The Dos and Don'ts of Choosing a Business Name

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Picking the right business name among hundreds of unique business name ideas is an important decision that can significantly impact your company's success. A great name for a business can help you stand out from the competition, attract customers, and build a strong brand. On the other hand, a poor business name can be confusing, unmemorable, or off-putting to potential customers. This article will provide tips and strategies for choosing a business name that will work for you and your business. We'll cover the dos and don'ts of selecting a solid business name that will set you up for success.

Why is a business name important?

Before we dive into the Dos and Don'ts of creating a business name, let's discuss why it's vital in setting up your business.

A business name is vital to a company's identity and branding. It is the first thing potential customers, partners, and investors will see and interact with when they contact your business. A robust and memorable business name can help you stand out, attract customers, and build a strong brand identity.

A business name is essential for the following reasons:

  • First impression: A business name is often the first thing people will see when interacting with your business, whether online or in person. A strong, memorable business name can make a positive first impression and help attract potential customers or partners.
  • Branding: A business name is a key part of your branding and marketing efforts. It helps create a consistent and professional look across your online and offline platforms, such as your website, social media accounts, and business cards.
  • Credibility: A unique business name can also increase the credibility of your business in the eyes of potential customers and partners. It shows you are serious about your business and willing to invest in a one-of-a-kind branded identity. When starting a new business, having a professional online presence is crucial for building credibility and attracting customers. A critical aspect of this is having a distinctive domain and professional email address. Strikingly makes it easy for users to add a custom domain to their website, whether it is a brand-new domain or one they already own. This feature allows businesses to create a professional email address using their domain name, which helps build credibility and establish trust with potential customers. For just $24.95 per year, users can add a custom domain to an existing free account. This is a much more cost-effective solution compared to other hosting sites or using Google Mail, which can be more expensive.
  • Legal protection: Choosing a unique business name and registering it as a trademark can help protect your business from being confused with or mistaken for another company. It can also help prevent others from using your business name for their own hidden agenda.

Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind when choosing a business name:


1. Consider your target audience: Consider what type of customers you want to attract and choose brand name ideas that will appeal to them when thinking of ideas for business name. For example, if you're targeting younger consumers, a more modern and edgy name for a business might work well. A classic, timeless name might be more appropriate if you're targeting a more traditional or conservative audience.

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Image taken from Strikingly

2. Keep it simple: To make it easier for people to remember and find your business, choosing a straightforward business name that is easy to pronounce and spell is best. A business name that is too long or complicated can be difficult for people to remember and may deter them from visiting your business.

3. Make it memorable: Choose a distinctive and memorable name to stand out from the competition. Use puns, wordplay, or other creative techniques to create a special name.

Purchasing a custom domain on the Strikingly platform can also be crucial to your branding and marketing strategy. It allows you to create a unique and easy-to-remember web address that reflects your business and its values. Having an original domain and professional email address can help your business stand out from the competition and attract more customers to your website.

4. Think about the future: Choose a name that will be relevant and appropriate as your business grows and evolves. Avoid using business names tied to a specific location, trend, or industry, as these may become dated over time.
5. Check for availability: Make sure the brand name ideas that you will consider isn't already being used by another business or trademarked by someone else. Do some research to see if the name is available, and consider registering it as a trademark to protect it from being used by others.

image of domain name availability

Image taken from Strikingly

6. Consider branding: Choose a name that works well with your branding and marketing efforts. Use a name that reflects your business's values, mission, or personality. Using a thesaurus can assist in generating unique and creative names for your business. As an example, if you are starting a bakery, find synonyms for words like "bake," "bread," and "pastry," which may lead to potential names like Baked Bliss or Pastry Paradise.

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Image taken from Dr. Chai Strikingly website

7. Don't limit yourself: Be creative and consider all options when brainstorming potential names. Don't feel you have to use your own name or a specific type of name – be open to exploring different ideas. Some of the most memorable business names are a bit out-of-the-box; think about what makes your business unique and try to create a name that reflects that.

