So you need a name for your new business. Where do you start?

Names are important - they’re step one of starting a company and step one of establishing a brand. And if you want a brand name, not just a company name, then it’s really important to get right.

What type of name do you want?

First decide what type of business name you want - there are a number of naming archetypes - and each has an impact on branding. Check out our guide HELLO - The 14 Types of Business Name and What They Mean For Branding

Consider what makes a business name ‘brandable’

Not all company names have the potential to become brand names. Although these rules aren’t absolute, the key attributes of a brandable business name are:

  • Short and easy to say and spell
  • Distinctiveness - it’s not just a collection of generic keywords
  • Hints at what the business does, but doesn’t describe it literally
  • Has an available .com domain with no awkward compromises
  • Sticky-ness - it engages your audience by conveying personality, character or style, which makes it memorable

Now you know what your kind of company name you’re searching for. What’s next? There are really three options open to you:

1. Name it yourself

You know your business, your objectives and your aspirations better than anyone else, so if you’re creative by nature you are in a good position to come up with its name. 

It’s not as easy as it sounds, though. So treat the exercise seriously, allocate some time and keep persevering.

Start with a clear brief, try a few different name generating approaches and focus on filtering out the good ideas form the bad. Our post on DIY naming might help.

2. Get some help

There are plenty of very creative people out there who are experienced in creating brand names for businesses like yours. They range from full-service marketing agencies, to specialist branding firms and even naming specialists.

Bear in mind that creative work like this is time-consuming and does not come cheaply - so be sure to allocate a healthy budget, and allow a month or two for the process.

You’ll find some useful tips on agency briefing here and here.

3. Buy a ready-made brandable name

Brandable names - or brandable domains - are a viable alternative route. Because the availability of a .com domain name is so crucial, they take this as their start point. Pre-developed names can then be easily selected and purchased, so a business can be named and ready to go in days. 

Bear in mind that not all brandable domains are equal. They vary in quality - from brilliant and expensive, to uselessly weird and cheap. So you might find these six golden rules of brandable domains useful.


At Novanym, we pride ourselves on developing truly brandable names, so if you decide to go for a brandable name, start here

Whether you do it yourself, brief an agency, or go the ‘brandable’ route, you’ll probably end up with a shortlist of a few potential names.

Selecting the best name for your business can be tough, so we have developed a 12-point filtering process that should help.

You’ll also need to register your company as a legal entity with the relevant authorities in your country, for instance, Companies House in the UK. Bear in mind that, although some restrictions exist, if you find that the name you have chosen is already used by another business, you can usually append an additional word to your chosen brand name to create a unique legal entity (as long as it’s not a competitor or likely to cause confusion). You might be searching for a unique business name, but unique is not always practical, or desirable.

You might also want to consider protecting your brand name by registering it as a trademark. As trademarks can only be registered for a particular class of business or product, and in a particular market, this can be a complex and time-consuming process - you might consider appointing a specialist to help.

Before putting the registration process into motion, you can check that the name has not been registered by somebody else. There are several online resources that might be useful - Trademarkia, the IPO for UK trademarks or TMview for European trademarks.

Of course, if you have any further questions, please give us a call on 0800 086 8782 during UK office hours, and we'd be happy to help if we can.


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