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How to Find a Name for Your Business

Finding the right name for your new business can impact your success significantly.

Not only can the wrong name fail to attract customers, but it can also lead to a host of business and legal issues. A well-selected name can help make your marketing and branding job simple. Over time, it can also become the most striking feature of your business.

Brainstorming a Business Name

To narrow down your business name, you need to consider several things:

  • Your company’s value proposition.
  • The products or services you offer
  • Your intended audience
  • The benefits of your products or service.
  • How you want your customers to feel about your company name

Use these parameters to throw down as many words as possible. Adjectives, nouns, verbs, made-up words, thoughts, sentences — anything you like at all. That’s the beauty of a brainstorming session. There’s never a wrong answer.

How to Find a Name for Your Business: Top 5 Tips

Here are five aspects all entrepreneurs should remember before deciding on a business name:

1. Say the name aloud. Some of the world’s biggest companies, such as Coca-Cola or Krispy Kreme, use alliteration to make their name more memorable. Just make sure you say your planned business name aloud to check it isn’t difficult to pronounce. People need to be able to say it on the radio, in a video or in conversation.

2. Avoid names that are too narrow or literal. You need to be concerned with how your business might change as time goes by, so ensure that its name is still relevant if the business changes or evolves. For example, if you named your company “iPhone Accessories” but later expanded to sell accessories for other products, your original name would be too narrow and restrictive.

3. Beware of using initials. Corporations, such as 3M and BMW, may use initials, but they are well established and make millions every year. For fledgeling businesses, initials aren’t a good bet because they are unimaginative. Rely on an interesting, original name to make your mark instead.

4. Be specific. Don’t have a name that doesn't stand for anything. Opt for names that take advantage of the details of your business.

5. Can you trademark the name? This depends on the brand size you hope to build, but it is still an important thing to consider.

What Are the Rules for Company Names?

Choosing a company name is an exciting part of the company formation process, but there are many important things to keep in mind. You should consider the following rules and requirements when devising your company name. Otherwise, your company application could be rejected by Companies House :

  • The name must be unique — it must not be similar or the same as the name of an existing company.
  • It must end with “Limited” or “Ltd”.
  • Some signs, words and characters are not allowed.
  • A company name cannot suggest a connection to HM Government, an administration or any public authority.
  • Permission may be required for “sensitive” expressions or words.
  • The name must not be offensive in any way.
  • It must be equal to or less than 180 characters in length.
  • The beginning of the name cannot include “www”.
  • Public limited companies must include “PLC” or “Public Limited Company” at the end of their name.

How to File a Trademark

We recommended that you trademark your name . Successfully selecting a name that meets the requirements of Companies House is simple enough, but this does not protect it completely. You can be asked to change your company's name if someone else owns the trademark — and rebranding your business is an expensive and time-consuming process you want to avoid.

Registering a name that triggers a copyright infringement will mean you have to replace everything from your company t-shirts to your website, which can be costly and cause significant disruption.

So, you need to follow a few essential steps when registering a trademark:

1. Carry out a trademark search You should find out if a similar trademark already exists before applying to trademark your company’s name. Search the expired and existing trademarks with the UK Intellectual Property Office’s (UK IPO) database .

2. Choose a trademark class Choose what class of goods and services your company will cover before registering your trademark business name. With 11 covering services and 34 covering products and goods, there are a total of 45 trademark classes. When trademarking a name, you need to select the correct class for your business.

3. Trademark your name Having decided on the class you want to register in and your trademark, contact the UK Intellectual Property Office to apply for your trademark name, using form TM3 or online with the UK IPO . The whole process should take roughly four months, as long as there are no unexpected issues. There is also a cost for registering a trademark.

Ready to Form Your Company?

Once you have decided on a business name, the next step is to form your company. At Mint Formations , we help you form your limited company or self-employed business and take away the worry and stress of starting a new business. With bespoke or standard packages , there is something for everyone and we help you every step of the way.
Choosing a name can be challenging when you’re setting out to start a business, but it’s not something to agonise over. Use our advanced name checker to check the availability of your business name.

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