It’s important you choose a name which is representative of your company and fits with your ethos. Some companies can benefit from pun-orientated names where others need to be more serious and business focused. Your business name is probably your most powerful marketing tool so you need to get it right.

Inspiration for the right business name could come from anywhere. There are online resources and don’t discount ideas from friends and family. The most important thing is to get it right with your customer base. They need to believe in your brand and therefore your name and it needs to create the impression you desire. The name has to represent your business’ key identity whether that is quirkiness, integrity or professionalism. It has to resonate with your target market.

Ideas for Business Names

Where do good business names come from? You’ll have seen plenty of names which are inspiring but how do you make sure yours is as good? There are plenty of business name generators online but the results from these are superficial at best with their main interest being to draw you into buying the related domain name. Use your brains, think about your business and come up with ideas yourself.

Some business owners go for deliberately abstract names and it can work and even gain a cult following. Thunder Egg, for example, is a popular, quirky boutique in Manchester’s Northern Quarter that simply wouldn’t be the same with a less abstract name. Abstract names don’t always work and customers can be put off as they may not understand your brand – this is particularly possible if you trade online. An abstract name takes guts and it can be what sets you apart from your competitors.

You want your name to be memorable for the right reasons and this could be its quirkiness but it could also be its succinctness. Short names tend to be best.

Choosing your Business Name

A modern name could be exactly what your business needs, if it’s in the right industry whilst other industries need to take advantage of tradition. Amusing names should be avoided as they get old and it’s a very specific type of business that can benefit from this. Trying to be funny can put your customers off as it can suggest you’re not serious about your business.

Many companies choose to use their own name which can be effective, especially if close relationships with your clients is important. Businesses with names such as Stephenson and Sons have a family feel and can evoke a small, personable business approach. The problem with the aforementioned name is it doesn’t actually tell the customer what the business does and therefore the addition of a strapline could be useful such as: Stephenson and Sons – Portsmouth’s Leading Carpet Fitters. A sense of place is also a powerful tool as local businesses are becoming popular once again and demonstrating your locality could attract more custom.

Additionally you need to check out the availability of your business name from a web perspective. For your business to be viewed reputably then you need to be able to buy the related domain name, if the name is already taken you could run into difficulty or have to pay heftily for the name you want. www.123-reg, is the best place to check whether your desired name is available. Once you’ve bought your domain name a range of hosting companies offer business start up packages to ensure you receive the full range of web services you require.

Registering a Business Name

Do you need to register your business name? It’s a complex business that you need to certainly take a look at. You can only register a name that isn’t already in use if you want to become a private limited company. You can visit Companies House to see if your name is already in use.

Sole traders can choose to trade under their own name or choose a company name, to suggest a larger organisation. You need to be 100% sure your chosen name isn’t already in use before you go with it as you could be accused of ‘passing off’ and your business’ reputation seriously damaged.

There are specific words that businesses can’t use without official permission and these include:

•    British (suggests national importance)
•    Association (suggests a specialised status)
•    Trust
•    Health Centre

Your business name will stay with you throughout your entrepreneurial career so make sure you get it right!

We have a number of articles relating to start-up business support, aiding you in everything you need to know about venturing into the world of owning your own business.
You can also join our Google+ Community “Startup in Britain” which is packed with help, resources and articles to get you started. Use it to get tips, advice and start building your network! 

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