Incblog for Entrepreneurs

Covering entrepreneurship and business start up questions for non-residents and US citizens.


Dec 21 2012

How to name a new company

by John Gordon | 16:12 GMT

Naming your new company is a very personal choice, and the founders really need to think hard about what they want the name to be. A name can be changed later, if necessary, but this is an expensive and cumbersome process of filing an amendment, notifying your vendors and customers and changing all your stationery, websites and advertising.

Imagination is a great start to naming your new company. Your company’s name cannot be similar to an existing name of the state’s register, so be creative and original. There’re a lot of names in use now, so more than one name needs to be provided in case your first or second choices are not available. Try brainstorming a list of names, then whittle down the list to 3 to 5 that you like.

The Rules

Must haves:
• Cannot be similar to other, already existing names on the register of company names. “Similar” means close in spelling and pronunciation.
• Cannot imply a product or service that is not being offered
• Cannot be vulgar, offensive or contrary to public policy
• Depending on the state, cannot have the name of a person who is not connected to the company, except for historical persons
• Must have a corporate indicator

Should haves:
• Memorable but easy to spell
• A positive element – let other people look at it before you commit, to make sure it doesn’t have an wanted connotation that you didn’t think of
• An indication of what the company does. This may weaken your trademark application but will let potential customers know who you are and why they should use you.
• Keep it short. This is difficult, especially if you are including a descriptive word or phrase, but long names are hard to remember



Leave a Comment