Browsing around /r/Entrepreneur and other entrepreneur communities I see that one roadblock many new entrepreneurs run into is picking a great name for their business.

How to pick a good business name

how to choose a good business name

how to choose a good business name 3

Name selection is often an overwhelming, frustrating, and exhausting experience.

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I can remember how stressful the naming process was for me when launching my first couple of projects. It would start off fun and loose for the first couple of names, but I would quickly become trapped in a mind numbing list of gibberish.

Several hours into it, I could feel my standards dropping and eventually lost all confidence in my ability to even judge the names I was coming up with. That was usually the point where I would put up a desperation post on some forums like this (or the ones you see above) –

How to choose a good business name 2

And while I think it’s a good idea to ask somebody but yourself, this isn’t the best way to come up with a good name. Not by a long shot.

What I always ended up with were names that I settled for. Terrible names that doomed my projects before they had even started.

And that’s not what I want for you…

So here is the method I have developed over the years to avoid the naming labyrinth and picking the perfect name for your business.

Step 1 – Know What Makes a Good Name

Most people already know intuitively what makes a good business name, so in the spirit of brevity I won’t go in too much detail here.

If you are over-thinking things and want some direction, check out this article for an awesome breakdown of what makes a good name.

Then come back here, because this guide picks up where that one ends…

Step 2 – Brainstorm a List of Names

Once you are confident you’d know a good name if you saw one, you need to come up with a few keywords to get you started.

You probably already have a few in mind. If you don’t, you should probably go back to the last step.

If you’re still lost, look for successful competitors and rapid-growth companies and use them for inspiration.

Huge time saver – Bust-A-Name

Open up Bust-A-Name (the best tool there is for brainstorming domain names) and enter in your initial keyword ideas. I’ll be using StartupBros as the example in this post, since we did use this method to decide on that name (StartupBros was originally going to be IncomeLabs).

So your initial list should look something like this –

Initial Keyword List

As you can see, Bust-A-Name checks all possible combinations of the keywords you put in and gives you the available domains containing those.

Though we just started the naming process, there are already a few good names on the board that I would save. SmartIncomeLabs, StartupIncome, and IncomeBros are all decent names already on the board (and of course StartupBros would have been on this board if it were available).

Add onto initial keyword list

Once you have some initial keywords on the board, you’ll want to expand on those ideas to come up with synonyms/similar keywords.

Bust-A-Name has a feature that will help you with this a little bit –

Keyword Synonyms

Mmm – Synonyms…

I also use LeanDomainSearch at this point to expand on ideas and get some ideas going –

lean domain search

Those are really the only two sites I use to come up with keywords. I sometimes also use Thesaurus, but even that is rare.

At this point, you should have a pretty decent amount of name combinations to look through.

Step 3 – Narrow It Down to a Few Decent Names

Now the mind-numbing part of it all – combing through the list of names.

Try to avoid the temptation to get caught up in this stage. Every startup name will have pros and cons to varying degrees.

Bust-A-Name will save you a huge amount of time by only showing you name combinations with available domain names. All you have to do is scroll through and pick the ones you like.

I usually have over 500 names to go through. You’ll probably end up around there.

90% of the names Bust-A-Name generates will be duds, you’re panning for the gold in them…

There is no real process at this point to what names you should be picking – just save the ones that sound decent.

Try to find 25 out of them that you think are decent, then whittle those down to 15…

Then 10…

Then 5…

Then move onto the next step.

Step 4 – Find Out Which One Is Perfect

Now my favorite part – we test to see which name is the best!

This is where everybody screws up…

It seems everybody thinks they should get their naming advice from friends, family, and Facebook friends – I suspect out of desperation.

That is a stupid thing to do.

Ask the audience

I would much rather A/B test my possible business names to find out exactly how much more or less receptive my target audience would be with each name.

I use the same method highlighted in 3 Steps to Validate Your Business Idea For FREE…almost

  • Head over to Unbounce(I now use and would recommend LeadPages for this) and sign up for a Free Trial account.
  • Make an identical landing page for each possible name (you can just duplicate your first page in unbounce)
  • Make a quick logo for each possible name with Creatr and put one on each landing page (don’t forget to publish your page after you’re done!
  • Run traffic to your landing page.

