How to Pick Your New Business Name

How to Pick Your New Business Name

Struggling to come up with a new business name? Or have you found the perfect one but want to check you can use it first? Today we're going to explain not only how to pick a name for your new business, but also the things you will need to check before you can start using it.

Tips on Choosing a Business Name

When it comes down to choosing a business name, first you need to like it. Second, it needs to be unique. In New Zealand, if a business has trademarked their name, you are not allowed to use it. But in saying so, even if it isn't trademarked, you are still best to choose one which is not used at all.

To help you get started in brainstorming possible business names, consider:

  • the aim or mission statement of your business. What are you wanting to provide and how will you do this?
  • the message you want your name to convey.
  • what you want people to feel and think when they see or hear your name?
  • the length you want the name to be

Write down all the ideas and words you can. It doesn't matter if you don't like them or it's already in use. This is the time to simply collate all of your ideas in one place before you begin organising them.

Next, group your ideas together. These could be lists of names you like or don't like, possible ideas and ones which need work. Then narrow down to a few of your favourite names. Before you go any further, you will need to check each of these ideas to see if they are in use or trademarked. A good place to start is by using the One Check tool. This will let identify:

  • if there are any companies registered with those words or variations of them
  • if there are any trademarks registered with those words or variations of them
  • if the web domains are available for those words
  • if social media user names are available for those words

Narrowing Down Your Business Names

Often the great name you came up with is being used, or partially used, by an existing business. As much as you like it, don't use it. Not only could the existing business sue you, but more importantly, you don't want your customers mistaking that business for yours! If you're lucky enough to have identified one or more possibilities for unique names, now's the time to check those out with friends and family. Ask them for their opinions about:

  • how the name makes them feel
  • how they will spell it
  • what they think a business with that name would sell
  • if they believe it matches with the industry your business is in
  • if they like or dislike it and why

Then the final decision of which one to use is up to you! Your first purchase should be to buy the domain name for your website. This is important because you want to get it before someone else does. It's a good idea to buy the variations of it too, such as the .co.nz, .nz and .com. Then get the social media user names sorted for your business name next. If you have enough cash, obtaining the trademark for your business' name would also be worth while.

For more help on setting up your new business, take a read of our article How to Start a Business Working from Home for some great ideas. You can also get access to our free guide on setting up a business too!

Posted: Thursday 11 October 2018