How to Pick the Right Name for Your Business

How to Pick the Right Name for Your Business
Naming your business requires inspiration and a lot of research. Here are the steps to take and actionable tips when choosing a business name.
by Square Apr 05, 2019 — 3 min read
How to Pick the Right Name for Your Business

So you’ve decided to start that business. Congrats. There are many nuances when first starting out. From understanding all the business laws associated to creating a business plan, there’s a lot of technical work to do. Before registering your business name you’ll need to work on choosing a business name, which is arguably one of the more important brand decisions you’ll make. It’s a fun task but also an overwhelming one.


Here are the steps to take when naming a business:

1. Brainstorm business name ideas

Jotting down everything that comes to mind is a good way to get those creative juices flowing. (Keep that Notes app open on your phone.) But to save yourself from going down a rabbit hole.

To generate good ideas, zero in on exactly what the name should convey. What about your business is unique? How do you want to stand out from your competitors? What do you want your customers’ main takeaway about your brand to be? It may be helpful to do a more formal, structured brainstorming exercise. We like this one from Fuze Branding.

2. Make sure the name isn’t taken

Once you’ve come up with a few good business name possibilities, it’s time to add in research. Check databases to make sure you aren’t getting attached to something that’s already been trademarked. Nolo, a site for legal tips and advice, has a list of places to check. If you’re planning to have a website, you’ll also need to make sure the domain name is available. Sites like can tell you whether the name you’ve chosen is free terrain.

3. Use tools to verify the business name

Coming up dry? There are a bunch of online tools that can help. Wordoid is a fun site that helps you come up with an entirely new (but phonetically pleasing) word to fit the ethos of your business. On the domain name side of things, Bust a Name, Lean Domain Search, Dot-o-mator, Name Station,  NXdom, and Domainr can all help you find something that fits your business and isn’t already in use. And if you want something ready and packaged, you can flip through hundreds of premade names and logos and purchase one you like on

4. Consult the experts

If you’re still struggling — and have the budget — think about hiring a naming professional. Some of the bigger firms can charge tens of thousands of dollars, but they also include logo design and other branding in their services. Smaller consultants may charge less, but be sure to ask what other businesses they’ve worked with to make sure they’re the right fit. Either way you’ll be getting expert help from someone who has gone through the process hundreds or thousands of times and knows what can make or break your appeal.

5. Trademark your business name

Once you’ve found the perfect fit, pat yourself on the back — and then quickly go trademark it so no one else can snatch it up.

Tips for naming your business


Running a business is no easy feat, but Square is here to help. We have all the tools you need to start, run, and grow your business, whether you’re selling in person, online, or both. And we’ve made all our tools to work together as one system, saving you time and money — and making decisions easier. So you can get back to doing the work you love and focusing on whatever’s next. See how Square works.

The Bottom Line is brought to you by a global team of collaborators who believe that anyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy.


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