Startup Names

Naming a startup can be difficult and time-consuming. You already know that a solid and cool company name can be the difference between success and failure in marketing and branding. We created The Definitive Guide for Startup names to help you navigate the naming process and avoid wasting thousands of hours of valuable time trying ineffective business name generators and developing severe stress problems. Take a look at what's there.

Tips for Choosing Your Startup Name

Whether you name your startup on your own or decide to crowdsource great ideas, we offer some essential startup names tips for choosing your startup name for the company.

1. Consider the Message You Want Your Company's Name to Convey

Naming your business is crucial to its identity. On business cards, letterhead, website, promotional materials, products, and pretty much anywhere else in print, the name will be used to identify your company or its products and/or services. Service-oriented businesses should think about whether their potential customers will be able to tell what services they offer just by looking at their name (example: Friendly Dog Walkers or Bright Accounting).

Businesses in rural areas and serving rural communities may want to use startup names that evoke a smaller, more personal feel. Companies that want to target larger markets or customers, on the other hand, might want to use their name to project a larger, more corporate image.

2. Come Up with a List of Possible Startup Names

startup names

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Set aside some time to brainstorm once you've determined what you want your company name to communicate. Consider the words that best describe your industry or the goods or services you provide. Consider words that describe competitors' products and services and phrases that describe the differences between yours and theirs. Think about words that describe the advantages of using your products or services. Finally, consider words (and phrases) that elicit the emotions you want your customers to experience when they see your startup names. Look up Greek and Latin translations of your words while brainstorming; you might come up with new ideas due to this exercise. Take a look at some foreign words (we spent some time with a Swahili dictionary looking for strong names).

Expect this process to take some time (we brainstormed for 40+ hours and then finalized names for another 10 hours – we went through many names). Don't forget to use resources like a dictionary, thesaurus, and any other tools you think will be helpful.

3. Keep the Name Brief, Simple, and Easy to Recall

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Consider the names of companies that you admire. They all have a few things in common: short, simple startup names that are easy to write and remember. (Apple, Google, Virgin, and Southwest are just a few examples.) It's challenging to write and even more difficult to remember obscure business names. This is a problem because word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective form of marketing for most startups and small businesses. It will be difficult for your customers to help promote your business if they can't remember your name or spell it for others.

Avoid using a "K" in place of a "Q" or a "Ph" in place of an "F" when naming your business, as tempting as it may be. Such letter substitutions make it more difficult to spell the name. Also, remember to consider your company's acronym (an acronym is composed of the first letter of each word in a phrase). Your customers may refer to your company by an acronym even if you don't use one. An unfavorable acronym – ASS – can result from a name like Apple Support Services.

4. Stay Away from Startup Names that are too Specific

Consider how your company might change over time, and make sure the company name can change along with it. Your original name will be too narrow and restrictive if you start a company called iPhone Accessories and then expand into selling accessories for other products. Even if your company sells a niche product, the same advice applies. If you sell antique lamps, for example, you should think about whether you'll be able to sell more than lamps in the future. When you later start selling antique clocks and furniture, Joan's Antique Lamps may be too restrictive.

5. Avoid Relying on a Committee to Make Decisions

However, you should "test" your business name with others. It's tempting to enlist the help of our friends, family, employees, and customers in naming your business. This can be highly advantageous in some cases. However, there are dangers. If you don't choose a name they like, they might be disappointed. You'll also find yourself trying to reach a consensus, which can result in a name that's too simple. If you must involve others, choose a small group of people familiar with you and your business (and include a mix of right-brain and left-brain types for variety). Once you've narrowed down your options, share them with a few trusted friends, family members, and customers to get feedback on the startup names.

6. Avoid Using Simple Words

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Plain words make it difficult to set your company apart from the competition. When we first started thinking about "Crowdspring," there were hundreds of thousands of logo design businesses all over the world. We knew we'd branch out into various industries (graphic design, web design, industrial design, writing, and so on), so we didn't want to call our company Great Logo Design or many designers. They'd be descriptive but not memorable or distinctive enough.

There are exceptions to this rule. General Electric is one of the world's most successful corporations, and its name is made up of only two words. On the other hand, General Electric was able to get away with a simple name because it was one of the first companies in its product/service category.

7. When it Comes to Geographical Startup Names, be Cautious

Some people incorporate their city, state, or region into their business name. If you only intend to work in your city, this may be useful. However, a geographical name may prove to be a hindrance in the future. Minnesota Manufacturing and Mining is a great example. The name worked at first because the company's focus was on Minnesota. However, as the company expanded beyond its industry and the state of Minnesota, it needed a new name – 3M.

8. Stay Away from Obscure Words

Company names that aid in telling stories have the potential to be both powerful and memorable (think about Google, for example). Obscure words or references, on the other hand, could be difficult to spell or pronounce. If you're trying to reach a large audience, be extra cautious (such as on the Internet). Obscure or invented names can work – Xerox is a good example – but they usually necessitate a large marketing budget and a lot of effort.

9. Don't Follow the Crowd

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You'll want your startup names to change as trends change, so be sure to spot them and stay away from them. For example, if your company was an Internet business in the late 1990s, it was fashionable to use after your company name. The ".com" became synonymous with having no business model after the Internet "bubble" burst, and those companies that survived quickly dropped ".com" from their names.

10. Look into Registering a Domain and Obtaining a Trademark

It's critical to double-check that your industry's competitors aren't using the same name. Similar (or even identical) names are common in different industries, but this can cause confusion for your customers and vendors. If your competitors use the same name as you, you'll be vulnerable to legal action and will most likely be unable to obtain trademark protection for your business name.

So, while naming your business, look for a business name that can also be registered as a domain (ideally, as a .com domain). You should be aware domains are extremely popular, and you may have difficulty finding available domains that match your business name. During this time, many people become obsessed. While it is an important process, Tate Linden, CEO of Stokefire (a branding firm), believes that people place too much emphasis on the domain. You'll also want to ensure that the startup names you choose are ones that you can register as a trademark or service mark. Only commerce gives rise to trademark rights (when you offer items for sale and use the trade name or logo in your marketing materials or on the products). A company name does not need to be registered; you can obtain common law rights simply by using it in commerce.

Domain Name Registration with Strikingly

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Fortunately, purchasing a domain name has become more accessible in recent years, as domain registration has become a standard service offered by web hosts and even website builders like Strikingly. If you already have a Strikingly account, you can either complete the registration process with us or go to a website specializing in this service, such as GoDaddy domains, and then connect your website domain to your Strikingly site. You don't have to worry about the technical process of connecting a domain to your website if you register it through Strikingly. We'll handle all of the technical details so you can concentrate on building your site and creating content that meets your goals. We're confident you've found the best website builder and web hosting services, but our user-friendly tools and features will help your business stand out. Strikingly is all about giving small businesses and individuals a strong start. As a result, the first year of domain registration is free.

However, it offers affordable yearly plans that include free unlimited hosting and a free domain name when you purchase a website. This allows you to focus on your site and allow it to grow without incurring additional costs while you're getting started.


To name your startup can be a difficult task. To see your company name among the list of other startup names, you must overcome numerous challenges and obstacles. Once you've decided on a business name, everything will feel more natural because you'll have a name you can be proud of. One that will be memorable, easy to say, and, hopefully, cause a stir in your target market. The exhausting and time-consuming task of naming your business is now just a few simple steps away with the help of this guide.