A lot of strategy and planning goes into building a business from the ground up. Before your startup is ready to launch, you’ll want to think carefully about your brand and the image you'll present to consumers.
So, how can you stand out from your competitors?
The most visible way is to create a unique business name. With a catchy, creative, and descriptive name, your business and brand will be memorable — consumers will recognize it online, in advertisements, or in stores. A unique business name also helps separate your products and services from the competition.
But finding the perfect business name can be difficult and time-consuming without a little help. Start the brainstorming process with the business name ideas in this post. We even recommend some of our favorite business name generators toward the end of this post to get your wheels turning.
Business & Company Name Ideas
If you're in need of business name inspiration, look no further. Here are some name ideas created using business name generators — and I've included the product or industry the name describes.
Catchy Business Name Ideas
These are business name ideas that are sure to grab the attention of potential customers and clients.
Product/Industry: eCommerce, Technology, App Developer
Product/Industry: Security, Web Security Services
Product/Industry: Real Estate
Product/Industry: Sales Training, Sales Consulting
Product/Industry: Design Agency, Marketing Agency
Product/Industry: Cloud Storage, IT Company
Product/Industry: Business Directory, Search Engine, Geolocation App
Product/Industry: Healthcare, Telemedicine
Product/Industry: Social Media, Crowdfunding
Product/Industry: Music App, Streaming Service, Dance Company
Product/Industry: Social Media, Health & Wellness
Product/Industry: Social Media, Dating
Creative Business Name Ideas
It can be challenging to think of a creative and unique business name. Here are a few examples to inspire you.
Product/Industry: Real Estate
Product/Industry: Children's Clothing, Toys
Product/Industry: Mobile Phone, Communication Services
Product/Industry: Sales and Marketing Services, Consulting
Product/Industry: Travel Agency, Tour Guides
Product/Industry: Automotive, Auto Rental
Product/Industry: Online Learning Website, Training Services, Learning Center
Product/Industry: Music, Writing Tool
Product/Industry: Travel, Trip Planning Website
Product/Industry: Finance, Investments, Budgeting
Product/Industry: Tax, Accounting
Product/Industry: Web Design, Hosting
Product/Industry: Data & Analytics, Marketing Agency, SAAS
Product/Industry: Shipping, Logistics
Product/Industry: Security, Information Security
Product/Industry: eGaming, Game Development
Product/Industry: Health and Wellness, Nutrition
Product/Industry: Web Development, Digital Media
Product/Industry: Communication, Email
Cool Company Names
Need some more inspiration? Here are some real businesses with unique names to spark your creativity.
This health and environmentally conscious eCommerce company created a funny and unique name by branding their business as brandless. The intention of the name is to communicate that "better doesn't have to cost more" — you don't need to pay a hefty price for a brand name item in order to get high-quality products.
Using a human name personalizes this pet food business and makes the brand approachable. Ollie offers fresh meals for dogs that can be delivered straight to your doggy door.
Groupon is a company with a unique and descriptive name. It combined two words, "group" and "coupon", to create the unique business name. It perfectly describes their website — a collection of coupons for consumers to search for and use.
For a fun night out on the town in Nashville, WKND is the place to go. The company makes it clear that it’s not a nightclub, but an entire weekend experience. Eliminating vowels in the name gives it a hip and cool vibe while expressing that the experience is simply a good time without too many frills.
Funny Business Names
Creating the perfect brand name is serious business. But, if you've hit a creative roadblock, try to come up with some funny business names, just for fun.
The contrast between the name of the business and what it does is quite ironic. While it might seem like this company name contradicts some of the attributes of a quality business name that we mentioned earlier, it actually does something remarkable. Screamingfrog gets people asking questions about the company. Like “Frogs can scream?” and “Why is the frog screaming anyway?” The answer might surprise you.
2. Big Ass Fans
Does this one need an explanation? The company sells huge industrial fans to businesses. It’s rare to see a B2B company have such a consumer-focused presence with a name like this, but it works. Profanity makes us giggle, and in this case, it’s funny and descriptive.
As a mainstay app for many professionals and students to stay connected on projects, Slack’s name goes against the goal of the app. Originally, CEO Stewart Butterfield coined the name as an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge.” But we all know Slack is really just a hoot of a name.
As the name suggests, the squatty potty is a device used to help people go a little easier. It’s descriptive and playful which is perfect for the task at hand. While the product is backed by research and science, at the end of the day, it’s still a product to help you #2. And that’s always going to be a little funny.
What's In a Company Name?
