Picking a business name.

30 replies
I never really put much thought into this before bit it has kinda come up. A couple potential clients have ask what I'm business name is and I don't know what to tell them. I was wondering what type of name to pick from a creative and legal stand point.

It was my thought that it's better to play the "I'm just a business man like you." angle than to say "I'm part of this faceless marketing firm."

What's the best type of name to pick? Do you guys use your business name in your marketing or do you only have it for legal reason?

Thanks for your thoughts!
#business #picking
  • Profile picture of the author Jake Trainor
    Any thoughts? I'm sure it would have been better to put a question mark in the title.
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  • Profile picture of the author cripperz
    I dunno for you, but for me the name of my biz was picked out from our activity we do last time in IRC and it is a biz name now.

    Picking up a biz name must importantly mean something to you and not others. How you would like to brand it and make it known is another thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author JoePNY
    You can take a few routes here. You can call it for example, "JT Consultants" or something similar or you can get creative and call it "Superheroes Marketing" or "Rockstar Media".

    The important thing is that the business name should be a name you feel comfortable branding, not cheesy and one that you really like.
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    • Profile picture of the author jenifer smith
      i think it is kind of necessary that you have a business name if you want to be a better business man. it really makes you look serious in the presence of your clients or customers. it does not really matter the kind or nature of the name , what is important is that you are comfortable with the name and the name is acceptable by law[ is not already in use].
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Wise
    I think it's important that the business name indicates what type of business you're in. Although you didn't mention this in the OP I'm assuming it's providing Internet Marketing services to businesses?

    I just set up my business and wanted to have "web consulting" in the name as I think "consulting" sounds professional and "web" indicates the industry I'm in. I put the word "wise" in front of it because it's my name and also as I think it indicates wisdom from a business perspective. Wise Web Consulting.

    Hope this helps
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  • Profile picture of the author redlegrich
    Well I vote for creating a business name based on the work you do in the locale you are in. Work on a business name and domain name hand in hand. If you are into mobile website development then become Boston Mobile Website Developers with the domain the same. Get yourself found in searches for the work you do and have the biz name and domain match. You can easily create a number of business personas for the cost of a domain name. Forget the blather about branding, logos and all of that nonsense, get yourself found in searches for the work you do and make some money. The rest can come later.

    Yeah, I know I'm going to hear it about branding and so forth. But all that counts is converting the site visitor to an engagement with you. Your clients don't really care what the heck your company name is. They want more business from their engagement with you and need to know who to make the check out too.
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    • Profile picture of the author danielkanuck
      Originally Posted by redlegrich View Post

      Well I vote for creating a business name based on the work you do in the locale you are in. Work on a business name and domain name hand in hand. If you are into mobile website development then become Boston Mobile Website Developers with the domain the same. Get yourself found in searches for the work you do and have the biz name and domain match. You can easily create a number of business personas for the cost of a domain name. Forget the blather about branding, logos and all of that nonsense, get yourself found in searches for the work you do and make some money. The rest can come later.

      Yeah, I know I'm going to hear it about branding and so forth. But all that counts is converting the site visitor to an engagement with you. Your clients don't really care what the heck your company name is. They want more business from their engagement with you and need to know who to make the check out too.
      Agreed. Spoken like a true warrior.
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  • Profile picture of the author KaterSD
    This is something that can be either very easy or something you can make very complicated, but its just the beginning.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
    I like to try include my geographical area along with what services I provide.

    So Combine your city or state and what it is you do and you have a name.

    Good luck.

    Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike McAleer
    i think that I might do something like a brandable name but include the region if you want to stay local
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  • Profile picture of the author JustinDupre
    These are all great ideas! I also agree that the business name is your own brand and it's important that you feel awesome about it. Having local city or town included too is also good and biz name can totally make you more legit when talking to customers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
      Originally Posted by JustinDupre View Post

      These are all great ideas! I also agree that the business name is your own brand and it's important that you feel awesome about it. Having local city or town included too is also good and biz name can totally make you more legit when talking to customers.
      Problem is when you get bigger and want to target BIG companies...

      If I start a new company it will have a completely invented name, like libuntina (1 Result in Google and it's a typo) or Troingmedia (ZERO results in Google).

