How to Choose the Right Name for Your Business

What’s in a name? Well, a lot, when it comes to your business. It’s probably one of the most important branding decisions you’ll make. So before you settle on one and snatch up the domain, consider how you want to come across to your customers. Stuck? Some tips to get you started:

Seek inspiration.

Inspiration can strike anywhere but if your eureka moments are drying up, channel them with structured brainstorming. We like Fuze Branding’s worksheet for finding keywords and weeding out a winner. If your money bank is bigger than your idea bank, you can call in a pro for individualized help with the name game. Otherwise, websites such as Wordoid and Brandroot can help you generate names and logos.

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Consider the consequences.

Your name needs to make a memorable first impression, but you want it to be eye-catching for the right reasons. Quirky spellings of well-known words are clever but can be a hindrance when customers are searching online or telling their friends about you. Fortune’s rules for picking a business name highlight ‘stickiness’ — finding a name that sticks with people — but they also warn about getting into a sticky situation if your business name gets lost in translation.

Protect your name.

Congratulations, you’ve got a name in mind. Now what? Check if it’s available with a quick Internet search and look on the Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s trademark database. See if you can snap up all the social media accounts and .com and .ca domains for your business name. GoDaddy is a good bet for searching multiple domains, and NameChk lists the social media channels available with your chosen username. Claim your name for every channel, even if you haven’t heard of that app yet.

Now that you’ve got your name, get it trademarked and start to build your online presence — check out our guide to using social media to promote your business.