Naming your business may seem daunting if you don't know where to start. Your business name should be simple, unique, and reflect what you do and why it matters. Sure, that sounds like a lot to put into a word or two, but remember your business name is part of the entire brand. Over time, the name will take on more meaning as you grow your business and establish your value proposition.
Here are the seven attributes that make up great company names.
7 Attributes of a Great Company Name
- It's descriptive.
- It reflects your mission or values.
- It takes into account what your prospects are searching for.
- It is simple.
- It is fun or clever.
- It demonstrates the value you provide customers.
- It is unique.
1. It’s descriptive.
Your business name is opportune real estate for a mini elevator pitch before you even speak to a prospect. To brainstorm a descriptive company name, consider stating what you do and how in a few words. Then, pare it down to the essential words or phrases and see how those look on screen and sound out loud.
Example: Measured Results Marketing
If you don't measure your marketing and sales efforts, do they really matter? Measured Results Marketing, a technology partner that helps companies use their marketing tech stacks to drive results, leads with a descriptive company name. The company helps sales and marketing teams establish effective metrics and reporting systems while evolving operational infrastructure to drive revenue and help you meet goals. The name reflects what the team does and gives prospects confidence there will be no gray or unmeasured area in the client’s work.
2. It reflects your mission or values.
Your brand is so much more than a logo. Your company name can broadcast not only what you do but why you do it or why it matters.
What's one thing every sales and marketing professional wants? To have an impact on their business and their customers. IMPACT is an award-winning agency helping marketers and salespeople achieve their goals "and look like a rockstar in the process." This business name reflects that mission and clearly states that it exists to make you look good at work.
3. It takes into account what your prospects are searching for.
Your business name can make your business relevant for non-branded search queries. This could give you an edge when attempting to rank on search engines for your highest value keyword.
Example: Flawless Inbound
If you're Googling agencies to help you implement an inbound sales and marketing strategy, you'll likely search with keywords like, "top inbound agencies" or "great inbound." When a company called "Flawless Inbound" populates on your search page, it'll likely stand out. Working keywords your user might be searching for into your title is a smart way to stand out.
4. It's simple.
You want prospects to remember and recognize your brand. To help in this effort, your business name should be simple and easy to spell, pronounce, and recall. This will ensure that no one gets frustrated typing your name or saying it aloud to devices like Alexa.
You may have heard email automation being referred to as "drip sequences" or "drip campaigns" due to the automated emails being dripped out one at a time. The company Drip took this word associated with their product — one that's only one syllable and only four letters — and made it their identity
5. It's fun or clever.
One way to make sure your business gets remembered is by being witty. Jokes, puns, and plays on words are all ways to make your prospects chuckle at your business name and get it stuck in their heads.
Influence always requires a bit of spin, right? This clever play on words sets this inbound marketing agency apart. It's catchy, witty, and memorable — all important elements of a strong business name.
6. It demonstrates the value you provide customers.
One marketing tip is to position your business as a problem solver rather than a product seller. You can start that positioning with your business name.
Example: Search & Be Found
Every company in the digital age wants one thing: to be found when their customer or prospect searches for them. Search & be Found stated the benefit of using the agency in the title of its business. Work with Search & Be Found and ... be found by more customers.
7. It's unique.
The last thing you want to do is decide on a business name and run into trouble securing its domain and other branding assets because they're already taken. Or, worse, run into legal trouble for trademark infringement.
Plus, you don't want to cause confusion when prospects land on your website but are looking for the other company (or vice versa).
Example: Zoom LiveTrak vs. Zoom.us
I was once in a podcasting group where someone was asking questions about "recording on Zoom." I thought the individual was referring to Zoom.us, the video conferencing platform, but he was actually talking about Zoom LiveTrak, the audio mixer.
This is a simple mix-up that didn't result in any harm to either company. A more severe issue, however, is possible with more egregious naming errors than the one in this scenario.
This can be avoided by ensuring the business name is not trademarked or taken.
How to Name a Business
- Understand your business.
- Think of descriptive keywords.
- Consider SEO in the naming process.
- Choose a name style.
- Tell a story.
- Ensure the business name is not trademarked.
- Ensure the business name is not otherwise taken.
- Verify that the .com domain name and social media handles are available.
- Register your business name.
1. Understand your business.
Before deciding on a name, you should have a clear idea of your business's mission, goals, target audience, and value proposition. If you've already created your business plan, this will be a great resource for you to review. You should be able to answer the following questions:
- What does your business stand for?
- What product/service are you selling?
- Who is your target audience?
