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How to find a good name

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That's what it takes to start a new business. You have a great idea for a business, you've started drafting a plan, and you have a potential client base in mind. You're almost ready to go for it. A good business name should embody the feeling of your brand.

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to create a great brand name - Jonathan Bell

The Best Domain Name Generator

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Naming your business can be a stressful process. You want to choose a name that will last and, if possible, will embody both your values and your company's distinguishing characteristics. But screening long lists of names with a focus group composed of friends and family can return mixed results. Alternatively, a naming firm will ask questions to learn more about your culture and what's unique about you--things you'll want to communicate to consumers.

One thing that Phillip Davis, the founder of Tungsten Branding, a Brevard, North Carolina-based naming firm, asks entrepreneurs is "do you want to fit in or stand out? It seems straightforward. Who wouldn't want to stand out?

But Davis explains that some businesses are so concerned about gaining credibility in their field, often those in financial services or consulting, that they will sacrifice an edgy or attention-getting name. Even the companies that say 'I just want to get my foot in the door' will usually begin wishing that they stood out more once they pass that first hurdle. Larger businesses can also end up with weak names but for a different reason.

They "put a lot of money and time into testing a name to make sure that it doesn't offend anyone and that everyone understands it," says Alexandra Watkins, the chief innovation officer of Eat My Words, a San Francisco-based naming company. The following guide will help you choose a defensible trademark and a search-friendly, recognizable name. How-to Name Your Business: Utilizing Linguistic Tricks As a small business, you're likely willing to be a little bolder in your choice of names.

Here are some ways to turn that instinct into a handle worthy of your brand:. For example, its blog is called The Kitchen Sink. This theme can carry over into its other marketing and verbal branding collateral.

Watkins says, "Any time you have to explain your name or apologize for it, you're just devaluing your brand. If you land a good one it can make your name super sticky, but you don't want one that's over used or too cutesy. They ended up calling the company Spoon Me, and the name was such a hit that t-shirts and bumper stickers bearing the brand were flying out the door.

When "people are paying you to advertise your brand that's the ultimate in a good name. Dig Deeper: What's in a Name? It's indisputable that simple domains, particularly single words in the English language, are growing trickier to find, but experts don't all see eye to eye on how to transform your company's name into a search-friendly and memorable domain. For example, Watkins believes that "in the Internet age you don't want a name that's spelled differently than it sounds.

People won't be able to find you online and you're also always going to have to spell your name for people. He also suggests that, "you have to decide whether you want your domain to capture generic search traffic, or whether you want it to be the basis for a [unique] brand.

Sadly, the majority of them are already taken either by legitimate companies or by squatters. A phrase such as lightmyfire. We ran out of numbers, then we went to , , Nobody cared and nobody even really noticed. If somebody really wants to find you, they'll find you. Other times, it's simply because the company's initial name didn't have sufficient oomph. But chief executives who find themselves with a feckless name for their business needn't wring their hands.

One common mistake that small business owners in particular are likely to make is naming their business after themselves. There are many upshots to not having an eponymous company name. A name other than your own also does a better job of telling your company's story. You also need to be careful not to pigeonhole yourself with your name, which means exercising some foresight about how your business might expand. As an example, Watkins says, "if today you're making belts, but your company might go into making saddles and other things with leather, don't limit yourself to a name that only speaks to belts.

Since companies tend to rebrand later in their life cycles, they often have more money than when they were first starting out. As a result, they can solicit more outside opinion in the process of choosing their names. But this isn't always a good thing, says Davis. If you don't tell people what your company does or what you want the name to evoke, all you can collect are random personal associations. If you're operating a business in the United States, Canada, or England, it's not necessary to file.

You automatically get those rights," says Michael Atkins, a Seattle-based trademark lawyer. So what's the point of federal and state trademark registrations? Again, it comes down to looking into your business' future.

Without filing with your state or the federal government, your rights only extend as far as the geographic scope of your business' operations at any given time. If you're a local business with plans to go national, investing a few thousand dollars in a federal trademark can save you a lot of trouble down the line. There are five categories of trademark strength, and the category that your company's name fits into impacts how well you can protect your trademark against infringers.

If you do end up going to court, all jurisdictions apply a multi-part test to assess the likelihood of a consumer confusing two companies' trademarks. The first test gauges the similarity in sight, sound and meaning, between the two marks, while the second one considers the similarity of the goods or services being sold.

Surprisingly, many small businesses simply choose a name without doing substantial research to see if someone else already holds a trademark for it. If you do properly secure the trademark you then hold it for between five and 10 years, depending on your location, before you have to renew it.

Here are the five categories of trademark strength: Fanciful or arbitrary marks - Fanciful marks are completely made up, which means they had no meaning before they were used as trademarks. Examples include Exxon, Xerox, and Kodak. Arbitrary marks - These consist of common English words used in contexts where their normal meaning has no relationship to the goods and services they're being applied to. One example is Apple, which would be "unprotectable as a trademark for fruit but Apple in association with computers is a very strong trademark because apples have nothing to do with computers," Atkins explains.

