Choosing a name for your business is one of the earliest tasks you carry out starting a business. While there are many examples of companies that have changed their name after being in business for a few years, it does tend to set your brand tone and the way people perceive your business. In addition, it’s hard to create a business card or design a marketing pitch without a name!
Having said that, it does not have to be the very first thing you do when starting a business, you can first focus on the product and the potential customers if that is more important. ASIC is happy for you to set up the company just using a generic name, or your own name or even use just the number of the company as the name and then later change the name using a form. You can even register business names later and attach them to the company without the underlying company name changing, so if you are stuck and need to get on with setting up your business structure.
Still, you will sleep much better and have a great elevator pitch when you have a catchy name for your business, so how do you work that out?
Firstly, some methods to create a name yourself:
- generate randomly by opening up a dictionary at random pages look at the competitor names – are there any patterns in the way they sound, do you want to sound like them or very different?
- any special characteristics in your offer/product – colours, appearance, features, benefits that could be the hook for a name
- any special niches or themes to what you offer
- look at the magazines and historical journals for your industry – is there a ’name from the past’ that resonates?
- Look at the names of businesses like yours in other countries (quick google search) as there may be a relevant idea.
- dropping out sets of scrabble tiles to see what comes up
- run a competition on a website or with prospective customers to name the business
- go to the library in the section for your industry and see what titles there are *get a group together, explain the idea and main themes or industries – try and get each person to come up with 5-10 names *grab the thesaurus http://thesaurus.com/ and either use the names above, or words relating to your industry and
- just follow the trail of words too find any that stick *use any and all of the ideas from the earlier items here and try adding or subtracting letters, changing parts of the word, reversing, dividing, repeating … you will get there!
Secondly, there are a number of great business name generators on the web that can use various methods to create a list of names, you may stumble on one you like or use one as the start of a new name
- Naming net http://www.naming.net/ takes the words you offer and throws random words around it – gives a list of 50 possible names
- BizNameWiz http://www.businessnamegenerator.com/# provide the Business name generator where you put in one or two words and it gives a good array of choices
- NameThingy – http://namethingy.com/ This site delivers one set of words
- WordLab – http://www.wordlab.com/gen/business-name-generator.php Another single word set generator
- Panabee http://www.panabee.com/name-generator generates a number of names off a seed word or words
- namium http://www.naminum.com/ generates a series of names and allows various adjustments
Hope this helps and good luck!
Remember that the name also needs to be not already taken in your state or country, and its also worth checking that it doesn’t clash with Trademarks in your country – in Australia you can use the businessnamechooser.com.au to ensure it clears all these checks.