How to find ideas for company names
There are lots of different methods for coming up with good company names. Some of the key factors to consider are:
Informative – One idea is to pick a company name that is descriptive. Using a company name that describes what your company does will make it easier for potential customers to understand what you are selling. An example would be “The Careful Moving Company” or “Warm and Fuzzy Gas Suppliers Limited”. This also has the advantage that your business name is going to be a close match to what people are searching for on Google. So, if you get your industry (e.g. plumbing) and your town or city into your business name it is likely to be a close match when people are searching for a local plumber online.
Intriguing– Some companies go for the opposite approach from an informative company name. Choosing a meaningless word or phrase for your company name, or even making up a word, allows you to build people’s idea of what your company does from scratch. With “The Careful Moving Company” people expect your moving company to be careful, but not necessarily quick or modern. Having a moving company called “Olifant” does not carry this meaning with it. It also has the added benefit that on hearing your company name people are very likely to ask what you do, giving you the perfect opportunity to tell them all about your business. This is particularly common approach with technology companies. Businesses like Google and Twitter have built big brands around words which don't describe what they do. However they have built such strang brands that we often talk about 'Googling' something or 'Tweeting' things.
Short – The average length of company names in the UK is 15 characters and average 3 to 4 words (not including the Ltd or Limited). Keeping the name relatively short helps to keep it memorable. Human short term memory can normally store 3 to 5 items of information (words) at a time. Keeping your company name short helps it stick in people’s minds. It is also a good idea to keep business names relatively short so that you can get a memorable domain name to go with it.
Technique – Many people borrow their ideas for company names from other companies. A number of companies have opted for using colours and animals in their company names. This sort of idea can be helpful. Take a look at our choosing a company name page for more ideas
Usable – You will need a name that is Memorable, Pronounceable and Easy to Spell ensuring that you cover all these bases means that when customers want to look for you on the internet, they won’t misspell your company name. When they want to tell their friends and family about the quality of your service, they will be able to say your company name. And most importantly, they will remember you and come back for more.
Legal – All company names are checjked by Companies House before being registered. Beware of Sensitive Words in your company name.These are specific words such as ‘bank’ and ‘doctor’ which can only be used with special permission or cannot be used at all. When coming up with ideas for a company name, make sure you pick something that is inoffensive. Inappropriate names will be refused registration by Companies House and it is never advisable to use such a name as you risk putting potential customers off.
Available – If you have ideas for your company name, be sure carry out a Company Name Search to make sure they are not already in use by another company. You should also check to see whether there is a trade mark which would stop you from using your new company name.
Friends and Family – Before you register your new company name get a second opinion from friends and family, give them a few options and see which one the most people like.
For more guidance and ideas for a company name, take a look at our choosing a company name page and our FAQ. Remember you can order your new company formation online with us, protecting your chosen company name in a matter of hours!