First Things First

Don · April 11, 2022

So the first thing on the worksheet is a business name. Business names matter but not always in the ways people think.  To get started you want to get it right and you don’t want to get stuck with a name that isn’t going to work for you. I suggest that you do a little bit of research.

You should probably do a Google search.  It often helps to get some feedback from any focus group you can assemble. There are a lot of different things you can do, but you need to think this through. It’s not as simple as you might think.


Drill Down Content

Deciding on your business name is important but not worth agonizing over.  You want to get it right but you need to get started too.

There are a number of important considerations.

Make sure your name is unique. You do not want to create confusion.  In my town there was a family of roofers.  After the father got out of the business a number of sons went their own way.  But none of them wanted to give up the family name.  So one was added ‘roofing’ to the family name, one added ‘company’ and one went with his first name and last name.   Be unique and don’t be confusing.

Avoid a name that is limiting and will not scale.  Where you start may not be where you end up.  If you are very specific about a product or service or customer segment you might be limiting yourself.  

Don’t make it something that is hard to spell.  You want to make life easy for your customers.  Something that is too clever or just plain odd is likely to hurt you in the long run.

Make sure your name sounds good when you say it out loud.  

You also need to take domain names into account.  You want to be certain that you can get an appropriate domain name to represent your business.

Make sure you have the legal right to use the name.   Now, I am not a lawyer so I cannot give you legal advice.  Whatever name you pick though, you need to be sure you can use it without any legal challenges.

Here are some ideas to keep the process moving.  

  • Get input from friends, family, mentors
  • Start with a brainstorming list.  
  • Do a google search for any naming ideas
  • Create a focus group or two to get feedback from.  Your goal is feedback, don’t give them veto power.  This is still your business.

References and Resources

Article about business formation:
https://www.legalzoom.com/business/business-formation/llc-overview.html

U.S. Government – Trademark search:
https://www.uspto.gov/

http://www.trademarkia.com/

https://www.shopify.com/tools/business-name-generator

http://www.namemesh.com/

http://www.naminum.com/ – generate names around a theme

http://namechk.com/

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Don

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