May 28, 2024
Travis Palmer

How to Name Your Small Business Properly: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the right name for your small business is a crucial step in building a successful brand. Your business name is often the first impression potential customers have of your company, and it plays a significant role in your overall branding and marketing strategy. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you name your small business properly.

1. Understand Your Brand Identity

Before you start brainstorming names, it's essential to understand your brand identity. Your business name should reflect your brand's values, mission, and target audience.

Define Your Brand

  • Mission and Vision: Clearly define your business's mission and vision.
  • Values: Identify the core values that drive your business.
  • Target Audience: Understand who your ideal customers are and what they value.

Reflect Your Brand in the Name

  • Alignment: Ensure the name aligns with your brand’s identity and values.
  • Tone: Choose a name that conveys the right tone, whether it’s professional, playful, innovative, etc.
  • Perception: Consider how the name will be perceived by your target audience.

2. Brainstorm Potential Names

Start brainstorming potential names for your business by considering various naming strategies and techniques.

Naming Strategies

  • Descriptive Names: Clearly describe what your business does (e.g., "QuickPrint Services").
  • Invented Names: Create a unique and brandable name (e.g., "Google").
  • Compound Names: Combine two or more words to create a new name (e.g., "Facebook").
  • Acronyms: Use initials or abbreviations (e.g., "IBM").
  • Metaphorical Names: Use metaphors or symbolic words (e.g., "Amazon").

Brainstorming Techniques

  • Word Association: Write down words related to your business and see if any combinations spark an idea.
  • Mind Mapping: Create a mind map to explore different naming possibilities.
  • Free Writing: Spend a few minutes writing down any names that come to mind without filtering.
  • Thesaurus Use: Use a thesaurus to find synonyms and related words for inspiration.

3. Keep It Simple and Memorable

A simple and memorable name is easier for customers to remember and share. Avoid overly complex or difficult-to-spell names.

Tips for Simplicity and Memorability

  • Short and Sweet: Aim for a name that is short and easy to pronounce.
  • Avoid Complex Words: Stay away from complicated or obscure words.
  • Catchy and Unique: Choose a name that is catchy and stands out from competitors.
  • Test for Recall: Test the name with friends and family to see if they remember it easily.

4. Consider SEO and Online Presence

In today’s digital age, your business name should also work well for SEO and be available as a domain name.

SEO Considerations

  • Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords if possible without compromising the name’s appeal.
  • Searchability: Ensure the name is easily searchable and doesn’t get lost in a sea of similar terms.
  • Avoid Hyphens and Numbers: Keep the name clean and straightforward for better SEO performance.

Domain Availability

  • Check Domain Names: Verify that the domain name is available for your business name.
  • Consistency: Try to secure the same name across all major social media platforms.
  • Domain Extensions: Consider different domain extensions if the .com is unavailable (e.g., .net, .co).

5. Ensure Legal Availability

Before finalizing your business name, make sure it is legally available and not already in use by another business.

Steps to Ensure Legal Availability

  • Trademark Search: Conduct a trademark search to ensure the name isn’t trademarked.
  • Business Name Search: Check with your local business registry to see if the name is already taken.
  • Consult a Legal Professional: Consider consulting a legal professional to navigate the complexities of trademark laws.

6. Get Feedback

Gather feedback on your potential business names from trusted sources to see how they resonate with others.

Sources for Feedback

  • Friends and Family: Get opinions from friends and family members.
  • Industry Peers: Ask for feedback from industry peers or mentors.
  • Potential Customers: Conduct surveys or focus groups with potential customers.
  • Online Communities: Use online forums and communities to gather diverse feedback.

Questions to Ask

  • First Impressions: What is the first impression of the name?
  • Relevance: Does the name convey what the business is about?
  • Memorability: Is the name easy to remember and spell?
  • Associations: Are there any unintended negative associations with the name?

7. Think Long-Term

Choose a name that will grow with your business and won’t limit your future expansion.

Long-Term Considerations

  • Scalability: Ensure the name can accommodate future growth or changes in your business.
  • Flexibility: Avoid overly specific names that may limit your business offerings.
  • Timelessness: Choose a name that will remain relevant and appealing over time.

8. Test Your Name

Before making a final decision, test your business name in various contexts to ensure it works well in all situations.

Testing Scenarios

  • Logo and Branding: See how the name looks in a logo and other branding materials.
  • Marketing Materials: Test the name in marketing materials such as business cards, brochures, and advertisements.
  • Verbal Use: Say the name out loud to ensure it’s easy to pronounce and sounds good.
  • Customer Reactions: Observe customer reactions to the name in a real-world setting.

9. Make the Final Decision

After considering all factors and gathering feedback, it’s time to make the final decision on your business name.

Final Steps

  • Review Feedback: Review all feedback and consider any necessary adjustments.
  • Trust Your Instincts: Trust your instincts and choose a name that feels right for your business.
  • Commit to the Name: Once you’ve made your decision, commit to the name and move forward with confidence.

10. Secure Your Name

Once you’ve chosen your business name, take steps to secure it legally and online.

Securing Steps

  • Register the Business Name: Register your business name with the appropriate government agencies.
  • Trademark Your Name: Consider trademarking your business name to protect it legally.
  • Secure Domain and Social Media: Purchase the domain name and create social media accounts to secure your online presence.


Choosing the right name for your small business is a critical step in building a successful brand. By understanding your brand identity, brainstorming potential names, keeping it simple and memorable, considering SEO and online presence, ensuring legal availability, gathering feedback, thinking long-term, testing your name, making the final decision, and securing your name, you can select a name that will set your business up for success.

Ready to take your business to the next level? Get offers today! Fill out an application with Approvd and discover the best funding solutions for your business. For more business, credit, and financial insights, visit our Approvd blog page.

About the Author

With over 20 years of experience in the business loan marketplace at Approvd, our expert has helped countless small business owners navigate the complexities of securing the right funding. Passionate about empowering entrepreneurs, our expert combines industry knowledge with a deep understanding of the challenges faced by small businesses today.

Man and woman small business owners

Compare competing offers and get funding for your business today.