Choosing a Business Name

So, you’ve decided to start a business, congratulations!

Now What?

Once you’ve come up with an idea to start a new business you’re probably thinking “the hardest part is behind me!” But, it’s trickier than you think to come up with a solid name for your business. You want something that sounds good and rolls off the tongue. Something that’s not too commonplace but not too ‘out there’. Here are some helpful hints to get you going in the right direction.

What does your business do?

Make sure that the name properly reflects your services offered. Don’t make it difficult for people to figure out what your business does. The more your name communicates to consumers about your business, the less effort you must expend explaining it. If you use metaphors, puns, or too obscure of a name for your business, you may be overlooked as irrelevant. What does ‘ANR Enterprises’ do? While puns can make funny and memorable business names, be sure they’re easily recognizable and not an inside joke amongst friends.

What if I want my business to do more?

It’s also important not to limit yourself. Make sure your name allows your business to grow and evolve. What if ‘Denver Lawn Mowing’ wants to expand outside of Denver, or wants to offer more than just lawn mowing? There’s nothing worse than getting passed over because someone in a suburb of Denver assumed that your company doesn’t provide services outside of the Denver city limits. Or a consumer wanted their hedges trimmed but skipped over calling you because they assumed you only mowed lawns.

What is everyone else doing?

See what other companies in your field are naming their businesses, but don’t be a copycat and choose a name that’s too similar. If your competitor has a nail salon called ‘Denver Nail Salon’, it’s not good business practices to name your salon ‘Denver Nail Spa.’ Contrary to what you might be thinking initially, you don’t want to be confused with another business. It won’t bring you more consumers and worst case scenario, you could end up with a lawsuit on your hands.

So, then what can I pick?

It’s important to be creative and come up with a name that will stand out and people will remember but not so unique that consumers can’t remember how to spell or pronounce it. If they can’t spell it, they’ll have a hard time searching for you online and in social media. It can also lead to long and hard to remember or spell websites and email addresses. Make it easy for consumers to find you online!

I’ve got it!

Before you go attaching your new business name to everything, do an online search to make sure that the name you’ve chosen is available. Check Google and do a “name availability search” on the Colorado Secretary of State website. It’s important to understand what LLC, PC, Ltd, or Inc. behind a company name really means, choosing the wrong one can be detrimental. Be sure you’re using the proper identifier for your business structure. Once your business name has cleared those searches, register it with the proper regulatory bodies to protect it against trademark infringement. You can ask your legal counsel to help with that as well as maintaining an EIN and drafting up the necessary governing documents needed to open bank accounts, etc.  

Congratulations again on starting your new business and good luck!