Your landing pages should look something like this –

landing page

Original StartupBros Landing Page

Landing Page

One of four variant landing pages

 

Make sure the traffic you are running to these pages is targeted. I’d recommend Facebook Ads for this – check out this article for a great breakdown on how to target the correct people.

Step 5 – Domination

After a few days and $50-100, you’ll end up with something like this in Unbounce –

Business Name Test

StartupBros wins!

As you can see, the StartupBros name performed 13% better than our original name idea, IncomeLabs.

Thinking about what that 13% means completely baffles me, and I would love to hear your opinions on it.

Does that mean that everything we do at StartupBros will grow 13% faster and perform 13% better than if we were doing it under IncomeLabs?

I suppose there is no way to know for sure…

But what I do know for sure, is that our target market responded better to the StartupBros name more than any other name we could come up with – and that’s why we chose it.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

Author

Will Mitchell

Will Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of StartupBros. You can learn more about him at the StartupBros About Page. If you have any questions or comments for him, just send an email or leave a comment!

  • Madilyn Abbie says:

    I also use LenDomains – it works really well and you can find some cool pieces there. Another interesting thing to use when you run out of ideas

  • Rose says:

    Pls my names are umoru abdulwaheed want to start up a little bussiness pos stand were you can withdrwl with my pos hences bank is far…pls name

  • pal laxmi says:

    hello sir.. i have open a new training computer institute. so plz tell me unique name for institute.

  • Hanaa says:

    Hi I want a good name for my trading company… Please help. My father is about to run the business. Any ideas?

  • Ajinkya Joshi says:

    Hi we are going to start an IT training and development center kindly suggest something innovative name

  • Justin Smith says:

    hello, I wanna startup an early childhood education institution,any good suggestions?I really need your help! Thx!

  • Nizam says:

    Heyy.. Im from india im starting up a Celibraty management company (We delivers Hr related services from celibraties to custamers )
    Is it possible to guide me grand a good namr

  • mano says:

    hi i am going to start my business , i want to set name for my business . nature of business is food products buying and selling .. name need with meaning of quality and modern name

  • divyesh bhalala says:

    Hello Will
    My name is Divyesh.
    I am going to open small startup IT company in India. So I am thinking about which name will be most suitable.
    so can you suggest some of the name?
    I am thinking name miceCode or mice3coder similar like this.

  • Cara William says:

    Interesting article! This article was very helpful in determining the best approach to take when naming my business.

  • mohamedi dilunga says:

    Hello my name is moody I’m going to start my bussiness.The nature of bussiness is chalk manufacturing factory but I didn’t get suitable name for this company.
    From Tanzania
    Africa..!!

  • Felix says:

    Hello, i want to open marble and Granite company, please i need help

    • Pial says:

      Hi,
      I wish to start up my “Tour & travel business” in a broader sense,which shall cater help desk from start to end of tour.
      This shall include Hotel booking with welcome kit, flight/train/rental car at source / destination with travel insurance facilities with hygienic snacks.
      Kindly suggest a good name for my company.

  • chandan says:

    Hi,
    I want to start a new company in “Website Designing” Field please suggest a name.

  • Irfan says:

    Hi i am going to start my business , i want to set name for my business . nature of business is Leather goods and Pet products(like,dog cate food) .. name need with meaning of quality and modern name and attractive name

  • Salah says:

    Hi,
    Iam Salah I need a name for a my new house hold items agency.

  • Anuraj Dwivedi says:

    Hello sir ,l’m Anuraj ,i want to start my new buissness name is E-comerce (selling site ) .i dont recognize any sutiable name for my site plzz help me coz i will do something new for India (my country )Plzz garntly help for sutiable selling site name???

    • I don’t speak your native language or know anything about the nuances of your native culture. I am wildly unqualified to come up with Indian business names. But YOU do have that knowledge 😉

  • Tayo Tobi Tope says:

    Hi , My name is Tobi. I need a business for my event planning business(catering,baking,drinks,food spices). Thanks

  • nimfa says:

    Hello i want to open a small business for selling a chemical just like grease,oil etc for manufacturer.Something that using for all type of machinery.

