Becomes a reality, entrepreneurs need to address every detail. One of the most crucial components is thinking through company name ideas. As entrepreneurship skyrockets in 2021, teams must present themselves clearly and quickly.
The best business names are unique and descriptive. Yet, the naming process isn’t as easy as it sounds. This guide provides ideas, tips, and free tools every new company needs. Plus, it offers some business name ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
Table of Contents
What’s an Ideal Company Name?
There is more that goes into the naming process that one might think. It’s easy to spend days testing out names and branding strategies. Here’s how to zero in on the best ideas and make a great decision.
#1 Define What the Company Does
First, consider the organization’s primary purpose. Ask, why does this enterprise exist? When people see the name, they should have a good sense of what to expect.
For example, OkCupid is a major online dating app in the United States. The name is clear and direct. Many individuals recognize the word cupid from mythology. They see that, and, right away, they think of love. It makes a great association for a dating site.
#2 Express the Brand’s Overarching Goal
When naming a corporation, it helps to think about the sole mission. Names should reflect the team’s vision, no matter the industry. While the first tip focused on what they do, this one emphasizes why. So, it’s best to choose a word that evokes emotion.
A good example is Bon Appetit. This magazine caters to foodies and home chefs. The title makes readers feel a longing for home-cooked meals and family gatherings.
#3 Describe the Customer’s Desired Result
Here is another way to look at the naming process. While brainstorming, think about why someone would use the product or service. Consider their problem and what kind of solution they need. The right keyword can boost the enterprise’s search engine rankings.
One example of this is Salesforce. This cloud-based software improves customer relationship management. Sales is a straightforward term to describe the agency. Force implies power and competitive advantage.
#4 Original & Memorable
Start-ups want their names to be unique, but also simple. There is a fine balance. Too distinct and complicated, and no one will remember the name. Yet, if it’s too plain, it risks getting lost in the shuffle.
A nice example is Twitter. The name is short enough, and it’s also one of a kind. It also reflects the customer’s experience with the service.
#5 Concise & Punchy
Piggybacking off of that idea, some of the best names are short and catchy. They’re easy for people to say and spell, plus they convey the sole purpose. In a way, it’s like killing two birds with one stone.
#6 Playful or Punny
Finally, some companies aren’t afraid to think outside the box. With the right approach, teams can have some fun with their name ideas. A playful attitude or a pun can add personality to a brand. Just be sure that this lightheartedness matches the target audience.
For example, Lyft is a unique spelling of lift. Many people use the expression, “Can I give you a lift?” It’s the perfect name for a ride-sharing agency.
How the Pros Name a Business
Coming up with a unique name and website URL isn’t the simplest task. There are other concerns besides being clever. Individuals need to check each business name’s availability and domain. Plus, the name should have a matching logo, which is another big project. It can seem impossible to find good business names in 2020. Here are a few expert tips to make the process easier.
1. Understand the Organization’s Purpose
The first step is to solidify the enterprise’s primary goal or vision. At the end of the day, what is the most important thing? It helps to make a business plan and describe the products, services, and ideal customers. When individuals understand the intent, they can focus on a suitable business name.
2. Check Out the Competition
Early on, do some research to find similar companies in that industry. An analysis will reveal which company names are the most popular. It is also a chance to see what rivals are doing and if there are any trends. This can help teams rule out any overused keywords. Pay attention to which organizations are the most successful. There may be clues to their achievements in their business name.
3. Be Descriptive & Direct
The best business names express the main idea. At the same time, they are concise and to the point. This is why entrepreneurs must understand their core focus. With that overarching purpose, they can write down some keywords that come to mind. Again, it might be wise to do some SEO research. There may be repetitive terms that show up. This can pave the way to better brand name ideas.
4. Dive Into SEO Research
Search engine optimization can be a wonderful resource for entrepreneurs. It gives them a better idea of their target audience and what they want. SEO research will also reveal how easy it is for prospects to find the business. Here is how to use SEO to brainstorm company name ideas.
First, find the keywords with the highest rankings. Consider an organization that focuses on children’s swimming lessons.
Some related buzzwords include:
- Swim lessons
- Kids swimming
- Beginner swimming lessons
A corporation that wants to break into this niche should emphasize some of these terms. They’ll appear in more search results and bring in more clients.
Another thing to be aware of is keyword dominance. A business name with a popular term may have trouble ranking. Something like “swimming lessons” may bring up lots of competitors. Sites such as Yelp can dominate this kind of phrase, too. Authority is crucial when choosing company names.
Finally, teams should think about customer intent. When the ideal client is looking for the enterprise, what might they type into the search engine? They may want swimming lessons, but that phrase is too broad for a business name. Rather, the intent behind the classes is to feel safe and confident in the water. So, those words may work well in the name.
