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How do I come up with a name for my company?

The name that you choose is of the utmost importance, it is is the first thing people see and ideally sums up your brand succinctly. It provides information about you, your products, and your company. More than that, it can help convince your audience that you’re the company for them.  It should work seamlessly with your visual branding and brand voice to communicate the essence of your business.

Your name is your statement of intent and the first step to establishing your unique position in your field. The best business names help brands stand out from the crowd. They denote trust, authority, and expertise within any industry.


Write down three objectives that you have for your name, for example:
1.) to explain what you do
2.) to build on current name recognition
3.) to communicate expertise and experience in your industry
4.) to sell a specific product or lines of products, etc.

Example: The name Fleet Financial was a response to the following three naming objectives:  convey the multiplicity of services, speed of transactions, and the nautical heritage of the bank’s original headquarters. A one-syllable word accomplished all three of these objectives while being available for financial services used worldwide.


The next step is to generate as many names as possible. Do not edit yourself in this stage, we will do that later.

Word dump: Jot down all of the words you can think of that are relevant to your brand and industry. Get into the flow and write down everything you think of. Give yourself 30 minutes to an hour, and keep the ideas flowing. You’ll end up with a lot of words that can be categorized and edited down later.

If you are stumped during the brainstorm try:

  • A Thesaurus: To generate even more ideas you can take your long list of words and add more to it by looking up synonyms to all of your words.
  • An online name generator: if you have a fragment of a word you would like to use, automatic name generators such as Wordoid can produce words that use that fragment.
  • Get inspiration from mythology and literature
  • Use foreign words
  • Take a look at a map


Check brainstormed names with your objectives from step one and see which align the best. Take your time during this stage. Talk to your friends, colleagues, and potential customers


Before adopting a name, make sure to check patent and trademark offices, common law usages, Google, to ensure that the name is not already in use by a competitor or locally. Search the name as a domain name, social media handles, etc. Do a quick trademark search. You want a name that can be trademarked without any problems.


  • The name should evoke questions. It shouldn’t completely explain what you do. It should encourage people to come forward to ask you so you can start a dialogue
  • It should be easy to spell. (remember to add “www” and “com” and see how they work together. 
  • It should be memorable.
  • Avoid using initials, unless they are memorable.
  • In addition to easy to spell, make it easy to type on a phone (not too long).
  • Make sure that the name is acceptable in other languages that are commonly used in your area. 
  • Don’t use anything that will limit the future use of the name or what your business does. 
  • Don’t use a name that’s common in your field.
  • Make sure it works with the look and feel of your brand, moody/edgy, vs whimsical/cute, etc. 
  • Hopefully this outline helps you generate the perfect name for your business! Feel free to reach out to me for one on one consulting on naming.
  • Make sure it is easily searchable for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes. For more info on SEO, check out this starter guide.

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