How to Choose a Name for Your Business

Sample brand logo_CardinalCommerceChoosing a name for your business means choosing a brand that communicates what is unique about your company and the products or services you offer. Your small business name should embody the distinguishing characteristics of your company and be able to withstand the test of time. Finding a name that stands out while still projecting an aura of credibility can be a challenging balance to achieve. This article offers three tips to consider when taking on the difficult task of deciding how to choose a name for your business.

Find a Unique Play on Words

A clever business name can give you the opportunity to develop a theme which can extend into your marketing campaigns, your web presence, and your overall product branding strategy. A business name ought to be simple, easy to pronounce and spell, and unique. A distinctive name could lead to merchandising opportunities, and you may find yourself in the pleasant situation of having customers paying to promote your brand. If you have to apologize for your company’s name or continually explain it, your name is not as strong as it could be. Situations you should avoid include choosing overused puns or becoming an imitator of another successful brand in your industry.

The Right Domain Name Can Mean Everything

While single-word domain names are becoming more and more difficult to find, creating memorable misspellings can be the opportunity to develop an edgy, unique brand. Most single words of six letters or less have been taken, but in addition to misspellings, there are other options. Consider using the foreign equivalency for an already taken business or domain name when deciding how to choose a name for your business. Instead of using your business name as your name, you could instead develop a catchy phrase or tagline which captures the values of your company. Experts say there is no point in focusing on keywords in your domain name, as the search engine algorithms which utilize keywords are constantly changing.


Pick a Name that is a Defensible Trademark

While trademarks are granted automatically if you live in the U.S., Canada, or the U.K., those trademarks only apply to the geographical area your business occupies at the time. If there is a possibility your small business may one day stretch from coast to coast, it would be a wise decision to pay the few thousand dollars necessary to register your federal trademark now. Trademarks come in different strengths, from strong arbitrary marks that had no meaning before being created as trademarks, to generic words which will never hold up in court. If you do have to go to court regarding your trademark, make sure you were the first to use said trademark if you initiate the legal action.


To understand how to choose a name for your business, you need to understand the functions of a business name, and be aware of the various ways that name will affect your business in the future. In this article, we provided tips including finding a unique play on words, coming up with that perfect domain name among a limited selection of choices, and thinking ahead enough to choose and register a strong, unique trademark. All that is left now is for you to come up with the perfect, unique, enduring brand for your business!  

Back to Startups

Cardinal Commerce

Are you experiencing chargebacks in your online store? Are your consumers abandoning their carts before buying? Learn how Cardinal Consumer Authentication can eliminate fraud and false positives, and provide the benefits of 3-D Secure with friction-free checkout for your buyers. One Connection to Cardinal drives digital commerce. Download the brochure now.