So you’ve got an awesome idea for a new startup that will change the world and become the Uber of your industry. That’s great — now you just have to name it (well, and do a couple hundred other things too. Check out our blog posts here and here for more on that). When it comes to your startup, the answer to “what’s in a name?” is “a whole heck of a lot!” Here are 5 steps to choosing a kickass company name that will soon be on everyone’s lips.
This is the fun part, so let’s do it first. Think about what your company means to you and to your customers. You’ll want a name that embodies all that while still being easy to pronounce, memorable, and unique. Sounds easy enough, right? Don’t worry — you have the tools you need to come up with the perfect name. Think about the customers you want to attract. What speaks to them? What needs do they have? How can you convince them you’re the answer to their problems? Take a look at your mission statement or business plan for ideas, and take into account the opinions of family, friends, mentors, colleagues, and strangers on the street. Seriously though — it’s your company so choose something that feels right to you.
2. Make Sure You Thought of it First
When you’ve hit on the perfect name, you’ll want to run right out and purchase business cards, design your logo, and start hanging signs. Resist the urge. Each state has a database of businesses registered in that state, and many can be accessed online. Search the database for your company name and make sure it’s substantially different than other names in the database. For instance, if Davidson Plumbing already exists, you probably don’t want to start Bill Davidson Plumbing — and the state may not even allow it. If the name you’ve fallen in love with is already in use, don’t despair! It just means you get to do step 1 again 😊
3. Snap Up the Domain Names(s)
In the 21st century odds are excellent that launching a website will be one of the first things a new entrepreneur does. Consider using your company name as your website URL for brand recognition purposes, but if that exact domain is already in use perhaps a simple alteration or switching from .com to .net or .biz could suit your needs just as well. Services like GoDaddy.com and WhoIs.com offer search functions to determine whether or not your preferred domain is available. Also, once you’ve found one you like, consider purchasing a few similar domains to avoid any potential confusion down the road. A common example is purchasing the .com, .net, and .org variations of your domain.
4. Get Social
Increasingly entrepreneurs are finding that a website isn’t enough when it comes to their startup’s web presence. Social media profiles are not just for consumers anymore — brands of all kinds use them to engage with their customers. Before you set your company name in stone, make sure the relevant social media handles are available. As with your website, don’t panic if you can’t get the exact handle you were hoping for. Your company name is more important than what you go by on Twitter, so as long as it’s close, don’t sweat it.
5. Protect What’s Yours
If you’ve made it all the way to step 5, congratulations! You’ve done your due diligence and are ready to broadcast your awesome new company name to the world. You’ve done a lot of hard work to get to this point, so make sure no one steals your thunder. A trademark is a great tool to protect your company name and make sure it stays yours. Then it’s time to move on to hiring a great team and making those sales!
PS – You’ll want to partner with a credit card payment company you can trust, too. We can help with that.
PPS – Worried about how to be a great boss? Don’t sweat it! We’ve got you covered.