Have you ever wondered where the name of the giant “Apple” comes from? It was the founder of the brand, Steve Jobs, who explained it: he decided to adopt this name after visiting an orchard, also believing that it was a “fun, lively and not intimidating” name.
Although the company took its first steps as “Apple Computers”, today it is universally known as “Apple” and is perhaps the best example of how a company name does not necessarily have to be tied to the product it offers to become one of the most famous and recognizable brands in the world. But is there a way to choose a name for your business that everyone agrees on?
In this article, we will explain how to find the right name for your business in 6 simple steps.
1. How to find a legal name
There are different legal requirements for choosing the name of a business like casinoinquirer and they depend both on the country you are in and on the legal form of the business itself, for example, if it is a sole proprietorship, a commercial partnership, or a company limited liability or shares.
In general, three principles should not be violated when choosing a name for your business:
- Principle of truth: it is necessary to indicate the legal form of the company established to carry out the activity and it is not allowed to insert expressions in the name that could suggest a type of activity different from the one exercised (for example, if you have a textile business, you should not use terms that could lead to a different type of business).
- Novelty principle: The business name must be different from that of a competing business to avoid confusion.
- Principle of lawfulness: the name chosen for your business must not conflict with public order and morality.
Before choosing a name for your business, we, therefore, recommend that you always check the restrictions in your country. For example, in the UK it is not allowed to use a trading name that suggests a connection with government or local authorities, as long as you do not have specific authorization.
Register the name of your business in Italy
Before registering your business name, make sure it reflects the legal form of your company, for example, if you decide to open a sole proprietorship, your business name must include the name and surname of the company owner. Second, make sure the name indicates the purpose, management, and legal form of the company. Once all these aspects have been checked, you can proceed to register with the local Chamber of Commerce. However, the Chamber of Commerce responsible for registering the name of your business does not always check for the presence of businesses with the same name, therefore it is necessary to carry out the appropriate checks before registering with the Business Register and the Italian Patent and Trademark Office.
2. What your business represents
Like your professional logo, your business name should also reflect what you do and what your business stands for. Not sure where to start? Start by answering these questions:
- What is your product or service?
You know perfectly well what you do, but how do you explain it to others? Try to describe your offer in a few words, just like in an elevator pitch. This will help you identify the key messages you want to convey to customers.
- What is your unique selling point (USP)?
Of all your competitors, are you the only one to make your jewels by hand? You are not limited to the sale but have you set up a real customer assistance service that continues even after the purchase? Think about what makes you and your offering special and how you stand out from the competition.
- Who are your target customers?
Are your wool hats perfect for fashion victims who don’t want to give up on fashion even on the ski slopes, or are they more suited to those who don’t look at trends but rather keep their heads warm in winter? Your business name needs to match the people you’re targeting, just like your brand’s tone of voice.
- What are the values of your company?
Values are the principles on which your business is founded. Are you engaged in the use of sustainable materials, in contacting only local suppliers, and are you not afraid to take risks? Your values explain to others who you are and what your way of working is.
Your business name shouldn’t reflect all of these aspects, but the essence of it. You should convey the same feelings your customers get when they hold your product for the first time or meet your team.
3. Find the right words for your business name
Now that you’ve found out what are the things that make your business special, it’s time to get creative!
- Brainstorm the words and phrases that describe your offer. For handmade hats, for example, you could start with words like “handmade”, “wool”, “warm”, “unique” and “with love”. You can work on these words yourself or ask family, friends, or colleagues for help.
- Make a list of your favorite words. At first glance, these words may not have much to do with your business, but they should still evoke positive feelings. Remember that the name “Apple” has nothing to do with computers or smartphones, but it is still one of the best-known brands in the world.
- Search, search and search again. Go to Google and search for the names of your competitors or sites and businesses like yours. Of course, you won’t be able to copy their names, but you may find inspiration from a concept, an idea, or just the way they put the words together. Open the dictionary, take a cue from your surroundings, listen to music… collect new ideas from as many sources as possible.
Do you need inspiration? There are tons of free online tools you can use to create your business name. Most of the time they just combine the terms you enter with random words, but they can still help you get creative.
4. Play with your favorite words
Even after brainstorming and researching, your creative streak will certainly not be exhausted. So start playing with your favorite words, combine them, change the suffixes (as in “Spotify”), translate them into other languages… in a nutshell, and let your creativity run free.
The best business names may even emerge from your name. The sports brand “Adidas”, for example, is an abbreviation of the name of its founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler, while the name of the car manufacturer “Audi” is the Latin translation of the surname of the founder August Horch.
5. Test your business name
By now you should have created some potential names for your business. But what do others think?
Share the ones you like best with family and friends and ask for their honest opinion. Even if their feedback is not positive, it is always best to know before you have printed the name on business cards, on products and before you have opened your online shop. Whether it’s good or bad, an honest opinion can help you see things from a different point of view and come up with a better name.
If you get the chance, involve some friends who know nothing about your business. Offer them the potential names you have chosen and ask them to guess the type of product or service you offer. It’s a useful way to bring out any weaknesses you haven’t thought of.
Once you’ve tested the name for your business, there’s still one step left before making your chosen name public: you need to check that it’s available and isn’t already being used by others. So wait a moment before talking about it on social media or elsewhere.
6. How to check if the name you have chosen is available
Have your favorite names passed the exam of family and friends? If so, now is the time to check that they are available. If you can’t decide which one to use, the following information may help you shed some light.
Can you use the same name as another company?
Nowadays, it’s hard to find a truly unique business name. The rules to consider depend largely on where you want to market your products or services, but in general multiple companies can have the same name as long as they are geographically distant, do not operate in similar industries, do not sell similar products, and that is not registered with the same trademark office. If there is a risk that customers may confuse your business with that of a competitor or another business in your area, you should avoid using that name. Sometimes a quick Google search is enough to make sure you don’t run into this risk.
The scenario changes if a company has filed its name as a trademark. In this case, trademark law comes into play and the issue becomes more complicated. In such a situation, brand awareness and age are two things to consider: without going into the details of complicated matters, the odds of you calling your business “Apple” or “Adidas” are nil.