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Choosing a name for your Startup

Aug 15, 2013

When you are just starting up one of the most important decisions you need to make is choosing a name for your company. This should not be a hurried decision, choosing the right name is not easy, you want to reflect your brand and  give a snapshot of what your company does, you also want your name to be easy to say and to spell and, most importantly, you need to make sure it is not already being used by someone else and that the domain name is available. It is always worthwhile conducting an initial trademark search to ensure that your name is not already in use so you can avoid the time consuming and costly re-branding exercise that a trademark infringement action will bring.

Your name may very often be the first impression that people have of your company so it seems logical that your name reflects your brand and defines you, if  you are providing a business service you might portray the company in a formal and professional way, if you are providing holidays or a leisure activity you would brand yourself very differently in a fun and friendly way. There are, however, exceptions to this, some very well known and successful companies have prospered in spite of the fact that their names have very little to do with their products; Apple does not sell fruit, Starbucks is named after a character in a novel and eBay is an abbreviation of Echo Bay but was originally called  AuctionWeb!

Before you invest time and money building your brand, you need to make sure that your name will not limit you in future, don't use the words "car sales" if you want to expand in the future into repairs and rentals as well as sales or to sell vans, lorries and caravans as well as cars. Also do not give your company name geographical limits if you want to trade nationally or internationally and try to make sure that your name makes sense in other languages if it is a word you have created.

To enable customers and search engines to find you relatively easily your name has to be memorable, not too long, not contain symbols or characters and be not only easy to spell and pronounce but to be spelled as it sounds. Finally, try to avoid anything that sounds too similar to any of your competitors.


Alice Morwood-Leyland

Comapny Secretary


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