5. Consider a Branding Style
The business name will impact the logo and overall branding strategy. Therefore, teams must decide how they want to name the enterprise. The good news is that there are plenty of different techniques. Some people like to use a single word, while others combine two keywords to create a new phrase. Another method is to change the spelling or remove vowels. A strong verb can reflect the organization’s main goal.
6. Create a Narrative
Lots of agencies come up with ideas by telling stories. They build a narrative around the products or services they offer. It helps them identify the who, what, where, when, why, and how of everything. That way, they communicate with the consumer through the business name.
7. Check For Trademark Registration
Sorting through company name ideas can be a grueling process. No one wants to do all that only to discover someone else has the name. Once the group has the final few options, it’s time to check for trademarks. Go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office database online. There, individuals can enter their brand name ideas. They’ll see which are available and which are already registered.
8. Double-Check Availability
Once they check with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, they can move forward with their brand name ideas. Any unregistered names are up for grabs. Yet, this doesn’t mean that someone else isn’t using the names.
Sometimes, companies adopt a business name without a trademark. To be sure this isn’t the case, there are a few things entrepreneurs can do.
- Check their state’s Secretary of State entity filings
- Go through their state’s DBAs (“Doing Business As”) listings
- Do a Google search of the company name ideas
Teams want to cover all their bases before making a final decision.
9. Check Domain Status & Social Media Handles
Here is another annoying but important process. Don’t skip this step, even if it seems that the business names are available. Besides, verifying a domain name isn’t as hard as it sounds.
First, try searching for the website domain on a site like GoDaddy.com or Wix.com. If it is unavailable, go back to the drawing board. Another option is to settle for a TLD. The top-level domain is the highest-ranking name within the hierarchical system. It allows the corporation to sit at the top of the search results.
Second, don’t forget about social media. Most companies are online now, and this includes being on Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms. It’s best to have a social handle that matches the business name. Otherwise, customers might get confused, and brands miss out on reaching other prospects. To check for available handles, visit a free tool such as Namechk.
10. Get Registered
Finally, all that research and work will be worth it. Once they verify the availability, individuals can register their business names. The only annoying thing here is that the process varies depending on the enterprise type. The system automatically registers services with an LLC. Entrepreneurs who do this by themselves may need a DBA. It will identify them as the sole proprietor.
Business Name Ideas: 10 Powerful Examples
Any number of entrepreneurs may create the most innovative products of 2021. Yet, they can’t reach the right people without perfect business names. That is what will attract consumers to the website and build hype. Finding suitable business name ideas can be tough. So, check out these ten examples from an online business name generator.
Product/Industry: Life coaching
Product/Industry: Online dating
4. Sole Mates
5. Jack & Chill Cafe
Product/Industry: Coffee shop
Product/Industry: Event planning
Creative Business Name Ideas: 10 Out-of-the-Box Ideas
Coming up with creative business name ideas can be tough. The media and entertainment industry is saturated with well-established agencies. The same is true for niches, like fashion and interior design. An online business name generator can help. It’s free to browse, and there are thousands of options available. The nice thing about this field is that there is lots of room for experimentation.
Product/Industry: Entertainment/event planning
Product/Industry: Wedding planning
Product/Industry: Mobile gaming
Product/Industry: Interior design
5. Gem & I
Product/Industry: Music technology
Product/Industry: Media production
Product/Industry: Publishing company
Cool Business Names to Stand Out in a Crowd
An entrepreneur doesn’t have to be a creative genius to come up with company name ideas. Instead, they can use a business name generator to sort through some options. The generator includes different filters and preferences, too. Individuals can choose a single word or a mash-up of several terms. These online tools make it easy to find a suitable match for any industry. Check out some cool business names below.
2. Sour Twist
Product/Industry: Wine & spirits
Product/Industry: Co-working spaces
6. Hatch Jar
Product/Industry: Food trucks
9. Oak & Chisel
Catchy Business Names That Pack a Punch
These name-generating websites can even help with more rigid industries, such as law. There is always a way to stand out from the crowd. If a pun isn’t appropriate, then maybe try including the founder’s name. With a brand domain generator, one can find clever iterations of everyday phrases and terms. Check out some catchy business names below.
5. Empire Slate
Product/Industry: Health & wellness
Product/Industry: Food delivery kits
Product/Industry: Kids & baby
Clever Business Names That Flaunt Originality
Consumers will remember company names that are unique but not difficult. A business name generator can suggest suitable options for all kinds of industries and websites. Lots of teams prefer this because it saves them time and only shows unregistered names. Below are ten recommendations that use a variety of techniques. This includes puns, different spellings, and original words.
