Tips on Naming Your Business


So, you have a brilliant idea and want to launch a business. Now you’re faced with a challenge: what should you name your company? If you’re struggling to come up with something great, don’t despair. Many people find this process daunting.

It may make sense for your company name to simply say what you do. In other cases, you may opt to invent a word, which can work well as long as it’s memorable. In some fields, such as the legal field, nearly everyone incorporates their own name.

Here are questions, ideas and tips on naming your business!

  • Ask yourself exactly what your company does and who is your target audience. Make sure your name will resonate with your target audience. Near Death Apparel might not be the best name for a clothing company aimed at senior citizens.  Your company name should be about your customers first and your ego second.

  • Your name can be interesting, lighthearted or straightforward as long as it’s not offensive or impossible to understand. Jiffy Lube says what the company does and includes an implied benefit. The Consulting Reverse Engineering Management Partnership is bewildering. Dick’s Halfway Inn isn’t exactly a place you’d stay with grandma.

  • Allow room for future growth. If you say you’re John’s Software Warehouse, what happens when you want to sell hardware or sell the business to Debbie?

  • Avoid trendy names that lack longevity. Think -rama, -land, or – ‘R Us.

  • Shorter is better. A long name can be cumbersome to say and write and can make establishing your overall brand and designing a corporate identity system difficult. Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation was wise to simplify its name to IBM.

  • Make it easy. Your name should be easy to say, spell, remember and explain. Was Frusen Glädjé really the best idea for an American ice cream company? If you don’t remember them it’s because the company was only around from 1980 to 1985.

  • If you choose to make up a word, it may be necessary to add a tagline to your company name, to make it understandable. eBay didn’t need to add a tagline because it had major backing and could afford a marketing campaign. On the other hand, De Beers benefits from a tagline: A Diamond is Forever.

  • Does it spark interest? Is there a story behind it? Napster was named after its founder’s hairstyle.

  • Can your employees say it proudly? “This is Mike calling from Rubber Dog Doo Empire” is cringeworthy, whereas “This is Mike calling from American Novelty Products” can be said with pride.

Once you have a few ideas be sure to test them out. Send a note asking for input from a variety of people including prospective customers, family, friends and business associates. Most people will be happy you asked and eager to share feedback.

Next, do a web search to see if other companies are already using the chosen name. You don’t want to pick a great name, only to find out 300 other companies thought of it first or that you risk trademark infringement.

Last but not least, make sure the domain name you’d like for your website is available and affordable. You can do a quick search at

Hopelessly stuck on naming your company? We can help! Contact Penn Creative today.