Brand Strategy

Naming Your Company: Essential Tips To Name Your Business For Success

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“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” William Shakespeare penned these words, describing Juliet’s struggle with the family names that destined Romeo and Juliet to undergo such woes.

It’s true, names can hold weight; however, could the name you choose for your company determine its future?

According to research, you only have 27 seconds to make a good first impression. This amount of time is barely enough to greet someone, let alone leave a lasting impression. Yet still, the human brain works in mysterious ways.

As part of human evolution, these snap decisions make sense. However, they could be disastrous for individuals and businesses with the wrong names. Does the name of your business matter that much? Let’s examine some of the hard evidence.

The Psychology Of A Business Name

If it’s easy to pronounce, it’s easy to do business with. From the products you stock to the funding options for your new company—every decision you make is an important one. 

So why would you rush through an important decision like naming your company? Your company name speaks for you when you aren’t in the room. Your customers’ or investors’ fluency with your business name can, in fact, set the direction your company takes. It will also help you build customer loyalty down the road.

Another study discovered that stocks with easily pronounceable names outperformed those with names that don’t roll off the tongue. Looking at around 700 stocks, researchers unveiled a riveting finding: businesses with simple names earned 11% more. The difference grew to 33 percent when taken over a whole year.

The matter was so entertaining to the curious minds of this world, they continued researching it. Additional findings uncovered that low processing fluency leaves the impression that a stimulus is unfamiliar and therefore threatening. In simple terms, humans fear the unknown and are uneasy about things we don’t understand.

When starting a business, tear down the walls between your product vision and your customers and investors. If your company name is tough to pronounce, tricky to spell, or makes little sense in connection with your product, you’ve unknowingly blocked the success of your business.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the associations and emotions that can be evoked when your customers think about your brand. Aside from several other critical elements, evoking the right emotions with your name is a big part of marketplace branding. 

Guidelines for Naming a Business

Before we get into the creative side of picking a moniker for your company, let’s discuss some of the formal aspects of that process. These aspects relate to your business plan and the type of business you’re launching.

Formal business structures 

Depending on your company’s structure, you’ll have to follow specific naming rules. These two formal structures have the most strict requirements:

  • Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
  • C-Corporations

Limited Liability Corporations

Starting an LLC is a popular choice among small business owners. In this case, your freedom in naming your business is limited by rules that vary from state to state. But some rules bleed across state borders.

Firstly, business names must include limited liability company or “LLC.” It’s also prohibited to name your business if it may get confused with a government agency. Finally, you may require special approval to use words such as University, Bank, and Attorney.


With rules galore, C-corporation is a more intricate entity than an LLC; similarly, some naming regulations only apply across certain states, and some are widespread. An LLC business name must include either one of the following words: corporation, company, incorporated, or limited. Using abbreviations of the terms is permitted; however, your company name can’t be confused with that of a government body and should be distinct.

Informal business structures 

Startups with much smaller teams typically set up their shops as a sole proprietorship or a partnership. However, even though there are fewer rules and regulations to follow, you need to be aware of those that do exist.

Sole proprietorship

Starting a business as a sole proprietorship means it must operate under the last name of its owner. However, you have an option to trade under a separate brand name if you file for a DBA or “doing business as.” It means your business can operate under an official brand name that has nothing to do with your last name. 


As the name implies, partnerships require two or more owners. And just like with the category above, registered partnership names must include the last names of their owners. To trade under a different name, you can file for a DBA.

3 Critical Steps in Naming Your Business

So, you’ve had a successful brainstorming session. You’ve got a list of sound business names that carry meaning to you. You’ve made changes to ensure they adhere to the rules for your business structure. Now it’s time to check if you were the first one to take that name online. 

Check Domain Availability

Once you land on a name you like, it’s time to lock it in online. Whether you are running an eCommerce brand or not, it’s true for all businesses alike. Your task is to make sure the chosen name matches the available domain name.

That’s why tools like a business name generator can help you get on the right track. This tool will also assist you in checking domain availability, which is an essential part of your quest for the best business name. 

When it comes to finding an ideal length of your domain, eight characters seem to be the sweet spot. This number results from vetting the top 250 websites, with over 70% of them using exactly eight characters. Online users don’t want to remember an infinite string of characters to find your business. The reason for that is rooted in psychology; our short-term memory is very limited. That’s another reason why phone numbers only contain seven digits.

