Choose The Right Company Name

The name of your company will give potential customers a strong first impression, so it is important to get it right. Although there are no hard and fast rules for choosing a company name, and no right answer, but it is an area you should spend time on to avoid costly changes in the future.

Here are a few guidelines to help you choose

Using personal names

An easy option but it is not always immediately apparent what product or services your company offers. It may be better to combine it with a descriptive term, eg: Dell Computers (Michael Dell)

Reflect your target market

Your business name should clearly reach your target audience. Think about who is buying your product or service and what they would be looking for.

Describe what your business does

Descriptive names make it easy for potential customers to work out what product or service you provide. ABC Services may be listed first in your section of the Yellow Pages but it doesn’t tell the prospective customer what you do. Fast Cabs for example sums up what the company does.

Use Geographical names with caution

Be careful of using a specific location in your business name. It may limit you to just trading in that area and if you move across town or country your name may become a problem. Although specifying your desired geographical service area can help people understand your business. South Wales Flooring tells me that they offer flooring services in South Wales.

Also some names need approval from the Secretary of State before they can be registered, e.g. if you would like to include words like Wales and Welsh in the name.

Brandable business names

Any company can become a brand, very simple unusual words are easiest to brand, eg: google. They have popular appeal but the biggest problem with these type of names is educating your customer what it is that you do. A brand usually takes a lot of time and money to build up.

Keep the name flexible

Don’t let your name restrict you to an industry that you may grow out of. Make the name flexible. For example, If you have a mobile phone business it would possibly be better to use the word ‘telecoms’ instead of ‘mobiles’ in the name which would give you scope to develop into other areas of the same industry in the future.

Keep the name simple

Keep your name short, easy to say and remember. Avoid tongue twisters. Avoid acronyms or names using initials unless they will mean something to your typical customer. Letters generally mean nothing to your customer and can be easily forgotten. Large companies like KFC started life as Kentucky Fried Chicken and then evolved into the shortened version.

Avoid Trendy Names

Naming trends often make the rounds. After the fads run their course, you will be left with a stale and outdated name.

Avoid amateurish or silly names

You want to generate confidence in your potential customers and amature names may seem fun but they are unlikely to say ‘professional service’. For the same reasons, avoid silly names. They will wear thin very quickly.

Make it unique

You want your name to stand out in front of your prospective customers, so avoid names that are similar or close to your competitors.

Test your name

Get feedback from friends and family and prospective customers. Don’t assume that because you like the name everyone else will

Check the name isn’t taken

Use our Company name check service to see if your chosen name is available. Registering your name with us will prevent another limited company having the same name as you.

Don’t break the rules

There are rules to follow with company names the name must end with ‘Limited’, ‘Unlimited’, ‘Public Limited Company’ or their abbreviations. Your company name could also be rejected if it’s the same as another company’s name or if it’s offensive

Secure a matching domain name

Before you decide n the company name it is worth checking to see that the matching domain web address is available. Prospective customers may find it hard to find you on the internet if these differ and it may cause confusion in the long run.