Choosing a Name for Your Business

by : Laura Davis

Choosing a name for your enterprise is an incremental part of setting up your business, it will represent you in the press, shape your logos and is very permanent. It can be the difference between a potential client choosing you or the next company in the listings, although we say you should never judge a book by its cover in some cases it is impossible to avoid. All this aside choosing your name can be a creative and fun process, that if done correctly can form part of your businesses success.

When choosing your business name the key is to find a balance between the businesses personality (i.e. you) and the industry; it may be tempting to go overboard and inject too much personality into the name in an attempt to stand out from the competition, but in doing so you run the risk of alienating potential clients or attracting the wrong clientele. Take an objective view and consider the market your entering; look at your competitors names, you want a fresh name that will stand out from these competitors. A handy way of getting a one up on competitors is to choose a name that will enter at the start of the alphabet, so when some is searching through the directory listings they will come to you first; however, do not let this strategy rule your creative process as there are many other ways in which you can generate custom rather than via the yellow pages.

When choosing there are several considerations to bear in mind; the name you choose must be easily communicated on the phone, on the web, in literature, advertisements, uniforms and in your logo so avoid any extravagant and complicated names. Keeping it simple will make it easier for people to remember and will make it easier for translation should you go international. The function of your company is always a good starter point when generating ideas; if you are a hairdresser’s focus on the message you want to deliver and your competitor’s names; use a thesaurus for variation and inspiration. Often many company’s use the city in which they are based in the business name; although this is not a bad idea, if you choose to expand your company from a marketing point of view you want to portray the image that you are a big national company not a small start up from Skegness. However, this is entirely dependant on the image you wish to portray and the market you are entering.

If you've decided to form a limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP), you'll need to register your name and other details with Companies House. Before registering make sure that your chosen name conforms to all the Companies House rules, and make sure that it is not already in use or does not resemble any trademarked names.

The Companies House rules dictate that you cannot use any words that suggest your business is of national importance or of special status; you are not allowed to use words that suggest you perform a specialised function or activity when you do not for example you cannot claim you are chartered if in fact you are not.

These minor rules are easy to abide by, the biggest challenge by far when choosing your business name is as aforementioned creating the right impression and standing out from the competition. This takes patience, creativity and objectivity; but get it right and it will make turning your business into a success a lot easier.

If these tips have not helped you decide on your business name then seek profesional business advice you don't want to make the wrong decision in choosing your business name and be stuck with it for the foreseeable future.