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How to name your business

“Why is this so hard? It’s just a name…”

Naming things is very hard. If you have children or pets you’ll know this already. Naming a business is harder as it’s something you want others to love as much as you do and many find it one of the hardest parts of starting up.

However, if you’re kicking yourself for not being able to crack it, annoying friends and family with endless desperate ideas and muttering something like the quote above, you’re probably over doing it.


If you can’t find a name fairly quickly, it means something’s not right. Either your business doesn’t need something so clever, or you don’t have enough business focus to find name that suits your aspirations.

Try asking yourself some of these questions:

Are you the ‘product’ yourself?

If you’re aiming to position yourself as an expert (such as a consultant, author etc) then you’re the product, so use your own name. If you’re building a business that you may one day want to sell, then that may not be appropriate.

Are you making a product, or a business?

If you’re starting up a business, but it’s a single product business (such as a web app) then obviously a good, catchy name is important. You’ll need to think about your keywords to steer your ideas.

Does a perfect domain name matter?

Not as much as you think. Buying the exact same domain as your business name is overrated, and people tend to get hung up on this. It’s almost impossible to secure a .com or .co.uk for a simple combination of words these days. Instead, get as close as you can, but keep it short. After all, Facebook started with thefacebook.com and Twitter with twttr.com. You can easily add a word or (carefully) shorten your business name when choosing your domain.

Have you researched how common your ideas are?

Don’t make it hard for you to stand out in the industry or on Google. A variation on a name or term that’s already common isn’t going to help you. Do some research, using handy tools like namechk.com (for social media availability) and Companies House to check existing business names (in the UK).

If you’re really stuck after all that, try using a naming tool such as bustaname.com. At some point though you just need to make a decision and go with it.

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