How to come up with a business name

Choosing a business name is an exciting yet challenging part of setting up your own business. After all, your company name is what makes the first impression on your customers and it can be crucial to the success of your business. In this article, SIXT Corporate takes you through how to come up with a business name. We’ll be looking at steps to take, important aspects to consider when choosing a business name and how to avoid potential pitfalls.

Every business needs a name!

So, you need to come up with a name for your new start-up? Having the chance to choose its name should be one of the best things about starting your own business. Choosing a business name that is catchy, simple and memorable while telling potential customers what your business does is not that simple. SIXT comes as a good example here. In 1912, Martin Sixt founded the namesake company for what was back then the first car rental company in Bayern with a 3-strong fleet. The name is simple, relatable, easy to pronounce, and proved to be a wise choice.

What’s in a name?

The name of your business should leave a lasting impression on your customers; otherwise, it will quickly be forgotten.

Let’s look at how to come up with a business name. The essential purpose of a business name is to communicate to your customers what products or services you offer, so the first thing you need to think about is what your business does. You might like to refer to your business plan or mission statement for this. You should also consider the kind of image that you want your business to have. Should it be serious and professional or fun and quirky? The name should reflect the ethos of your business and communicate it to your customers. You should also consider the emotional response your business name should provoke. How should the name make your customers feel?

When thinking about coming up with a business name, it is also worth considering what matters most to you. Do you want it to be memorable? Unique? Do you rather want it to precisely describe your business and its products or services? Maybe something that sets you apart from your competitors?

Have a look at some other business names. Which ones do you like, and why? What turns you off? How do the names make you feel?

Choosing a business name

A good business name:

  • Is easy to remember and spell
  • Stands out from the competition
  • Is neither too descriptive nor too vague
  • Arouses positive feelings in your customers
  • Creates the right impression
  • Can make the job of branding and marketing easier
  • Gives your business room to grow
  • Conveys the right feel and the right message
  • Works in different target markets, including internationally
  • Should work equally well on your website/business cards/signs/letterheads, etc.
  • Satisfies the relevant legal requirements

Here are some tips for how to come up with a business name:

Avoid hard-to-spell names

The last thing you want is for a potential customer not to be able to find your business when they try to look it up online. Pick a business name that is simple, easy to remember, and unlikely to be confused with another business. Which brings us to…

How does the name sound?

How does it sound when you say it out loud? You and your employees will have to say the name of your business over the phone a lot. Will people understand it? Will you have to spell it? Will they write it down properly?

Allow room for growth

Avoid choosing a company name that is too specific in terms of the products or services you offer or your business’s geographical location. For that same reason, and if you ever want to sell your business, you shouldn’t use your own name. Pick an unrestrictive name that your business can grow into. It’s also worth remembering that words and phrases go out of fashion, too, so you might want to avoid anything too trendy.

Avoid embarrassment or offense

Check that the business name you have chosen doesn’t have any unfortunate connotations or mean something different, especially in any potential foreign-language target markets. Likewise, make sure that any web addresses you think of don’t spell anything offensive or inappropriate.

Stand out from the crowd

Your business name should be different enough to help you stand out from your competitors and avoid confusion.

Do your research

Once you have come up with a business name that ticks these boxes and that appeals to you, have a look online to see if any other businesses are using that name. Unfortunately, there is a high chance that somebody will be, but that isn’t the end of the world. You just might need to be a little more creative.

Get feedback

Once you have come up with a few business names, ask friends or family what they think.

Look online for help and inspiration

Online business name generators and thesauruses can help you to come up with ideas.

Get the domain name

As the heading suggests, the next step is to get the domain name for your business. If you can’t get the .com domain, it doesn’t mean giving up on your favorite name. You could modify the name slightly or use a domain other than .com.

Legal aspects

Make sure that you check the regulations for naming companies in the countries relevant to your business. Your company name must not break any rules with regard to what you are allowed to call a business, trademarks, and criteria for displaying your business name. Depending on what form of business you are setting up, you may or may not need to register its name.

Last but not least, do you like the name?

As the business owner, it is important that you feel happy with the name and that you believe that it conveys the right message about your business and what it does. If you don’t actually like the name, you are never going to be fully behind it.

To sum up

Your business name can play a major role in your business’s success, and it should hopefully be around for a long time, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right from the start.
To sum up, here’s a brief strategy for how to come up with a business name, along with some dos and don’ts:

How to come up with a business name:

  • Think about what your business does and what its ethos is
  • Consider what is most important to you when choosing a business name
  • Look at other business names in the same and different sectors
  • Consider potential pitfalls
  • Brainstorm
  • Research
  • Get feedback
  • Reflect

Dos and don’ts for how to come up with a business name:

  • Do avoid hard-to-spell names or ones that are too similar to your competitors
  • Don’t pick a name that could limit the growth of your business
  • Do stand out from the crowd
  • Do your research
  • Do get a domain name
  • Don’t pick a name that could have negative connotations
  • Do check that your name doesn’t mean something offensive or inappropriate in a different country
  • Do check the legal requirements for naming a company in the countries that are relevant to your business
  • Get feedback from people whose opinion you value

As the world’s leading mobility services provider, SIXT aspires to give every business quick and easy access to short-term and long-term rentals. As Vice-President Regina Sixt once put it, the name “SIXT stands for premium vehicles, premium services and worldwide mobility”.

When you’re done dealing with all the bureaucratic steps required for your company to be declared a legal business entity, feel free to register on our platform so you can start benefitting from many perks, such as company discounts, 24/7 service, English-speaking rental agents worldwide and free cancelation upon payment on arrival.

Sign up today!