When it comes to naming your business, is your first thought to use your name, child’s name, initials, or joining your nieces’ names? I ask this because 70% of young people I mentor want to use one of the previous ideas to name their business

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, but does it convey the correct message to your potential customers and talk to what your business does?


Naming your business and coming up with your “pay off line” are one of the most important decisions you will make while managing your new business. It’s important to ensure that you can register the domain, apply for a trademark (if you plan to grow a big business) and that no competing businesses are using the same name as you. A strong, memorable name can be quite beneficial to your marketing and branding initiatives, especially if it resonates with your customers.


Avoid using names that are difficult to spell. The last thing you want is for potential clients to have trouble finding your company online. (I never understood why the photo-sharing website was dubbed "Flickr".)


You don't want to have to keep correcting the spelling of your name. Keep it simple!


Choose a name that won't limit your company as it expands. Selecting a name that is too specific could lead to future issues. Imagine if Jeff Bezos had chosen "OnlineBooksales'' as his company's name rather than "Amazon." As a rule of thumb, it’s best to stay away from companies with names like "Photo Frames Unlimited" or "Wedding Dresses of Sandton."


You shouldn't restrict your business to a certain product or location.


Search the internet thoroughly. Do a web search for the name you've chosen. You'll likely discover that someone else is already utilising that company name, or has the same pay off line as you.


The ideal business name should suggest something significant and uplifting about your enterprise. Can consumers quickly understand what your company does? While meaningless names like "Google," "Yahoo," or "Zappos" have some appeal because they are memorable, you will spend a lot more money on branding if you use names that don’t portray the problem you solve for your potential customers.


Assess if the name is catchy. Obviously, you don’t want a boring name for your business, but you also don’t want to choose something that’s too convoluted or “out there.” Your name needs to resonate with your target audience.


The name will be something you as the company owner will have to live with for a very long time, so make sure that it is something that you like, and think your consumers will like too. Spend the time necessary to do it right from the start.


Download our name your business template below.