Insights from 30,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

How to Pick a Business Name


In this article, you will discover how to pick a business name with confidence using four steps for Validating Your Company, Brand, or Product Name. Choosing a business name with confidence is a struggle. Validation helps you make a strong choice that will support your goals and growth while allowing you to feel certain that the name you’ve chosen will likely not cause any major issues down the road.

Through this four-step business name validation process you can take the necessary provisions to test your name before you finalize your decision and confidently pick a business name.  

Trademark Risk

Running into legal issues after picking your business name can be devastating to your business. In order to reduce your risk of run-ins with another company’s legal teams or issues with Trademark filing, it is important to check for Trademark Risk before making a final decision on your name. consider that you may be infringing on someone else’s trademark. Depending on your experience with the Trademark process, you can perform this due diligence of your own. However, it’s often best, especially when the consequence could be a receiving a cease-and-desist letter, to have your potential business name ideas checked out by a licensed professionals. 

Finding a Domain

Securing a domain is all about uniqueness, and with an estimated 50 million businesses starting each year, this is not always easy.

  1. When coming up with unique business name ideas, explore a variety of naming types, including blends (Playformance), phrases (Ready to Rise), compounds (SplitWave), made up (Itorix), and visual names (Blue Cabin). Use this list of 14 business name types for more inspiration.
  2. Sometimes it’s appropriate to open up your search and consider .co, .io, and other less common extensions.
  3. Addons are another effective method for securing a relevant domain for your business. Consider popular front-side addons such as Get, We Are, or Shop (e.g. or standard industry addons (e.g.

Exact match .com’s (e.g. Squadhelp resides at are a restrictive element when it comes to the naming process. But if this is important to you, be sure to keep realistic expectations. Great .coms can sell for thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, if they are available at all. 

When our customer ask us how to pick a business name, we always direct them to first understand their domain needs, and then only look at names that meet their criteria.

Linguistics Analysis

Once you’ve settled on a top choice name, it is crucial to perform a linguistics analysis to ensure that the name translates well globally. A number of companies have run into linguistic challenges, including Nokia. The manufacturing brand had no idea that their new line of Lumia cell phones would translate to “lady of the night” in Spanish.

Performing a linguistic analysis on your name can help you avoid an embarrassing situation that could ultimately alienate your brand as well as cost you expensive and time-consuming rebranding that will eat up your revenue and sales.

Words and language are powerful tools as they can play a crucial role in the success or failure of any company or product. Conducting the proper research can help you feel confident that your name choice will be well received on a global level.

Audience Testing

Once you’ve decided on a few name ideas, you’ll want to get unbiased feedback. It’s great that you and your team are excited about your business name ideas, but general audience approval is an encouraging way to know that you’ve found a name that will truly help you succeed. Positive feedback via audience testing can indicate that your name resonates well and properly aligns with your target audience. While objectively there are no “perfect” names, vetting your shortlist of business name ideas against each other with an unbiased group will provide you valuable information that will help you make a final decision with confidence. 

Conclusion on How to Pick a Business Name

By validating your business name ideas, you’ll be able to choose your final name with confidence, knowing that their is a low risk of legal issues and linguistic debacles. While this process is not always easy, the peace of mind gained through this process is certainly worth it in the end. If you need help, check out the Squadhelp business name ideas contest package that includes this full range of validation services.

About the author

Kathleen Krause
Insights from 30,000+ Naming and Branding Projects

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