Four Rules To Follow When Selecting A Business Name

Coming up with a memorable, eloquent business name truly is a work of art. In this article Dave Clark from gives us some bad examples: Wok n’ Roll, Kids Exchange and Pu Pu Hot Pot are all truly unfortunate. Sometimes the owners select these names on purpose, as a way of gaining notoriety. Other times, it is a mistake, and owners realize what they have done only after it is too late. A company name is important, and it often takes the combined effort of many professionals working together to come up with something appropriate.

While the name is essential, it is crucial not to let it overshadow other elements of your business. Do not become so caught up with the name that you forget about providing good customer service or a solid product. Still, to make sure your name accurately reflects what you are trying to do, these four rules are a great guideline for business owners.

Think About the Future

Where do you expect your business to be in ten or twenty years? It is important to consider the future when selecting a name. For example, you do not want to tie yourself to a certain region of the United States if your ultimate goal is to expand globally. By the time your business finds success, you may not have the resources to change your name. Follow Jeff Bezos’ example instead; he picked the name Amazon for his company, rather than something with local ties.

Keep the Naming Process Simple

While it is good to get a few different opinions during the naming process, having too many people involved just makes things confusing. Everyone has different opinions; one member of your panel may love a name while the other thinks it is terrible. It may be impossible to settle on one name that everyone agrees on. Certainly get opinions on your choice, but remember that there will always be dissenters. Go with your gut.

Make Sure You Can Legally Use the Name

A lot of business names are registered; in fact, hundreds of thousands of new names come in every year. Make sure that the name you choose does not overlap with another company. Because there are so many registered names already, this can be difficult to do. Remember, you don’t want to establish your company, only to find that you have to change the name because someone else thinks you infringed on their rights.

In addition, make sure you get a copy of the sensitive words list. This list has words on it that can’t be used unless you have permission. For example, your business cannot have the word “Olympic” in it unless you have approval. One little company in Stratford, originally called Café Olympic, found this out the hard way when the Olympic Committee targeted them. They eventually had to change their name.

Avoid Offensive Monikers

This “rule” may seem obvious, but do you have aspirations to expand globally? If so, it is important to keep in mind that words that seem innocuous in your country may be offensive to those in other areas. For example, the word “frog” refers to a little green, jumping amphibian in the United States. However, that same word is a negative way to refer to people from France. Therefore, any businesses with the word “frog” in their name may not be welcomed with open arms in that region of the world.

Ultimately, a good product can overcome an unusual business name. After all, Google originally seemed like a strange name for a search engine, but now it has become part of our culture. Still, do not leave anything to chance. Do everything you can to come up with the best name possible for your business and put yourself on the road to success.

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Amy Rice enjoys writing about business startup, when not writing she enjoys visiting the cinema and playing adventure golf.

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