2. Think of descriptive keywords.
Once you know the core focus of your business, take some time to brainstorm keywords that describe your business. With a few descriptors of your business and brand, you'll be able to identify the ones that reflect the image you'd like to create.
For example, if you're starting a photography business, words like "camera", "snap", "shoot", "capture", "lens", etc. are all good starting points for your business name.
3. Consider SEO in the naming process.
Part of a good name is the ability to get found by potential prospects. For this reason, consider how well your name can position you on search engines. Consider the following things as you make this evaluation:
One strategy is to name a business based on a highly searched keyword to make the business relevant for that keyword. For example, 24 Hour Fitness may appear for someone looking for their brand or for someone looking for any gym that's open around the clock.
However, you don't want to choose a name in which the SERPs (search engine results pages) are too heavy with competition. For example, let's say you chose "Five Star Restaurant" as a name for your new establishment but notice the SERP for this keyword is dominated by review sites like Yelp and local newspaper columns. In this case, you may not get enough authority to compete, resulting in you not being found even when prospects are actively searching for you.
Google serves up content to users based on what it thinks they're intending to find. When thinking through your business name, make sure it matches search intent. For example, naming a tax business "Maximize Your Refund, Inc." may not be a good idea because searchers looking for "maximize my refund" aren't searching for a business but rather strategies.
4. Choose a name style.
How do you plan to create a unique name? You can use the keywords in your business name. Here are a few other naming options to consider:
- Include the names of the company founders.
- Use a single word.
- Change, add, or remove letters from keywords.
- Combine two or more words.
- Use a metaphor.
- Create an acronym.
5. Tell a story.
What does your business name tell consumers? After you've settled on an idea, think about the thoughts and emotions you want the name to evoke. If it doesn't align with the mission and value proposition of your business, it might be a good idea to go back to the drawing board and find a name that's better suited for your company and products.
6. Ensure the business name is not trademarked.
If another organization has trademarked a name, you risk having legal action taken against your business if you violate that trademark. If you're in the U.S., you can search the United States Patent and Trademark Office database for your potential business name to ensure that there isn't an existing trademark for it.
7. Ensure the business name is not otherwise taken.
If there's no trademark, a business name is fair game. However, that doesn't mean there are no other businesses operating under the name you want. The best business names are unique so that you can avoid confusion. You may want to check your state's Secretary of State entity filings and DBAs for other businesses operating under the name. Each state will have a different process for this.
It's also good practice to run a Google search for your desired name to see what's out there. This can also alert you to existing organizations that have similar names.
8. Verify that the .com domain name and social media handles are available.
If a .com domain name is not available, or if it is too expensive, weigh your options between choosing a different name or going with a less desirable top-level domain (TLD). While other TLDs are fine, .com remains the most widely used and is the easiest to remember.
In addition, it would be a pain to settle on a name only to find out that your social media handles are taken. Having variation between social media handles could cause confusion for prospects, so it's best to avoid this where possible.
One easy way to verify the availability of social media handles is by using a tool such as Namechk, which checks multiple platforms with a single search.
9. Register your business name.
Once you've researched and decided on your name, you're ready to register your business name. Depending on the type of company you're registering, the registration process will vary. You may also need a DBA if you're a sole proprietor. This resource from the U.S. Small Business Association will help you determine which registration process is right for you and your business.
Creative Business Name Generators
If you're having trouble thinking outside the box, these business name generators are a good starting point to help you get the naming process started.
- Namelix: Enter your keywords, and Namelix will generate related business names and logos.
- Brandroot: Search by keyword and business category. It will provide a name, logo, and tell you if the corresponding domain name is available.
- Novanym: After searching for your initial keywords, narrow the results down by name style and sector.
- Shopify Business Name Generator: Once you enter the key term you'd like to include in your name, the Shopify Business Name Generator will create a list of business name ideas that have an available website domain.
- BrandBucket: With BrandBucket, you can search for business names or browse by industry.
- Business Name Generator: Type in a few words that describe your business. The Business Name Generator will produce a list of potential business names for you to choose from.
- Oberlo: If you’re looking for a condensed list of 100 business names, Oberlo is the tool for you. Simply type in related keywords to get your free list.
What’s in a name? Just about everything.
A unique business name will help you stand out from competitors and build a strong brand. Once you have that, you'll want to identify your target market, define your positioning, and create a business plan to get your business off the ground.
Use a business name generator to get the brainstorming started. From there, double and triple-check that your business name isn’t already in use. Free and clear of trademarks? Register your business name and start planning your marketing strategy to have a successful business launch. Get started today with HubSpot’s free business plan template.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Jun 22, 2021 1:15:00 PM, updated June 22 2021