What is in a name? A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches….Proverbs 22:1

A good name reaches far but a bad name reaches farther…..Yugoslavian Proverb

Imagine that you have made up your mind to turn your passion into a profitable business or start a side hustle or go the long haul on an entrepreneurship journey. The next thing on your mind is how to decide on a name for your business. This task can be challenging because a million name ideas may come to your mind and you become confused about which to choose or you may be experiencing a name drought.

Do not worry…Help is here.

Use these 10 easy steps to streamline the process of searching for the perfect name for your company.

Step 1: Construct Your Brand Identity

The first place to start is to create a mental or physical picture of what your brand is going to look like.  Try to think about the kind of colors, the logo of your business, the general I, mage, and esthetics of your business. If your business will be an online store, what kind of style do you want your business to convey?   Try to determine the scope of your business and the products, services you intend to provide your business. The power of vision helps you to gain perspective.

Step 2: Brainstorm your Ideas

After constructing a mental picture of your business, it is time to put your thoughts on paper. Start writing out keywords in a paper that reflect the image of your business. These do not need to be complete thoughts at first, just write down the new ideas that come to your mind. These keywords will form the word bank where you can link ideas together to form a list of names for your business. Keywords for a Fashion business may include Bespoke designs, Trendy fits, Ready-to-wear, unique apparel, etc.

Step 3: Try Out an Online A.I. Name Generator

After you have gathered your keywords, you can head to an online business name generator to get some extra help. E.g. uses your keywords to generate short, brandable business names using artificial intelligence. The A.I. system allows you to decide whether you prioritize a short or long name. Furthermore, as you mark favorite names generated, the algorithm learns from the names you like and gives you better recommendations over time. You can have over 100 name ideas from a single keyword. Take your time and select your top name preferences.

Step 4: Double-check how the shortlisted names sound when read aloud

Some names look good on paper but are heavy to pronounce or not memorable when you sound them aloud.  Spend time to have a listening session with your top name preferences. Ask an unbiased friend to listen along with you. The goal is to ensure that the potential name preference depicts your intended business objects and the pronunciation flows well. Check that your potential title is not misconstrued as something else that you do not want to associate your business with.

Step 5: Time to separate the wheat from the chaff

At this stage, you already have an idea of your top name preferences so it is time to cast aside some of the names that are not up to standard. Apart from names that do not sound well, hard-to-spell names and names that are too long can confuse clients trying to find your business online. If they cannot get your name right, they will not be connecting with your business again.

Your business name should be catchy, simple, and easy to remember. You also want it to communicate that your business is positive. Consider how your preferred names sound in other foreign languages. You may have the desire to expand your business globally one day. It will be a travesty to figure out years later that your business means something offensive in a particular country or geographical region.

Step 6: Consider the rules applicable to names for your preferred Business Structure

Depending on the legal jurisdiction, there are various types of business registration structures you can adopt to register your business. You can register a Limited Liability Company [LCC] or a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, etc. These various Business structures have rules and criteria you must meet for your business name to be approved for registration.

A limited liability company (LLC) will require you to designate somewhere in your business name that the company is either a private limited company (Ltd) or a public limited company (Plc).  Some countries have rules on the types of names that can be approved for registration. There are restricted words and certain guidelines to comply with to get your name approved.  Check to ensure that your preferred names comply with the rules.

Step 7: List out your preferred name choices and search the web

After completing steps 1- 6 above, put down a short list of the best names that have passed the criteria hurdles above.  With the list in hand, perform an internet search to see if any other businesses are using the same or similar names to any of your top name options. Any name option that is already in use or might create a conflict with an existing name can be eliminated from the list.  Sometimes, not all the names you have selected may cross this hurdle because so many business names exist globally and the chances of getting a clean business name are slimmer by the day. In this case, you may have to go back to the drawing board and work up new names.

Step 8: Do a name availability search

If you made it to this point, you should have two or three names on your list. You can proceed with applying for a name availability search with the National Authority for business registration in your jurisdiction.   The business names you are presenting for the name search must be unique. Also, perform a trademark name search with the federal authorities to see if someone trademarked your preferred name or one similar to yours. This will prevent your name request from being blocked. If any of your proposed names are approved, then you are ready for the next step.

Step 9: Register Your Business Name

At this stage, your basic details for company registration should be ready to submit your application for registration of the approved name. Applying for registration of your business secures the name for you exclusively. In most cases, you can fill out the appropriate registration forms and submit your application online or you seek help from professionals to assist you with the process.

Step 10: Register a Domain name and Social media accounts

You need to invest in creating an online presence to position your business for visibility. A domain is a website address customers use to connect with your business online.  Endeavor to use the same name for your business and your domain so people are not confused or unable to relate your business name with your online presence. Social media is a great place to market your products and services. Create accounts on the most popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.

Paraclete Legal Consulting offers business registration services and we can help you manage the registration process for your Limited Liability Company, Business Enterprise, and Partnerships in Nigeria and the UK.

Register your business name with Paraclete Legal Consulting 

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