      As long as the name is unique/functional or evocative, we're good to go.
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
        Originally Posted by Fernando Veloso View Post

        As long as the name is unique/functional or evocative, we're good to go.
        Fernando, has a good point here. As long as it has those characteristics it doesn't matter what name you choose. What you will find is those who were asking just want a title of who they are doing business with. Most companies who do business with you will not be picking apart your name. They are focused on your product or service.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    Check this one out: http://www.igorinternational.com/pro...ming-guide.pdf

    It's massive but worth every line...
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  • Profile picture of the author jenifer smith
    just pick any name you are comfortable with and get it registered because business name is your identity in the business word.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sudarmaji_Lamiran
    in my opinion:
    there are only two ways to elaborate it:
    either choosing well market-driven or business/personal identity-branding names.
    .
    just two my cents!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jake Trainor
      Thanks for the advice so far guys. I have been emailing business about doing SEO and website redesigns. A few people have gotten back to me asking what my name was to see if I was legit. Fair enough considering some of the things google has put out about SEO and some of the people that are out there marketing junk. Really not something I'm stressing out about.

      I'm still kinda wondering how you guys use your name. Is the only time your biz name comes up is when you are ask who to sign the checks to? Or do you have the name all over your marketing material, websites, and emails.
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  • Profile picture of the author ButterflyGarden
    This is a great article about - How to Select a Company or Product Name - How to Select a Company or Product Name

    The article has some good advice on how to research names, and what to becareful of.

    Here are some tips on selecting a domain name Choose A Domain

    Should get you started!
    Best of luck
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Dittberner
    My vote is to keep the business name simple and "non-committal." You don't want to be locked into a specific geography (what if you expand?) or a specific service (what if you move to another target market?). Use your slogan to specify geography or target market (that's much easier to change and you can have numerous business cards made with just that change easily). One word company names are also great, but harder to come up with. Google. Yahoo. Dell. Although this is just my preference.
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  • Profile picture of the author localvseo
    If you plan on ever using your business for some other industry/sector/type of service etc. choose something that is "industry agnostic" that way you can easily reposition if you need to if your biz model changes.
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  • Profile picture of the author link82
    What a timely post! I have two names in mind and if I'm to be serious about my offline business, I just need to delve in. But really, which one?
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  • Profile picture of the author AAbrams
    Picking a business name isn't that easy, but if i were to pick a business name then it should be related to the type of business that I'm engaged to, it should be something like catchy to csutomers. If i have a business that deals with computers then i will not name it "Sarah Lee's Computer Shop".
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  • Profile picture of the author mariazz
    In picking you're business name it should be in line with you're business or you can create something that is some kind' a related to you're name or might as well something cool to here and it has meaning on it.

    Like for example you're customer ask "where did you get that name?"...then you can answer your costumer.
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  • Profile picture of the author JustinSch
    I went with Smart Marketing Help LLC

    Domain is the same minus the LLC

    Full company name and domain will be on business cards and other marketing materials.

    Smart describes the nature/quality clients can expect
    Marketing is what the company is all about
    Help is what I provide, I.e. solutions not just services

    The LLC adds a little more credibility.

    I get to bill myself as "Founder & CEO of Smart Marketing Help LLC" and "the man behind the marketing".

    This positions me as being far more valueable than a "web guy".

    I will also include phone, fax, and mailing address (not a po box) on business cards, website, and other marketing materials... all contributing to the impression that they are dealing with a real, established, organized business.

    More info than the OP asked for, but it's all about the branding which is the point of a good business name.
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  • Profile picture of the author Squints
    Below is an interesting way to help make a decision on a name once you have a few that you like.

    Using Adwords to Find the Right Name | ewakened

    Kevin Rose and Tim Ferriss Discuss Angel Investing and Naming Companies

    Tim Ferriss gives you alot to think about as you decide on a name.
    Hope this helps you out.
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    • Profile picture of the author MarlboroMonkey
      I went with something that was humerous to me and that I liked. I figure if I'm creating my own business it's going to be something fun to me. If I wanted a dull boring name that I didn't like I would go work for someone else.

      The first name I chose was like that. One I thought conformed to normal business practices and ended up not liking it and had to rebrand and design everything...

      Someone mentioned going with a name that's industry agnostic and that's a good idea to save on DBA costs.
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  • Profile picture of the author danielkanuck
    My business name is generic in nature, but i wanted it to stretch so that i could cover 2 business niches that i could go into: selling to business owners and selling home business opportunities to beginners. I think it's definitely worth it to include your business name with your marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Melvin San Miguel
    Hi Jake,

    Picking a name can be tough one.. why not start by making a list (if u haven't done so already) of as many names as you can think of and then narrow them down to just a 2 or 3 and then put it to the public vote and/or ask friends what they think... to start you off, Trainor Solutions, Trainor Marketing, Trainor Web Marketing, JT Marketing, JT Solutions....

    hope this helps

    Melvin
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  • Profile picture of the author ericbryant
    I target to the services offered, or a totally made up name like Yahoo! or mine, Core Zero Creative, Inc. -- we call it Core Zero for short -- totally made-up name.

    Core Zero
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  • Profile picture of the author linebelowdigital
    There's nothing wrong with using your actual name for your consulting work.
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