One part of starting a business that many entrepreneurs struggle with is finding an awesome name for their company. I recently helped my sister through this because she is starting her first business, which is a sewing business.

She wanted something sophisticated while still having the name reflect what she actually creates. We went through a couple of names before we settled on something that was perfect. It’s not easy to find a name, but here are some things to consider.

Is the URL Available?

You might have an amazing idea for a business name, but a search of available website domains might reveal that it’s not available. You’ll have to do your research when this happens. Sometimes you can offer to purchase the domain name from its current owner, but this often comes with a high price.

You want your URL to be something that is recognizable, memorable, and easy for your customers or clients to find. So, if the first name you liked for your business isn’t available, it’s time to find a new one. Your website address is one of the most important parts of marketing your business these days, so don’t settle for one that’s not perfect.

Is the Name Trademarked?

In addition to finding a URL that is available, you should also do a trademark search. You can do this by entering the name you like for your business into a simple trademark search. This will allow you to see if there is someone else with a similar type of business and name. From what I understand from my own process of acquiring two trademarks, you can have the same name as another company if you’re in a different type of business. A qualified trademark attorney can help you with this process as well.

Is the Name Relevant?

Last but not least, is your name relevant? Do people know what you’re selling when they look at your business name? Sometimes business owners choose names that are hard to pronounce or simply don’t make sense. Sometimes they also choose names that fit but change the spelling of them, making it hard for clients or customers to look up their ratings or even find their website or office building.

In sum, choosing a name for your business is actually one of the most important steps you can take. It’s not easy to change your business name. I know this because I rebranded and renamed mine last year, and people still refer to my business as the old name. It can take a long time to make the switch so if you’re a new business owner just starting out, take the time now to find a name that reflects your goals all while being memorable and relevant.

It’s not an easy task, but it’s an important one – good luck!


Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions, earn more, reach their goals, and take on a more active financial role in their families. Named the Best Contributor/Freelancer for Personal Finance in 2014, her writing and expertise have been featured in dozens of notable publications and in national media.

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