26 May 5 Golden Rules for choosing a Company Name
Entrepreneurs often angst over the perfect name for their business spending significant time and money as finding the appropriate Business name can be a long-winded and stressful process. It ideally needs to be a name that is not only long-lasting in your audiences’ memory but also representative of your skills, expertise and competitive advantage. When researching business name ideas, start-ups need to be meticulous and careful for both marketing and legal reasons.
Let’s have a look at some interesting points, I would strongly advise you take a look at prior to choosing a name for your Brand or Company. Rather than listing a number of different factors that could influence your decision, I have chosen to list 5 Golden rules when choosing a company name.
- S.U.C.U. Rule
First and foremost, I would follow the S.U.C.U. rule. This is a rule I came up with and created myself whilst still a student at university (surprised I still remember it) and helped me as well as a couple of friends who were then looking to start our own businesses. It was our first step into the “professional” world as such on our own and we had already spent many hours on the company name, always ending up with too many or not to good ones.
The S.U.C.U. rule was consequently then created to assist us in covering the main aspects that seemed to be prolonging the process. Simple, Unique, Creative and Unforgettable are the 4 pillars of this rule based on which you can resume your search for a name. Whether you use a brainstorming session, write notes every time a name comes to mind and or simply spend most of your time searching what competitors use, its important to follow the simple S.U.C.U. rule to “speed” the process.
- Do Not Box yourself in
Avoid picking names that don’t allow your business to move around or add to its product line. This means avoiding geographic locations or product categories or geographic locations to your business name as such limitations could harm future goals, company expansion and diversification.
Keep yourself open to new opportunities and do not use an 100% descriptive name of your services.
- The Companies House check
The next stage in the naming process should be the Companies House web service. There you can check whether your shortlisted names are actually available or have been taken by other companies.
At this stage, a number of the names on your list will not be available and hence removed as the Companies House website contains detailed information on naming rules and regulations. It is also worth checking out the Intellectual Property Office’s Trademark database to ensure you won’t fall foul of any infringement there as well.
- Check your Domain Availability
You have now reached a stage where you have a few names on your list but need to make sure they are available in terms of a domain. Remember your company name does not have to be identical to your domain and a number of variations and symbols can be used if your exact name is not available.
However, finding a domain which is as similar as possible to your domain is probably ideal. Also, remember where your customer base and audience is as for example, if you are a UK company, it is crucial that you also secure a domain ending in “.co.uk”. I would also strongly advise to defensively register variants of your company name for future use.
- Review your decision with others
Come up with a few different name choices and try them out on potential investors, friends, customers and co-workers. Try and get a feel of what they perceive the company to offer when they see the name. Furthermore, keep an eye out to notice if any are struggling to type or pronounce it and how easily memorable it will be an hour after you start your conversation.
Conclusively, if you are still struggling to find an appropriate name for your company, there are always many Branding companies out there that can assist you towards that goal. However, be very cautious and careful prior to your choice as some firms (such as Igor and A Hundred Monkeys) could actually charge you up $1 million of your hard-earned funds to simply…come up with a name that matches your business.
Ideally, if you follow the S.U.C.U. rule, things should be come a tad easier for you and place you on the correct pathway to choosing a name that will not only represent you appropriately but also be attainable in terms of domain and companies house availability.
If you need some help with setting up your business, do not hesitate to contact me. Alternatively, Subscribe to our Blog for regular updates or Follow our company Social Media Pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram .