Business name

Choosing a new business name – some DIY tips

When choosing a new business name, many people spend hours brainstorming, select one, register the domain name and away they go. There are lots of reasons why that’s not the best approach. So here are some tips of things you can do yourself when you’re choosing a name:

Google search (or another search engine of your choice!)

  • Search for the new business name, see what comes up
  • Search for it without spaces between words
  • Search for it with spaces between the words
  • Search for it with obvious alternative spellings (swap C and K for example) and repeat the above steps with those alternative spellings
  • Search for the name PLUS the description of your business (e.g. “name” AND make up)
  • Search for the alternative spellings PLUS the description of your business

Social media

Search all of the platforms you can think of, even if you don’t intend to use them yourself.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Google+
  • Snapchat
  • YouTube
  • Search for the obvious alternative spellings too. Across all of the social media platforms again.

Domain names

  • Use a domain name registrar’s free search function. Here’s the one I use most often
  • Search for the business name with every domain name extension that might be relevant (.com, .net,, .uk, .london, .gift, .eu)
  • Search again for all the alternative spellings.
  • Search again with hyphens between words
  • Search again with the description of your business at the end (e.g. MYNEWNAMEBUSINESSSERVICES)
  • Make a list of all the domain names that are already taken and look at each website – is it live, is it a competing business, is it a business that you wouldn’t want to accidentally be confused with.

Industry journals/registers

  • In your industry, are there registers of practitioners? If so, search them for your chosen business name.
  • Is there a “go to” journal or publication? – search on their website.

Trade mark searches

  • Use the UK IPO trade mark search database.
  • Search for your chosen business name
  • Search again for all alternative spellings
  • Search again removing any spaces between words

None of this is an exact science, and it will be labour-intensive. Especially if you have a short list of a few possible business names. But, it is worth doing. It will cost you money, time and education of your customers if you have to rebrand after launch.

Please get in touch if you would like some help with this.

@stanmoreip on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Image from Pixabay, with thanks.