Suggestive marks - These indirectly refer to the goods and services that they are associated with and require some imagination on the part of the consumer. This reference or secondary meaning strengthens the mark.

Examples include Greyhound, meant to suggest speed, and Chicken of the Sea, which makes a comparison in consumers minds between tuna fish and chicken.

Descriptive marks - These marks describe the goods and services they are being used to market. Though they are initially weak, these marks can be registered if you can show that consumers associate them with only one company.

This typically occurs after widespread advertising for a period of at least five years. Generic marks - These marks are not protectable at all because they describe a whole group of goods or services, which makes it impossible to distinguish one product within the group from another. For example, if you tried to sell televisions under a brand called TV, or chairs under a Chair brand, a the judge would kick your case to the curb pretty quickly.

How-to Name Your Business: Taking Legal Action It's like a punch in the gut for a business owner when you come across another business that's been using a trademark similar to your own and potentially trading on your good name. But there are a few simple steps you can take to get the situation sorted out. You should "start by contacting a lawyer and having that lawyer consider writing a cease and desist letter to the infringing company," suggests Atkins.

However, before you do that you'll want to double and triple check your research to make sure you're the first user of the mark. If it turns out that you started using the mark second, you're laying out the red carpet for the company you contacted to turn around and force you to change your name.

Even if you do get entangled, the good news is that about two thirds of the time, these disputes can be settled out of court, says Atkins. Michael Atkins is a Seattle-based trademark lawyer. Eat My Words is San Francisco-based naming company that offers businesses a simple quiz to see whether or not their name sucks.

The Name Inspector is a blog about company and product names authored by Christopher Johnson, a Seattle-based linguist and verbal branding consultant. Editorial Disclosure: Inc. These articles are editorially independent - that means editors and reporters research and write on these products free of any influence of any marketing or sales departments. In other words, no one is telling our reporters or editors what to write or to include any particular positive or negative information about these products or services in the article.

The article's content is entirely at the discretion of the reporter and editor. You will notice, however, that sometimes we include links to these products and services in the articles. When readers click on these links, and buy these products or services, Inc may be compensated. This e-commerce based advertising model - like every other ad on our article pages - has no impact on our editorial coverage.

Reporters and editors don't add those links, nor will they manage them. This advertising model, like others you see on Inc, supports the independent journalism you find on this site.

You're about to be redirected We notice you're visiting us from a region where we have a local version of Inc. Today's Must Reads. Forgot Password? Enter your email to reset your password. Or sign up using:. New member? Sign up now. Sign in if you're already registered. Guides and Reviews. Entrepreneurs often angst over the perfect name for their business. This guide will help you choose a defensible trademark and a search-friendly, recognizable name. Join us and fashion entrepreneur Rebecca Minkoff for an Inc.

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How to come up with a business name

Shopify uses cookies to provide necessary site functionality and improve your experience. By using our website, you agree to our privacy policy and our cookie policy. Looking to get a head start? Buy an established online store on Exchange Marketplace. Use Shopify's business name generator to search for business names and check domain availability instantly.

Starting a business can be hard. Coming up with the best brand name that resonates with your audience, has a great backstory, and an available.

Naming your business can be a stressful process. You want to choose a name that will last and, if possible, will embody both your values and your company's distinguishing characteristics. But screening long lists of names with a focus group composed of friends and family can return mixed results. Alternatively, a naming firm will ask questions to learn more about your culture and what's unique about you--things you'll want to communicate to consumers.

Business name generator

Shopify uses cookies to provide necessary site functionality and improve your experience. By using our website, you agree to our privacy policy and our cookie policy. When it comes to starting an ecommerce business , choosing a great store name is a crucial first step towards building a memorable and profitable brand. But coming up with catchy, meaningful ideas can be challenging, and it often feels like all the good names are already taken. A great brand can help your products stand out from the crowd. Get a crash course in small business branding with our free, curated list of high-impact articles. We'll also send you updates on new educational guides and success stories from the Shopify newsletter. We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe. Get started. It's the perfect tool if you're looking for a little bit of creative inspiration.

25 Free Business Name Generators to Find the Best Brand Names

Often new business owners rush to choose a domain name for their business only to realize that they have made the wrong choice. If you choose the wrong domain name, then it can be a hassle to switch later on without hurting your brand and search rankings. While our domain name generator will help you find a lot of good domain name ideas, it can also be quite overwhelming for new users to see so many choices. This is why most smart phone keyboards have a built-in. While it can be tempting to choose one of the newer extensions like.

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Find Your Name: 10 Business Name Generators to Help You Create Your Brand

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Oct 5, - Best Brand Name Generators Online | Find the Best Business Name Generator Online | 26 Free Company Name Generators | Get Brand Name.

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