Choosing the Right Name for your Business


First impressions are very important and customers will make a lot of assumptions when they first come across your business name.

It’s tempting to be wacky and creative when thinking of a name, but will that create the impression you want?

Your name should work well whether you are mentioning it verbally on the phone, writing it in an email, or using it on stationery or your website. Think about whether you want something which sounds traditional, or is more cutting-edge.

If you are likely to be sold overseas, does your name mean something unsavory in a foreign language?

There is also the option to have a separate corporate and trading as the name which could give you the flexibility to use different brand names in the future, for example, GLP Hairdresser trading as Cuts and Combs.

Legal Restrictions

There are some laws and rules which you should take into account when planning a new name. If you are a limited company or partnership, you have to register your details with Companies House.

You can’t choose the same name as one which has been already registered and there are certain “sensitive” words and expressions which Companies House will not allow to be used.

These include terms such as charity, insurance, Royal, chartered, or Government. Ask Companies House for advice if you are unsure. the business directory is happy to advise on naming and ways of promoting your new business.

If you are a sole trader, then you can either trade under your name or choose a separate name for your business. There are fewer restrictions, as long as your proposed name is not offensive.

However, it’s wise to choose something different from names that are already being used in your local area to avoid confusion.

A quick search online or in business directories will show which names are already in circulation.

Business Names Online

While you are playing around with possible business names, it’s worth looking to see whether any potential domain names are taken already. Having one name for your business and another for your website will just create confusion.

You might choose to buy a few domain name endings, such as .co.UK, .com, or .biz to avoid other companies buying those up in the future.

You can reserve the domain name without actually putting a website online, but it’s usually best to try to get at least a basic site online as soon as possible.

Promoting Your New Business Online

Once you have decided on your name and set up your website, the next step is letting customers know what you do and which products you offer.

Using your website is one option, as is establishing social media feeds or being listed in an online Free directory.

Most small businesses will try a range of approaches to work out what is most effective for their organization, and which elements don’t have any effect on sales or contacts.

This might change over time, so a regular review of your online marketing activity is essential.