1. Partners in Grime
2. The Growing Tree
Product/Industry: Finance technology
Product/Industry: Home & garden
Product/Industry: Property management
18 Business Name Generators: Free Tools to Give Brands a Head-Start
Below are 15 helpful tools that can simplify branding in 2021. As more corporations join the ranks, standing out is essential. A business name generator like any of the ones here can work with any industry or service. They take into account originality, clarity, and availability. All that an entrepreneur must do is be sure it resonates with the brand’s mission.
This business name generator offers streamlined suggestions based off of keywords. Once individuals know which phrases or terms they want in the name, the rest is easy. Just scroll through the recommendations and find a clear and catchy match.
Most content creators know about Shopify. Yet they might not realize all of the tools at their disposal. Shopify’s name recommendations show hundreds of possibilities. Individuals can choose their favorite and launch their online store right on the platform.
This interactive site is user-friendly and saves lots of time. Clients appreciate the opportunity to enter their specific industry or field. They can also add any relevant keywords to streamline the process even more. Many people refer to the tool for its punchy and concise suggestions.
4. Business Name Generator
As the title suggests, this tool provides dozens of lists and choices. It also identifies any available URLs, which saves clients lots of time and effort. It costs nothing to try out the service, and the .coms come from GoDaddy.
5. Name Mesh
Try this site with a couple of niche-specific buzzwords. The free business name generator will reveal available options as well as filtered lists. Clients can sort by popularity, newness, length, and more. The color-coded categories come in handy and speed up the process.
6. Cool Name Ideas
This business name generator might sound corny, but it works like a charm. Clients can enter some relevant keywords and search through an endless list of suggestions. The tool asks important questions, such as the type of industry and customer benefits.
WordLab is a free business name generator. It’s easy to use, but the results aren’t as refined. The good news is that it sifts through over seven million recommendations. So, there is always a good option available.
Getsocio is another generating tool that offers solutions based on key phrases. The listings include thousands of options for all kinds of specialties. The disadvantage here is that the domain will end in .getsocio.com rather than .com.
Wordoid is a free business name generator with precise filters and categories. Clients can sort through the recommendations by length, language, popularity, and more. Like other services on this list, it works with GoDaddy to provide customer URLs.
This generator is perfect for creative industries like entertainment and media. The tool allows clients to enter up to five keywords. It sorts through the recommendations to find the best fit. Plus, the service includes modifications, suffixes, rhymes, and combinations. Upon making a selection, the site redirects to GoDaddy for the final purchase.
11. Fit Small Business
This unique tool asks specific questions related to the founders’ names, locations, and popular products. It looks at the answers to come up with awesome company name ideas. Most of the suggestions include two or more words. Customers can buy their URL through Bluehost.
12. Brand Bucket
The service supplies tons of company name ideas, but some of them are quite expensive. On the other hand, clients will find lots of originality here. Those who buy a URL will also receive a professional (and modifiable) logo.
13. Lean Domain Search
This simplified generator narrows down the choices to find the most fitting name. It also has a color-coded system to distinguish available URLs. What’s nice about this tool is that it searches for Twitter handles, too. Corporations can save a lot of time this way.
Naming.net looks at precise criteria to find cool and clever suggestions. Customers can modify their search based on tons of variables. That includes root words, syllables, language, rhymes, and more. The site features marketing and branding advice, too.
For a catchy URL, check out this online generator. It only supports one or two buzzwords at a time, but the results are instant. The tool shows combinations, alternative endings, and availability. Customers can enter their first or last names for a more personalized domain.
With this service, individuals can enter several keywords as well as exclusions. That way, they receive more precise results. If they create an account, the tool’s AI will save their preferences for future campaigns and projects.
Here is a service that works with real-time search results. Another advantage is that it provides URLs that end in .com, .io, and more. All customers have to do is enter a relevant word or phrase to begin analyzing hundreds of choices.
18. Brand Root
This service is popular with companies that want unique and playful names. Plus, customers get a .com URL and a professional logo. The packages are affordable, although pricing varies. It helps if clients adjust the budget filter beforehand.
15 Great Tips for Finding an Original Business Name
Every leader wants their organization to look professional, personal, and unique. Yet, sometimes the creative juices stop flowing. When that’s the case, turn to these tips and tricks. Try a few to see which ones spark that fire and reflect the main purpose of the enterprise.
1. Shorten Things With Acronyms: They’re Easy to Remember
Think of BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) or TCBY (The Country’s Best Yogurt). These companies market themselves with acronyms for easier recognition. Plus, customers are more likely to remember a few letters rather than a strange phrase or multi-word title.
2. Blend Up Some Words: Mix & Match IDeas
Some of the top companies out there were created from a mash-up of words. For instance, Netflix is the ideal combination of the Internet and flicks (movies). Other branding strategies pair two related terms, such as Crate & Barrel.
3. Turn to Classic Literature: Tap Into Myths, Legends, & History
Find the bookworm in the office and ask about ancient myths, legends, and famous literary texts. So many companies turn to the Greek gods for inspiration. A few quick examples include Nike (goddess of victory) and Venus (goddess of love). These connotations make sense. Nike relates to sports, while Venus is a women’s shaving razor.
4. Incorporate the Founder’s Name: Add a Personal Touch
This strategy is more common than one might think. Some famous examples include Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Boeing aircraft. Even a smaller store can add a personal touch by using the founder’s moniker.
5. Borrow From Foreign Languages: It’s Distinctive & New
Something is exciting about seeing a word in a foreign language. Perhaps this is why IKEA became so popular outside of Sweden. Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to try out some non-native phrases or terms. The founders of Pardot got the concept from the Latvian word for “to market oneself.”
6. Turn the Tables: Look at Things Differently
Sometimes, it helps to step away from the project. Take a long, hard look at the product and imagine it as something else. The tactic might spark a new marketing strategy.
7. Open Up a New Narrative: Express Beliefs & Attitudes
The founders of Virgin were completely new to the industry, so they had no trouble finding the perfect name. The technique is a wonderful way to reveal the bigger story behind the organization. LUSH is a beauty brand that clearly states how it wants customers to feel.
8. Look on a Global Scale: Consider Geography or Natural Phenomena
The biggest example of this is Amazon. The Amazon River also happens to be the longest river in the world. Consider grabbing a map and looking at the wonders of the natural world. The Grand Canyon, the Brazilian rainforest, and the Great Barrier Reef are awesome origins.
9. Mix & Match Strategies: See What Happens
Have fun by combining two or more of these tips. Perhaps a store could take a word from mythology and spell it in a unique way. Or, they could look at a geographic location and translate it into a foreign language.
10. Get Personal: Adopt a Nickname
Nicknames are lots of fun, but most people don’t equate them with marketing. Yet, this is a lost opportunity. Entrepreneurs can distinguish themselves by using a pet name or their child’s namesake. One example is Carol’s Daughter, a haircare product line.
11. Focus on an Image: Consumers Remember Symbology
Before people had words, they had symbols. Marketers enjoy using patterns and designs to their benefit. Liberty Mutual Insurance is named after the Statue of Liberty. On the flip side, their services give clients more financial freedom.
12. Go Old-School: Use a Latin Phrase
There is something impressive about hearing someone speak Latin. Marketers don’t have to be fluent in this language, but they can borrow a word or two. Some companies that do this include Volvo (“I roll”) and Acer (“sharp”).
13. Abbreviate It: Choose Something Short & Sweet
Like acronyms, abbreviations are easy to remember. They are often more recognizable, too. Cisco is a shortened form of San Francisco. FedEx is a punchy word that abbreviates Federal Express.
14. Embrace Misspelling: Attract More Attention
Misspelling in marketing is usually a no-no. Yet, it can be a savvy technique when naming a store or organization. This is common among social media sites like Tumblr and Reddit. The clothing store Anthropologie is another successful example.
15. Take a Tip From Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary: Find Random Words
The band Incubus named itself after finding a random spot in the dictionary. The same thing happened to Twitter. Sure, it may take a few tries to find something that sticks. In the end, this trick can add a playful or intriguing element.
Can Two Businesses Have the Same Name?
According to the IRS, it depends on a few factors. If the two companies serve different demographics, it may be okay. The same is true if they are in separate locations. It becomes a problem when both brands offer similar services to related audiences. The two stores will have to apply for a trademark. Whoever completes this process sooner will own the rights to the name.
Who Owns a Business Name?
If someone trademarks their enterprise’s name, they own it. In the United States, they must register with the Patent and Trademark Office. The trademark grants them nationwide legal protection.
Can You Sue Someone for Using Your Business Name?
Yes, but only with a registered trademark. There are some upfront costs involved, but it’s worth it. Registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office grants individuals ownership of their store name. The information goes into the USPTO database. Anyone can search for the specific name and see who owns it. This kind of legal protection helps entrepreneurs in court. If they have to sue someone for using their business title, they can.
Do I Really Need to Trademark My Logo?
Trademarks can be titles, names, or designs. So, it would be a good idea to register for a trademarked logo. It is not necessary, but many people prefer to do this. The advantages usually outweigh any annoyances. For instance, it adds professionalism and legal protection.
A Business Name Says It All, So Take Your Time
Choosing the right title for a store or enterprise can be challenging. It can also be lots of fun. This is a wonderful opportunity to distinguish oneself amidst all the noise. Even if the creativity runs dry, there are online tools to help. A snappy name can show personality, originality, and a wider vision.
Do you have experience with naming companies, or have you seen a particularly punchy brand name? Let us know in the comments below.