On your Strikingly website, you can create a poll that asks your site visitors for ideas about what suitable business name your brand should have. Using the custom form feature, you can set up forms containing various form fields, such as checkboxes, radio buttons, and dropdown choices. Plus, you can easily see your Audience list and filter form replies.

8. Test it out: Get feedback from friends, family, and potential customers to see how they react to different name options. Ask them which names they find most memorable, attractive, or appropriate for your business.


1. Use industry-specific terms: Unless you are targeting a specific industry, it's generally best to avoid using industry-specific terms in your business name. These terms can be confusing or off-putting to consumers unfamiliar with the industry.

2. Use a long, complicated name: Avoid using lengthy or complex names that are hard to pronounce or spell. A shorter, straightforward, and unique business name ideas will be easier for people to remember and more effective in marketing and branding efforts.

3. Use a name that is too similar to a competitor's name: Choose a distinctive name that doesn't closely resemble the name of a competing business. To avoid confusion and protect your brand from being mistaken for someone else's, it is important to do research and ensure that another company is not already using the business name you choose.

4. Use a name with a negative connotation: Avoid using names with negative associations or connotations in different languages or cultures. This may include words that are offensive or have negative meanings in certain contexts.

5. Use a name for a business that is too narrow or limiting: Choose a flexible name that can adapt to different products or services as your business grows and evolves. Avoid using names that are too specific or that limit the scope of your business.

6. Rush the process: Take your time and try out different options until you find the right one. Your business name is a key part of your branding and marketing efforts. Customers hearing your business name for the first time is like giving them a firm handshake.

It's the first thing people will see when they come into contact with your business, so choosing from a plethora of brand name ideas that accurately represents your brand and resonates with your customers is vital.

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Image taken from Tones Strikingly website

Keep in mind that once you choose between brand name ideas, it can be difficult and costly to change them later. You'll have to update your branding materials, such as your logo and website, and you'll need to rebrand your social media accounts and other online presence. This is a time-consuming and expensive process, so it's worth getting it right from the start.

Here are a few examples of well-known businesses with strong, memorable names:

  • Apple: The name of this tech corporation is straightforward, identifiable, and iconic. It displays the company's emphasis on innovation and ease of use.
  • Google: The word "googol," which denotes the number 1 followed by 100 zeros, is a pun on the name of this search engine giant. The company's emphasis on massive volumes of information and data will show in the name. The name reflects the company's focus on vast amounts of information and data.
  • Amazon: The Amazon River, the longest river in the world, served as inspiration for the name of this online shopping empire. The company's broad selection and global reach are reflected in its business name.
  • Nike: Do you know that this sports apparel company's name was inspired by the Greek goddess of victory, Nike? The name reflects the company's focus on performance and winning.
  • Coca-Cola: This global beverage company's name is inspired by the coca leaf and kola nut, which were originally used as ingredients in the company's flagship product. The name is distinctive and easily recognizable.
  • Netflix: The name of this streaming service is a mashup of the terms "net" and "flix," which stand for movies and the internet, respectively. The company's emphasis on offering movies and TV series for online streaming is apparent in its business name.
  • Airbnb: This vacation rental company's name is an amalgamation of the words "air" and "bed and breakfast." The name reflects the company's focus on providing unique and local accommodation options.
  • Tesla: Nikola Tesla, an inventor and futurist, inspired the name of this electric company which is geared towards innovation and technology.
  • Etsy: This online marketplace for handmade and vintage items are named after the phrase "oh, so pretty." The name reflects the company's focus on unique, handmade, and creative items.
  • Spotify: This music streaming service's name combines "spot" and "identify." The name reflects the company's focus on helping users discover new music and artists.

Finding the right business name is crucial and requires careful consideration and attention to detail. It is essential to take the time to brainstorm and generate a list of potential names that accurately reflect your brand and business. Once you have a list of options, you must do your due diligence and research each name to ensure that it is available and not already used by another company. This research may include checking the availability of the corresponding domain name and social media handles. Determining the proper business name is an important step in starting a new company, and it is worth getting it right. Good luck!