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9 Tips on How to Name a Startup (2020)

Are you having trouble finding the right name for your startup? Choosing the right name can have a big impact on the success of your brand. But choosing the wrong name can result in a lot of losses.

In this guide, we will help you pick the right name for your startup that will help you build a strong connection with your audience. Use our startup generator tool along with these 9 tips to come up with the perfect name for your business.

1. Keep Your Startup Name Short

Various research has stated that a good name for your startup should not have more than 2 syllables or 22 characters.

Apple, Nike, Rolex, Amazon, and Walmart are all billion-dollar brands, and they all have one thing in common. They all have short brand names.

Just like other successful brands, your business name should also be short and easily roll off the tongue.  If you want to make your brand name memorable, then try not to stretch your startup name to more than two words.

If you are struggling with finding a great name for your business, then do lookup our free business name generator tool.

2. Avoid Hard to Spell Names

Your customers will have a hard time finding you online if you have a hard to spell name. Your goal as a startup is to make it is easy for your target audience to reach out to you.

Try and avoid using complicated spellings, for example, replacing letters with numbers. Make sure that your name should be spelled exactly the way it sounds.

3. Check for Domain Availability

Your startup won’t be complete without a good looking website, and for that, you need a domain name exactly as your startup name.

When you have the list of potential names, you need to check for available domains that you can use.

Startups are launched every day, and there are chances that someone has already bought the domain name that you wanted.

This situation makes people to either settle for other domain extensions like .net, .org, and .biz because the .com domain was already taken. Or go back to the idea board and try to come up with a new name for their startup.

Bonus tip: always check for domain name availability before you decide on a name. You can use our business name generator to make sure that the domain name is available.

Over the years, customers have started associating .com domain names with credible businesses. And that is why we recommend that you shouldn’t settle for any other domain extension except .com.

If the .com domain isn’t available, then you should try to come up with a different name for your startup. But if you can’t find a good replacement, then you should seriously consider buying it from the current domain owner. This might cost you a lot of money, but it’s still a good investment as the .com domain name will bring credibility to your business.

4. Your Startup Name Shouldn’t Restrict Growth

Don’t pick a name that is too narrow, as this will limit your brand’s ability to grow. Imagine if Bill Gates had decided to name his business “Desktop Computers Inc.” He wouldn’t have been able to expand his product line like the way he has today.

It makes sense for startups to initially focus on a single product, location, or target market. But that still doesn’t mean that you should name your business on something so specific. Having a name like “Best Brooklyn Bakers” would make it difficult to allow you to expand your business outside of Brooklyn without facing any challenges.

Always leave room for expansion when you are naming your startup.

5. Be Original

You need to pick a startup name that is brandable, something that would get attention on social media. For that to happen, you need to pick a name that is original and hasn’t been used by anyone else or has had a past association with another brand.

Do a thorough search on the internet and make sure there isn’t a single brand out there with a name that sounds like yours.

If you are out of luck, you may find that someone has already beaten you to the punch by picking the exact name that you wanted. But don’t let that discourage you, go back to the drawing board and come up with other startup name ideas. Or, as we have mentioned above, you can buy it off the current owner.

You also need to make sure that you pick a unique name for your brand. A name that stands out on its own. You can make your brand name memorable by avoiding common names like “Bill’s Jeans Company.”

Check out our brand name generator tool to come up with awesome ideas for your brand name.

We bet that there are a lot of people out there named Bill doing the exact same business. By picking a common name like that, you won’t be able to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

And you also need to do a trademark search on USPTO.gov (if you are located in the US) and see if you can get a registered trademark for your name. If you are located elsewhere, you need to search your local legal bodies on Google to make sure that you can get your trademark registered. Having a registered trademark will prevent others from using your name without having legal consequences.

6. Brainstorm Name Ideas

If you are brainstorming for the first time, then you can use these rules to come up with some good startup name ideas.

  • Keep an open mind. While brainstorming, it is important to list down every idea that comes to your mind. Don’t think of any idea as a silly one, because there aren’t any silly ideas.
  • Focus on quantity. Get a minimum of 20-25 name suggestions so that you have enough options to choose from.
  • Let your creativity flow. Don’t be afraid to list ideas because they sound crazy. If you hold back, then you might miss out on the good ones.
  • Get your peers involved. The more people you have in your brainstorming sessions, the more ideas you will get. By working on each other’s contributions, you can come up with a great startup name.

If you find yourself stuck with generating name ideas, you can use our startup name generator tool. It can help you come up with the perfect name for your startup by generating thousands of ideas.

Bonus Tip: Also, use a thesaurus along with our tool so that you have more variations to play with.

7. Design a Logo

While looking for the perfect name, also keep the logo design in mind. Your logo is the face of your brand, and it will be tied with all your marketing campaigns and branding efforts.

And statistically speaking, visuals are processed faster than words. Having a visually appealing logo makes your brand memorable. So, it’s not a bad idea to invest time and money in designing a good logo.

While you are looking for a good name for your startup, you need to ask yourself how well your startup name will translate to your logo? If you have a brand name that is too long, then it won’t make up for a good logo, keep it short and simple.

8. Make Sure The Name Sounds Good

Sometimes names look good on paper but sound awful when they are said aloud. You want to pick a name that is easy to say, as this will make it easy for your target audience to remember your brand.

If you pick a name that is hard to pronounce, then you will be missing out on word of mouth marketing as your customers won’t be able to recommend your brand properly if they can’t pronounce it or spell it.

You should conduct a survey asking the people in your surrounding to say your name out aloud and then asking them about their opinions.

Based on these opinions, you can determine if you have picked the right name for your startup or not.

9. Make it Catchy

As a new business, you need to come up with a catchy name for your startup so that you can attract your target audience.

Picking a catchy name will make your brand resonate with your target audience. You can do a little wordplay if you are using two words by making them rhyme. This will make it easy for your target audience to recall your brand if they are recommending it to someone else.

How do you make sure that you picked a name that is catchy? There isn’t any tool out there that can help you pre-determine if your name is going to be catchy or not. The best way to figure it out is through the feedback of your peers and through your instincts. If it doesn’t sound catchy to you, it probably won’t sound catchy to others.

Final Thoughts

People often ask, “What’s in the name?”

Your startup name is your identity, and it comprises of your values, your beliefs, and the hard work that you’ve put in to build it. That is why branding experts all around the world advise that new businesses should spend a good amount of time in finding the right name.

We hope that the tips we shared helped you in finding the right name for your startup. Also, give our startup name generator tool a try; it will surely save you a lot of time by generating ideas instantly.

Here’s to hoping you have a successful launch.