Some tools are already hooked up to the GoDaddy domain hosting firm to make it easy to buy a domain name as soon as you find one. 

Once you’ve confirmed that your dot com domain is up for grabs, you can move to the next step. 

Search Federal Trademark Records 

Do not assume that your creative genius could never let you down. Another important check to complete is with the Federal Trademark Records. Verify that your business name idea hasn’t been trademarked yet, which is a very straightforward process.

Go to the US Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) and type in your business name idea. The results of the trademark search will inform you if the name you picked is available. 

Register Your Business Name

Once you settle on a name that reflects your brand identity, you should take action to protect it. There are several ways to register your business name. Each method has a different purpose, and some may be legally required depending on your business structure and location.

  • Entity name protects you at a state level
  • A trademark protects you at a federal level
  • Doing business as (DBA) doesn’t provide legal protection, but it might be legally required
  • Domain name secures your company website address

These four ways to register a business name are legally independent. Most small businesses try to use the same name for each kind of registration, but it’s not mandatory to do so.

Tools and Tech for New Businesses

Technology can lend you some creative thought in your brainstorming process. So when starting a new business, make sure you gear up with all the right tools and software equipment. 

No team can effectively run without a project management tool. Whether that’s keeping track of accounting tasks or your overall editorial calendar, such a platform is vital. You can also use a tool to self-assess you and your business to discover your true values, personality, and targets to test the match of your brand name with your business values.

Data protection platforms help you secure your data from a potential insider risk deciding to take your innovative idea to a competitor. 

In the initial stages of growing your business, that’s the last thing you want to happen. So invest in that type of software and be aware of how your workforce handles your data. 

Another essential tool to have is customer relationship management (CRM) software. Even in the early stages, every business must organize its client information. 

Keeping track of email communication and client engagement, identifying cross-sell or up-sell opportunities, or analyzing which piece of content converted a prospect to a paying client can all be accomplished using a CRM platform. 

And lastly, with your client list growing, it’s critical to offer your customers a personalized shopping experience. 

Having an online audience is great. But if you aren’t tracking their interests and behavior, it’s likely you’ll see your sales go down. The advantages of user segmentation for a personalized shopping experience are numerous. And tools that make it possible to dive into such an intricate process are genuinely invaluable. 

Some companies also use customer feedback services to get the actionable data they need on their brand, its name and personality, and other elements that will affect the future of the company in a competitive industry. 

With great feedback, many brands really nail down their user segmentation strategies for their eCommerce marketing and sales efforts. Get on the bandwagon and keep your customers happy. It’s worth it.

Interesting Examples Of eCommerce Business Names 

Let’s take a break from theory and look at some of the existing eCommerce businesses and how they’ve leveraged creativity.

Bliss: Making a Positive Connection

Bliss is a bath, body, and skincare product brand. The word ‘Bliss’ conveys that their products are made for pampering. Even though your initial association may be pure hedonism, the simple moniker also marries well with the company’s goal to remain cruelty-free. Besides, hearing and pronouncing the word bliss makes positive connections. Such as the one with the word kiss. Perhaps, blissed skin gets kissed?

Pottery Barn: Evoking Emotions

Pottery Barn’s name effortlessly conveys a curation of rustic furniture. These two words evoke a feeling through the use of imaginative and highly visual words.

BitBucket: Spear Your Audience’s Language

A company with a strong name that resonates with its audience is destined for success. Using the most foundational term in your business name—the bit is the basic unit of information in computing—is a simple yet brilliant idea. If you own a tech company and you’re working on SaaS customer onboarding and building loyal brand advocates through your core product, you might want to revisit its key elements and play off of industry words. BitBucket is an excellent example of this.

Your Name Can Define Your Success

Your company name is the first thing your prospects see when they discover you and what they remember about your business long after they leave your website. Fail to make a good first impression, and you might never win them over again. 

A great name speaks for itself. And to find the right one for your company, you need to invest time and effort. Brainstorm words and phrases that are related to your brand, and your personal values. Run your name ideas by your friends, use a thesaurus, and take advantage of a business name generator to devise a shortlist of ideas. 

Keeping things short and sweet holds just as true in the online marketplace as it does with a stock portfolio. Consumers don’t want to remember an endless string of characters to find your business on the web.

Consider the more formal steps such as business structure rules, existing trademarks, and domain availability. This process will provide you with options to choose from. Make your decision and register the name and its related domains.

From there, you are ready for prime time.

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