June 7, 2023

How to name a business

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What’s in a name? Everything, especially when it comes to a business name. The tech industry is growing at a rapid pace, with many startups popping up constantly, so picking a meaningful, distinct name that will set your startup apart is key. 

A business name should not be a gimmick; it’s a major responsibility that sets the tone for how customers perceive your brand. It shows customers what you offer and positions your business against competitors. It will have a long-term effect on your brand image. Follow these steps to name your business and ensure you come up with one that sticks — sticks clients to your business’s doorstep and profits to your bankroll. 

Naming a business starts from a creative point

With such importance placed on a business name, it’s vital to follow an ordered approach, take your time to research the market and take time to understand how to name a business. You’ll also want to develop a list of potential names, engage in market research, talk to potential customers, and get feedback from friends and family. This creative point should involve the following:

  • Writing down your ideas in a word dump
  • Reviewing a dictionary and thesaurus
  • Making use of a name generator

At this creative point, consider types of names

While in the creative mind frame, take a moment to think about different types of names. If you want a business name that describes a product or a service, opt for a literal name that describes the business. This type of name is clear and leaves no room for misinterpretation.

For those wanting to avoid literal words, suggestive names can be used for new businesses. Suggestive names evoke feelings within potential customers and convey a brand experience and aspirations.

Following on the extreme side of suggestive names are arbitrary names that speak to the brand’s personality. While fun and memorable, they have no direct reference to the business operations, services, or products. 

While considering the type of name, aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs need to consider types of businesses when brainstorming a name for their startup.

How to name a business according to business type and structure

A good starting point to naming your business: consider brand identity, industry, and your target audience. You’ll then want to consider different types of business structures. Every business structure has naming rules. 

  • Limited Liability Corporations (LLC): If choosing to name your business according to this business structure, you must include the phrase “limited liability company” or at least “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
  • C-Corporations: Should you establish and register a C-Corporation, your business name must include words like “Incorporated,” “Company,” “Corporation,” or “Limited.” You may want to include abbreviations like “Corp.,” “Inc.,” “Co.,” or “Ltd.”
  • Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship isn't a separate legal entity, so it will simply be known by your legal name. You must register your business with your Secretary of State if you want to use another name.
  • General Partnership: General partnerships are known by the partners' last names.

Ask these questions when naming a business 

Now that your business name is locked, loaded, and ready to hit that board above your brick-and-mortar store or the new website you’re developing, you should ask yourself the following questions. 

  • Does it reflect your brand identity?
  • Is it easy to spell, pronounce, and remember?
  • Does it appeal to your target audience?
  • Is it easily placed on marketing materials and your logo?

If you’ve placed a green tick next to each question, you should follow these easy steps to register your business under that name.

If your business name is available, register it

If you’ve spent the time to dig deep on the creative front and think of an ingenious name, chances are, no other business has snagged it yet. However, err on the side of caution and check if your business name is available. 

If all signs are a go, it’s time to wrap up this process and register your business name to make it a legally operating entity. Firstbase makes incorporation easy, helping founders create LLCs and C-Corps in 43 states. Hit the link below to incorporate your company. Enter code BLOG10 at checkout for 10% off your incorporation.

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