12 Tips for Naming Your Startup Business

October 24th, 2022

Are you finding it difficult to name your startup company? Check out our guide with 12 tips to help you pick the perfect name for your business.

As you begin your journey as a startup business, there are many things you will have to consider. One of the most crucial is the name you choose to operate your business under, that is why we have come up with a list of the top 12 tips for naming your startup business!

What are the key aspects of a good business name?

There are a few definable aspects that are crucial when naming your business. It should above all be distinctive, and clearly recognizable from others whilst being completely authentic and relevant to your business. For example, our business name ‘Angels Partners’ clearly shows a relation to angel investments and the startup world. You should be able to clearly define WHY you personally like the company name, exactly why it works and why it shouldn’t be any of the other options people may suggest.

The Tips:

  1. Don’t pick a limiting name 
  2. Do a search for existing companies
  3. Check the domain name
  4. Say it out loud
  5. Get other people's opinions
  6. Keep it short and memorable
  7. Do a trademark search
  8. Convey some meaning
  9. Keep it appropriate
  10. Give it a story
  11. Check with the kids
  12. Use extra resources

1. Don’t pick a limiting name

One of the biggest tips would be not to pick a name that could be an issue for you as your company grows. Try to avoid names extremely specific to one area or item of business. Ie. Paris Books Delivery Service. Choose something more general that will be relevant to your business even as you grow and expand to more areas or product ranges.

2. Do a social media search 

Make sure to do a comprehensive search for already existing companies with the same name as you. You can do this by using a simple google search as well as using social media business pages for a more accurate idea of what is out there. This will ensure you choose a name that is unique to you and your company.

 There is a great tool called Bust A Name https://www.bustaname.com. Whilst it may not be the most visually appealing site, it is great for checking business name ideas and showing you available domain names for them. Simply enter some keywords you would like to use and it shows you name ideas with the best domain names that are available!

3. Check for a good domain name

There are of course alternatives to having a .com domain name such as .org, .net etc. It is always preferable to have the .com title. This is because customers tend to view these companies as more professional and trustworthy, plus we tend to look a company up with the .com domain already there. 

One thing you can do is buy all the most popular domain TLDs such as .com, .net, .org, etc. This means that no matter what a customer enters they will be led to your site.

4. Actually say the name out loud

It is easy to be focused on how the name looks on a piece of paper but it is extremely important to remember to actually read the name out loud. Check how you and others would choose to say it when reading it aloud. This allows you to be aware of any potential issues that strange pronunciations could cause. 

This was the case when Dawid started his coding company, the name they decided on… CodePany. Whilst they thought it was a great combination of Code + Company, the name proved difficult to pronounce, with customers pronouncing it a number of different ways from ‘Code Penny’ to Codependency. 

A useful tip is to take advantage of Text-To-Speech generators. These allow you to enter the name and see how a computer would assume it is pronounced in a variety of different accents.

5. Get peoples’ opinions

It is always a good plan to have as many name ideas as possible, instead of just one. Brainstorm and create a list of potential names and ask anyone you can what they think of each. This allows you to narrow it down faster and leaves space for people to make suggestions and changes.

6. Keep it short and simple

Coming up with a short, snappy name can be hugely beneficial to your business. If it is easier for customers to remember they are more likely to seek you out in the future for the business. If they can't even remember the name then they won't! Some great examples of this are companies such as Dunkin’ Donuts or Sizzler Steakhouse. They both use alliteration and are straight to the point which contributes to making them so memorable.

Coffee giant Starbucks was originally called Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice, Il Giornale Coffee Company. Whilst they have remained hugely successful despite their original, very long-winded name it is simply the word ‘Starbucks’ that we all remember

7. Search for registered trademarks

Even if you cannot find a company with a similar name on social media, it is always important to check any companies registered under that name by doing a trademark search. We recommend using https://trademark-search.marcaria.com/ for this purpose. It allows you to enter any term you would like to check, filter by region or country and will show you both identical and similar trademarks.

This is so you can be sure if your name idea is even an option and avoid any potential legal trouble. A recent example of this was between the supermarket chains ‘Marks and Spencer’ and ‘Aldi’. When Aldi released a copy of the famous ‘Colin The Caterpillar’ cake sold by M&S, aptly named ‘Cuthbert The Caterpillar’, a huge legal battle broke out with M&S arguing that the rival chain copied both their name and cake design.  The case was then closed in a private settlement between the two businesses, with Aldi being approved to continue with the cake sales provided they made slight changes to the design.

8. Convey some meaning

Whilst ambiguous names such as Google and Yahoo have quite a ring to them. It is important (especially as a small business) to convey at least some level of meaning with your name. Think of companies such as QuickBooks or FitBit. Whilst they don’t explicitly tell you what the product is, they do give some hints to the customers.

It is also useful to keep your logo in mind when choosing a business name, if both are cohesive with each other and it conveys a clear company mission and brand it is always a positive! Play around with some different logo ideas that incorporate the various name options you are considering and think about what combo you like the most.

9. Keep it appropriate

If you aim to expand your business globally, it is often a good idea to check how your name comes across in different languages. Making sure that it does not have a negative or inappropriate meaning can save you from some very awkward moments in the future.

One well-known company that's struggled with its translation was Coca-Cola. When it first arrived in China the brand name was sometimes translated as “Bite the wax tadpole” or “Female horse stuffed with wax” – depending on the dialect.

Similarly, When Mercedes-Benz launched in China they used the brand name “Bensi”, which just so happens to mean “rush to die.” Great. 

10. Give it a story

Once you decide on a business name, it is inevitable that you will constantly be asked the meaning and/or reasoning behind the name! Customers are more likely to be receptive to a fun, interesting background story as opposed to you simply just saying that you liked the name!

TOOTRiS is the name of a tech company that is working within Child Care ecosystem. The name derives from the French word “Tutrice”, which means tutor, guardian, protector. With many child care providers helping to educate our children, and our role in helping parents connect to them, it’s the perfect fit.

11. Check with the kids

If there is anyone who can come up with a cruel twist on a name, it's a group of teenagers. When you decide on a name, it can be a great idea to ask your kids what they think. Ask your friends’ kids. Ask your nieces and nephews. It may just be what you need to avoid any potential embarrassment in the future.

12. Use extra resources

Luckily there are a number of resources out there that can help you when it comes to naming a new business. These vary from regular name generators to visualization tools and legal naming checkers. Some of our favorites are listed below.


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The Angels Partners Team

Angels Partners helps startup founders connect with relevant investors. We host a vivid community of hundreds of investors on the platform and provide a database worth of over 100,000 early stage investors. Our mission is to help founders successfully rai

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