  • Richard says:

    H, i want to start a new company for aluminum, so I want a good name. Thx

  • ajith says:

    I want to know suitable name for ,started a new construction company

  • faith says:

    my name is faith and into fashion designinl,salon, catering i need a business name pls

  • Lavern Ewin says:

    Hi good day. Am starting a small business cleaning houses and sofas and rugs can u please help me with a name . Thank you

  • A J Munir Ahmed (Apu) says:

    Dear, We ( Me & My Friend) Jointly want to start a new company for a group (Export- Import, Trading, E-commerce ), So that I want a good name. TIA

  • Jitender says:

    I am jitender Singh I will start a new company for deals and coupons related so sugesst me some names pls

  • Ronnie says:

    Thanks for the tips Will. Never heard of a couple of those sites but it’s certainly helped with getting a name that resonates for our next store launch.

  • David says:

    Hello my name is David, I am going to make a classified website please suggest me a name

  • SRIKANTH says:

    Hello I’m SRIKANTH and I’m planning to start a holiday packages business …Pls suggest me a good name for my firm

  • Srijesh says:

    Hi,
    I want to start accounting and taxation services.

    Kindly suggest a suitable and attractive name.

    Thanks

  • Shankar says:

    I am Shankar Tiwari from India I startup a new e business for online cake 🎂 and sweets delivery… So what’s name is best?

  • Lukman says:

    I ‘m asked to give a title for an IT related company. what can the possible piece of name?

  • Vikas Jangid says:

    I am starting a IT hardware business, please suggest some catchy tittle for it.

  • Vineet says:

    Hi Will,

    Nice article. I used some resources like naminum and namemesh for coming up with a name. But I also brainstormed a lot to come up with a name for my startup which is an app to help people make dinner plans and discover restaurants.

    I named it ‘Orgaknife’, it rhymes with Organize and had the references of a chef’s knife, or organic food, etc.

    But a few friends told me that it sounds risky to use the word knife in it or it sounds like an Organic product store.

    After I named my startup, I came up with a naming philosophy twhile answering to myself. I believe it is very important to first write down your vision and mission statements for the startup or your company. Once you have that, you should find a name that matches with your company’s vision by applying your methods. It also narrows down your search. What are your thoughts?

    I’d be happy to get your feedback on our name and should we change it to match our vision. You can see our messaging and vision here: orgaknife.com

    Thanks,
    Vineet

    • Srimathi Baskar says:

      You are really correct bro. The name should have some word relevant to your business. This will help in you in promoting your business online. When people get to see any of your Ads they will notice the name and when they feel what it is all about then the user will click into your website if they are actually interested in your business.
      Also one important way of promoting your website is taking it online. If your start-up’s name and website domain name is relevant to your business even the Google will fetch your site easily when a query about your business is made online. This is a best practice on search engine optimization which will help you to promote your business easily.

  • Angelo says:

    Fantastic guide, Will! Thank you!

  • Berry Klein says:

    I’m starting my own designer clothing range. Please advice on the way forward interms of branding .

  • Tracy Myers says:

    i am opening up a clothing some bedroom vintage design accessories and furniture consignment boutique and i am have a difficult time w picking out a business name.i need help…

  • kishore zutshi says:

    want to start a business need catchy, easy to memorise name for company

  • Sandeep says:

    I m opening glass bisness letters with m

  • Sogoseye J.M says:

    please help me to name my business, I want to start IT SOLUTION AND HARDWARE

    • Bridget clifford says:

      This is a really great guide to finding a Great name but if after following this guide you still can’t come up with a name I’d suggest you read this free ebook with detailed explanation of the points in this guide.

  • Your Weed Coupons says:

    Naming my business was one of the most difficult things. I eventually settled on a name that says what the business does!

  • Yvette Edghill says:

    Hi my son needs a catchy name for his surf school.
    Please can you help?

  • Happiness.N says:

    I am starting a pure water business,please suggest a nice business name for me.
    Thanks

  • Fabiana says:

    Thank you so much for your article. It saved me from the “business naming black whole”.
    Wish you all the best!

  • Manisha Avasthi says:

    Hi ,

    My products are Commercial Kitchen equipments. I will be trading them. Please suggest few good names .

    Regards,
    Manisha

  • Thomas Simon says:

    im planning to come um with a business of selling clothes and cellphone

  • Amit Yadav says:

    Hi I want to open a transport firm so please suggest me the good name for my firm

  • Tracy ong says:

    Freezer company name

  • yogita jain says:

    Hey suggest me good business name for my e commerce business

  • jitendra Kumar says:

    Hi i want to open new trading company i suggest me best name of company

  • marvin says:

    Renewable energy and Secondary line installation