Valuable Guides to Naming Your Business

Selecting the perfect name can be one of the most important and potentially challenging steps of starting a business. While some entrepreneurs instinctively know how to come up with a moniker that encompasses what their venture stands for, others may struggle.

If you're in the latter camp, this compendium of The Balance's articles on the topic—ranging from domain-registering to title generators—can help you overcome your business-naming challenges.

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Simple Steps to Help You Name a Business

Exterior view of storefront with business name displayed
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One of the most effective ways to get started with naming your business is going back to the basics. Take time to consider the foundation of your enterprise—what you stand for and what you hope to accomplish—then follow a series of other steps to determine if the name you have in mind is a good one: brainstorm with others, let your ideas cool and revisit them, and – before you get too excited by your choice – make sure the name is available.

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The Most Popular Styles of Business Names

Company with a Stylized business name
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Most business names fall into one of six standard categories. They include: "mainstream words," "made-up words," "owner's name," "obvious" (outlining what the firm is or does), "trendy words," and "initials or abbreviations." You can explore all these naming approaches to find a title that suits your business best.

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Free Business Name Generators

Typesetting Blocks
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If you hit a business-naming block, name generators can help your creative thinking. Based on keywords and other specs you provide, these 10 complementary tools come up with a moniker. Even if the one suggested isn't ideal, it can get you thinking creatively again—and you didn't spend a dime.

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How to Develop a Domain Name

Dot-com is a common domain name extension
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Registering a domain name is an important but often overlooked part of naming a business. Even if you don't anticipate creating a website right now, it doesn't hurt to secure a good, logical name for your venture on the web—just in case you do set up a site someday.

Usually, you should create a domain name concurrently with coming up with a business name. It should be short, easy to spell, and SEO-friendly. Once you hit on one, you should immediately register it.

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The 10 Commandments of a Great Business Name

10 rules to make sure your business name is in order
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Once you have a name in mind for your business, review these 10  rules to make sure you're not missing something. They include getting different perspectives, avoiding legal problems, and ways to anticipate how the name will resonate in public. It's a good idea to avoid too-cutesy or pun-filled monikers – or names that evoke a famous company or brand. You don't want to be too local-sounding – so avoid having a neighborhood name in your title – but also avoid  words like "global" or "worldwide." They're too high-falutin' for a start-up.