If you’re stressing over startup name ideas, you’re in good company. Naming your business is the most important step in launching your brand. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest.
You want your name to set the right expectations for your audience. At the same time, you don’t want to infringe on someone else’s name and risk sinking your profits into trademark lawsuits, either.
While a simple business name search can help you weed out what not to use, you still need some inspiration to create the ideal name for your new company.
If you’re stuck in a naming rut, these seven startup name ideas can spark your creativity and help you create the perfect name for your business:
Seven Startup Name Ideas You’ll Want to Steal
Many startup companies find themselves in a bit of a panic when they realize their ideal name is already taken. Others can’t seem to find the inspiration for a name at all.
In either case, naming your business isn’t a decision to take lightly. After all, your business name is how people will identify you.
Use these seven ideas to craft your ideal startup name that will not only brand your business but also earn your clients:
Idea #1 – Choose a Name that Specifies What You Do
No one has time for vague business names. Try including a keyword that tells your audience what you do.
This way, no one has to guess at what your business can do for them. For example, if you’re an IT service provider, having something like “IT Solutions” somewhere in your business name lets people know your specialty.
Careful though: You don’t want to end up with an exact match domain name. Several years ago, Google took notice of businesses trying to get an SEO boost with exact match domains, such as www.cheappromoproducts.com. Back then, if someone searched for “cheap promo products,” the exact match domain would be an instant #1 on Google, regardless if it’s the best choice.
Now, Google’s algorithm frowns upon exact match domains because it wants to deliver the best results, not just results that have similar words.
However, it’s still acceptable to have a keyword in your business name, such as “content” for a content writing firm. Just make sure it’s not the only word in your name.
Idea #2 – Venture Outside the English Language
Even if you’re not planning on taking your startup international, you can find a plethora of foreign words befitting your brand image.
If you decide to use this tactic, make sure you’re using a word that will likely be understood by your audience and that resembles your brand. Restaurants serving international cuisine, such as Mexican or Italian eateries, frequently use this technique to give their food an authentic flair.
Languages you might consider exploring include Spanish, French, Hawaiian, and Italian.
Idea #3 – Combine Two or More Names
Many companies, like Angie’s List, Barnes & Noble, and Buick, were named after the people who founded them. However, many business experts will agree that naming your business after yourself outright isn’t always the best format to follow.
To some folks, having a brand named after yourself appears pretentious, especially if you aren’t going to be the company’s primary evangelist.
However, combining two or more names to form a unique word can give you the originality you’re looking for without being too focused on yourself.
Some examples of successful companies who have used this technique are A&W Root Beer (founded by Roy Allen and Frank Wright) and Adidas (founded by brothers Adolf “Adi” Dassler and Rudolf Dassler).
Idea #4 – Combine Two or More Common Words
Facebook. PayPal. WordPress.
These words never meshed until someone made them into a brand. Now, these are among the most recognized companies in the world.
This technique does require some creativity. Try generating a list of nouns and verbs that best describe your business, brand, and mission. Then, you can place those words in various combinations to see which ones offer the right rhythm and image.
Idea #5 – Create a Portmanteau
If you’re not familiar with the word “portmanteau,” you’re probably no stranger to the meaning. A portmanteau is the fusion of the sounds of two or more words to create a new word.
For example, brunch is the portmanteau of breakfast and lunch.
The portmanteau is a growing trend in business names in myriad industries. Pinterest, Codecademy, and Mixel have all modeled their business names in this format. DeGraeve offers a free portmanteau generation tool to help you create your own.
Idea #6 – Add a Prefix or Suffix to Your Root Word
If you find the perfect business name but realize it’s already taken, don’t abandon your genius idea just yet.
You might be able to tweak the name with a prefix or suffix to make it unique.
Contently, bitly, inDinero, and Shopify have all used this technique to their advantage. Experiment with a few of each to see if it will work for your brand.
Idea #7 – Hold Out for a .com Domain
Once you find the perfect startup name ideas, you’re not finished yet.
It’s in your best interest to also find a website domain that will match your business name.
Today, there are more domain extensions that you may realize: .com, .net, .org, .biz, .io, .co, .xyz, .info – the list continues. Chances are, you may have already come up with a few great startup name ideas, but none of them are available in the .com extension.
Do yourself a favor and keep brainstorming.
Holding out for a .com can help built trust with your audience by presenting a sense of establishment and longevity. It’s also considered the default for business websites, which can make your website address easier to remember.
Finally, having a .com can provide SEO benefits.
If you’re keen on a business name but can’t get it in a .com domain, experiment with different formats of the name, changing a word, or adding a word to make it unique.
Your business name is too important a task to not take it seriously. Take your time, do your research, and get creative when you come up with a name for your startup. The above seven startup name ideas should provide plenty of naming inspiration.
For more great tips and advice on how to run a better business online, visit our business resources page.