anything else, please feel free to connect with us anytime. We will be happy to help you out!