Sometimes it's easy to choose a business name - it just comes to you, and is a good fit for your business from the start. At other times, business owners face a long hard slog of trying on many different names until they find one that fits, and is flexible enough to grow as their business expands.
A great resource when thinking about different names is the website http://www.business.govt.nz/onecheck. You can type in any name and find out instantly if it is available as a company name, domain name (for your email and website address) and as a trademark.
There are some useful tips on picking a business name at the back of Inbound Marketing, by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah (published by Wiley, 2014). These are suggestions rather than absolute rules, but they do provide a useful checklist when weighing up a range of options. Ideally a business name should:
- hint at what you do
- be easy to remember
- be easy to say
- be easy to spell
- start with a letter early in the alphabet
- avoid hyphens and dots
- be available as a Facebook page and Twitter handle
- be short
- not include punctuation
- include your main keyword
- start with a capital letter
- not be named after you, unless you are a sole trader and intend to stay that way
- not include an acronym
- have a story behind it, of why you picked that name
- look fine when all the letters are run together in a domain name
- be timeless rather than trendy.