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

“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?

Research shows you only have 27 seconds to make an excellent first impression. This 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 essential 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 set your company's direction. 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. Researchers unveiled a riveting finding at around 700 stores: businesses with simple words 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 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, producing 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 a 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, a 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 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 sole proprietorships or partnerships. 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 can 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 have a list of sound business names that carry meaning to you. You've made changes to ensure they adhere to the rules of your business structure. Now it's time to check if you were the first to take that name online, where a business registration comes into play.

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 ensuring 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 for your domain, eight characters seem to be the sweet spot. This number results from vetting the top 250 websites, with over 70% 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 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 essential 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 your business name idea. The trademark search results 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; 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.

Tools and Tech for New Businesses

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

No team can effectively run without a project management tool. Such a platform is vital whether that's keeping track of accounting tasks or your overall editorial calendar. You can also use a tool to self-assess yourself and your business to discover your actual 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 by 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 content converted a prospect to a paying client can all be accomplished using a CRM platform. 

And lastly, with your client list growing, offering your customers a personalized shopping experience is critical. 

Having an online audience is excellent. But if you aren't tracking their interests and behavior, you'll likely 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 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 company's future in a competitive industry. 

With great feedback, many brands 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.

Exciting Examples Of eCommerce Business Names 

Let's take a break from theory and look at some 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 imaginative and highly visual words.

BitBucket: Spear Your Audience's Language

A company with a firm 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 essential 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 an excellent 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 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 is as accurate 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 online.

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. Please make your decision and register the name and its related domains.

From there, you are ready for prime time.

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