Finding a name for a new business.


1st March, 2018

Naming your new business

Figure out what you should name your business in less time than it takes to fill up the car.

While you’re waiting for your partner to fill up the car and pay for the petrol – so, about five minutes all up – you can learn all about naming your business.

This article will teach you about the importance of choosing the right name for your business, as well as teaching you what to include and what to avoid – all from the comfort of the front seat.

‘What should I name my business?’ is one of the first things excited entrepreneurs start asking their friends over Friday night drinks.

Before you start generating random words after a pint or two, take a moment to carefully consider the impact a name can have on your business.

So, what’s in a name? Quite a few factors, actually. What you name your business can affect the following things:


You want potential customers to remember who you are so when they need you, they can easily find you.

Ideally, you want to create a name that is easy to remember and hard to forget – think Google and Apple.

Your branding

Your name is the first encounter potential customers are going to have with your business – and first impressions count.

Your name should capture your business’ purpose and your brand’s personality, so consumers understand not only what you do, but who you are.

As your name is going to be all over any advertising that you produce, it will also affect your marketing.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Whenever people need solutions to problems, the first thing they do is ask the internet.

SEO is what makes a business’ website or social media pages come up in search engine results. It works by using keywords to describe what’s on your website, so if users are looking for what you offer, the search engine can recommend your website to them.

Naturally, you’ll want your business to be one of the first results, and your business name will be one of the factors that affects how SEO and search algorithms work.

Social media

From domain names to Instagram handles, you’ll want to own your name across the different platforms you’re using to promote your business. Make sure your business name is available as a domain name and social media handles before you decide to register it.

Trade marks

Trade marks provide exclusive ownership of a brand and likeness, so if someone’s already taken your business name as a trade mark, you can’t use it without potentially running into legal trouble.

If your business name isn’t already trade marked, you may want to consider trademarking it to protect it from others. You can run an initial, ‘do-it-yourself’ check for whether trade marks exist for your business name or similar names with IP Australia’s free trade mark checker.

How do I choose a business name?

There are several factors that can go into a business name, but there are some that we recommend:

  • Choose a name that aligns with your business’ purpose and identity.
  • Choose a name that appeals not only to you, but also to your potential customers.
  • Choose a comforting or familiar name that conjures up pleasant memories so customers respond to your business on an emotional level.

If you’re really thinking hard about this, we’ve got more inspiration for naming your business here.

Things to avoid when naming your business

As a rule of thumb, there are a few things you should avoid if you want your name to help your business cut through the competition:

  • Don’t pick a name that is long, confusing or obscure: it won’t mean anything to your consumers and they won’t remember you.
  • Don’t pick a name that is too generic: likewise, potential customers won’t remember you.
  • Try not to include a city or region in your name: while it may initially help with your SEO, including a city in your business name could limit your potential if you want to be bigger than the area that you work in.

Testing your business name

Trying to figure out if you’ve cracked a stellar name? Here are three ways to validate if it could work for you:

1. Check trademarking and social media handles

As mentioned, you can’t register your business name for trademarking if it’s the same as another one that’s already registered. But before that, you’ll want to check your business name hasn’t been registered by someone else via the website.

Next, use IP Australia’s trade mark checker to see if you’re able to trade mark the name, or if there are existing trade marks you need to be aware of.

For social media handles, a quick search on the relevant platform will let you know if your name is free for the taking.

2. Check other names in market

During your initial market research, you’ll be trying to understand who your main competitors are. Take note of their business names so that you can figure out how your name might make you stand out.

3. Test on potential customers

Again, during your market research, you’ll want to ask potential consumers what they think and feel about your business name.

Ask about their first impressions, what it makes them feel, and if possible, test if they can remember the name over time. This will let you know if the name sticks or not.

RESOURCE: How to register your business name

Top 3 takeaways

  1. Make your business name should be memorable and reflect your brand identity.
  2. Avoid names that are too confusing or obscure.
  3. Test the viability of your name on potential consumers, as well as through a trademark and social media search.

READ NEXT: A guide to market research for new businesses