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How to choose a business name - The do's and dont's

Now to the fun part of your business. How to choose a business name.

But we will warn you, it is harder than it looks!

With a little foresight and knowledge, we’ll show you how to choose a business name that is memorable and conveys exactly what your business is about.

A good business name is so much more than a name – it is used to attract customers and create a good impression of your business.

Sleek have found some of our customers can get side-tracked by choosing a good business name. 

It is important, sure, look at all the big brands you know today – Uber, Google, Yahoo – if you think about them, they’re catchy names to start with, BUT they only became household names with a lot of marketing and great products and services.

The do's of choosing a business name

A business name that is easy to say, and spell will help everyone – from your employees when they answer the phone to your customers typing your company name into google to find you. You don’t want to miss any opportunities!

If you have big plans for your business, you want your business name to be illustrative of your business today and tomorrow.

Let’s say our chosen business is Alice’s Dog Walking. This is great as it describes exactly what this business does – walks dogs. But what if the plans for the business are to expand its offerings into dog grooming products and dog food down the track? The business name does not reflect the new business products. Something such as Alice and Hooch may be more suitable.

You don’t want your customers confusing your business with your competitors. Carry out research to make sure there is enough differentiation between your business name and your competitors.

The dont's of choosing a business name

Ben Down Plumber or Sue Ridge Mineral Water may sound great on the surface but convey a different message than their intention.

(I know these are extreme, but you get the drift)

Check the business name doesn’t mean something else in another language. You’ll be surprised how easy this can be.

These business names will confuse and frustrate customers and may make them look elsewhere. Your business name will be part of your brand, your products and services and your people, so you want it easy to recall.

Here’s a few hot tips for a good business name

A geographic location in your name will give your business a highly localised feel to it. Perfect if your business is location specific or your business concentrates or works in a particular area. For example, an electrician who works in the northern suburbs of Sydney may use Northern Suburbs in his business or trading name.

A good story behind a business name gives it character and helps your business stand out from the crowd. Think frank body and their coffee scrub.

Great, and well done, so you’ve chosen a business name that you love. Now what?

What checks do I need to do?

There are a few checks we’d like you to do, so you can be sure that you won’t meet any roadblocks when you go to register and start your business.

1.

Check if it is available on our Name checker page  – simply type in your business name and it will tell you if the name is available or not.

2.

Ask for feedback on your business name – friends, family, business colleagues should be able to help. Ask your target audience what they think the business name means. Sometimes, you can be too close to it.

3.

Do an internet search on the name – this may sound obvious but sometimes business owners have been caught out. You may be surprised what a name can bring up, it may not be all positive or may already be used.

4.

Check the domain name available – you want your website’s domain name to match closely with your business. If it isn’t available don’t fret. You may be able to buy it from the owner. There are also other extensions you can use such as .shop, .store, .gallery, and .online.

5.

Check if the social media handles for your business name are available to secure your social media presence. Even if you think your business won’t be using a particular social media platform, obtain the handle so nobody else can use it. If they aren’t available, you can use spinoffs of your business name. Or add a The/A or a symbol if you are struggling to find an exact match.

6.

Check if there is an existing trademark for your business name – or one confusingly similar. Similar trademarks can coexist when in different industries and where the risk of consumer confusion is low. Use the registry search here to double-check.

Our last piece of advice (and we think the most important!) when coming up with a business name – you must like the name! You’ll be spending a lot of time with your business name; it will become your blood, sweat, and tears, your baby that you will take care of, and watch grow and prosper. 

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