Gone are the days when you could just name your small business on your instinct; a lot more thought goes into naming a business nowadays. A name is the most important element of any business branding strategy. Coming up with a company name idea is not a straightforward task; a company name can easily make or break a business.

It is necessary for entrepreneurs to pick good small business names carefully. Your name says a lot about your business and may have a number of different perceptions associated with it. Before you start selecting the name of your company, it is very important to understand your target audience. The demographics and psychographics of your audience play a very important role in making your business name a success.

Attributes of a Winning Business Name

Following are some attributes that your business name should essentially have in order to make it appealing and successful:

  • The name should be short, easy to spell and memorable. It should be easy for people to remember or name and recall it at the slightest cue.
  • The name should have a positive meaning for your customer, both literally and emotionally.
  • It should be easy to visualize an image when you hear the name. Visual cognition is the most important factor that helps in making a name memorable.
  • A name should be aesthetically pleasing to everyone. It should generally hold a positive perception in your target audience’s minds.
  • It should be unique. It should help you from distinguishing your business from other industries and all your competitors in the same industry.
  • A good business name has to portray an image of your business, the way you want it. It should say something about your business purpose or function. It can also be a portrayal of your business benefits,
  • A business name should not be technical. It should be understandable by all of your target audience easily.
  • A business name should be suggestive of your business functions or industry
  • A business name should be transferable in two manners; across product categories and across geographic boundaries. Your business name should not restrict you to a particular product category for future expansions. If you plan to operate globally in the future, your name should be understandable and likeable across different cultures and countries.
  • The business name should be available, legally and competitively. If you are planning to have an online business or a website, it should also be available for domain names and URLs. Make sure it is search-engines friendly if you want it to be looked up frequently on search engines like Google Places.
  • The name should be flexible such that it could be updated over the time; avoid using years or dates or technological names that get obsolete quickly.

Once you consider all these attributes in your business name, you are likely to come up with a name which will be perfect for your small business. However, taking note of so many things while coming up with a name might seem overwhelming to you.

How to Select the Perfect Name

For those wondering how to pick a good business name, here is a step by step process you can follow to get some small business name ideas in a helpful manner:

1.Know Your Naming Objective

Your company name has to convey a distinguishing feature about your business. Determine the objective of your name first. You have to analyze what is the first distinctive image you want your customers to have about your business.

2.Search for a Name

At the initial stage you can note down as any name as you like. You can ask your friends, family, employees and potential customers about any likely idea for a business name that they find suitable. Any random name you find meaningful and appealing at this stage can be noted for further screening. With a business name, you never know how a different, unique idea could be monumental; look at Apple.

You can name your business on the name of a person, place, animal, occasion, fruits or any other thing that exists, if it somehow acts as a metaphor for your business. You can also select your name based on an adjective quality of your business that you want to portray as the most important one.

Your name can also coin a new, meaningful name that is not an actual word; Intel is short for intelligent electronics. You can compound two or more different words or prefixes and suffixes to create a new unique business name.

3.Hire a Professional Name Generator

Naming your business is one of the most important decisions that need to be taken when starting a business; a name is for lifetime. This is one aspect for which it is highly advisable to get help from professional naming experts though it may be a bit costly.

A number of different small business name generators like WordLab, are now working online, helping small businesses to select good names for their business at relatively reasonable prices. Selecting a name is a complex process and you should invest on it in a considerable manner initially to avoid any legal dilemma in the future.

4.Check the Availability

Screen all the name s you are considering to check whether they are available legally and competitively. Check with that trademark authorities to ensure your business name does not infringe any other business’s trademark. This can create a lot of legal complications for you in the future and can cost you a lot more than hiring a trademark attorney initially.

5.Test Your Name

Once you have narrowed down your list of names to two or three best names, you can see which one suits your business functions better. You can also check it with a focus group of your potential customers to check whether their perception of the name matches your initial naming objective and whether it evokes positive connotations for your audience.

You should also check how well it suits the aesthetical needs of your customers. If you are planning to advertise on telephone or radio, see how it sounds first. You can ask your family and friends for suggestions.

A good company name should also fit well with your company logo, any jingle or slogan you are planning to create and is available for a domain name.

6.Choose the Best One

Once you have checked for all the attributes that a good name should have, select the one that matches your needs perfectly and fulfills all requirements of a good business name. This is now your business identity so start promoting it in a positive manner at every possible occasion.


Selecting a name for your small business is one of the most difficult and crucial decision entrepreneurs will have to face when starting a new business. A name is a very important marketing tool, the very first aspect of your business that your audience encounters and can leave a very strong image in their minds.

A lot of thought is essential before you come up with a name for your company. There are certain attributes that a name should have and then there are legal restrictions that need to be handled before you can finally select a name.

You can take help of as many people as possible but hiring a professional naming company is still advisable when it comes to naming your business. Also, test your business name with as many people as possible before getting it registered.

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