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The Do's & Don'ts of choosing a company name

Mar 21, 2014


It is important to choose a name that is right for your business. It is a personal choice in many ways. You may for example choose a name to reflect the business or go for a more abstract one.

It is also a good idea to distinguish between Trading name and corporate name and ensure the corporate name is not too restrictive in order to enable future expansion.

The type of business should however be an important factor in the decision making process. Is it a traditional business requiring a traditional name or are you starting a cutting edge business which would require a much more modern name? We have put together a do's and Don'ts list to help you along the way.


  • Identify what you want from a name. Reflect your brand? Be more Generic?
  • Make it memorable.
  • Convey expertise of products & services.
  • Check how it works visually (for use on a sign or stationery).
  • Find a Suggestive name. A name should be meaningful & broad.
  • A name should help you stand out from the competition.
  • Ensure it works in different languages, especially if planning to trade overseas.
  • Keep it short, snappy.
  • Ensure it's easy to spell.
  • Start with some of the first letters of the alphabet in order to appear first on listings.
  • Use name of the location (city, town, county) if intend to sell locally. However, there is a word of caution there as this could become a problem if the company was to expand geographically in the future.


  • Avoid string of numbers or initials.
  • Beware of geographical names (for future geographical expansion)
  • Beware of generic names (for future product expansion).
  • Check it hasn't got bad connotations in other languages.
  • ensure it doesn't get embarrassing or rude if played around with letters.


What about Domain Names?

It is very important to check for Domain Names at this stage to ensure your potential Company Name is available as a Domain Name. You may not be interested in trading online at this stage, but it is generally important to have window to your business online. It is also important to protect your assets in this area.


Karen Horne


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