How to Name a Business

By Lisa McGrimmon | Published May 8, 2020 | Modified Jan. 22, 2022
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How to name a business yourself - A four-step DIY guide to choosing a catchy company name.

You're about to launch your new company, and you need to find a good, memorable name.

Like many small business owners, you don't have the budget to hire a creative firm to select a business name for you. You'll have to DIY this task.

Don't panic! This series will show you exactly how to name your business.

I've broken the process down into 4 phases, and there are links to 11 articles that provide practical instructions to work through each step in the process.

Pink workspace with notebook, paperclips, and floral tea.

How to Name a Business

Here are the four phases of naming your company. We'll look at each one in depth:

  1. Learn business naming basics — Discover the characteristics that make a business name good, so you'll know a great name when you see it.
  2. Define your goals — Determine what you want your name to say about your company, so you can choose a name that uniquely suits your business.
  3. Brainstorm a list of good company names — Learn effective strategies for coming up with business name ideas, so you can create a list of several great options.
  4. Choose your company name — Learn a process for deciding which business name you should choose, so you can select the best name from the list of options you've brainstormed.

Help Naming a Business

Hello, My Name is Awesome by Alexandra Watkins will teach you a step-by-step method to work through the entire process of choosing a great business name from start to finish.

1. Learn business naming basics

How do I name my small business?

Before you dive in and start brainstorming company names, you need to learn a few basics about how to name a business.

If you come into this project with a good understanding of what makes a strong name, and what you should avoid in a brand name, you'll be able to work more effectively.

What is a good company name?

Good Business Names: Learn the characteristics great names have in common, so you can recognize a good business name when you see one.

How do I find a catchy business name?

Catchy Company Names: Good business names are memorable, so customers who encounter your company can find you again easily. This is how to create a name people won't forget!

What makes a business name bad?

Bad Company Names: Don't end up with a total naming fail. Learn what the worst business names have in common, so you can avoid making a choice you'll end up regretting.

How do you create a company name?

Create a Business Name: There are only 3 ways to create a business name and 3 different types of names. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Learn to recognize these categories to simplify your work as you search for your own company name.

Business Naming Guide

Brand New Name by Jeremy Miller features a process you can use if you're working with a partner or a group of people to come up with a name for your company.


The best company names communicate a great story about your business. That's why you need to clarify what you want your name to say about your business before you start brainstorming ideas.

Writing a naming brief will help you get that clarity.

How do I know which business name suits me?

Write a Naming Brief: Writing a naming brief will give you a better understanding of what you want your company name to accomplish.

You'll define your business' key characteristics and list essential attributes you want in a name as well as things you want to avoid.

The document you create using the printable naming brief template on this page (linked above) will keep you on track and focused as you work through each step in choosing a brand name.

3. Brainstorm a list of good company names

How do you come up with a good business name?

Don't dive into random, unfocused brainstorming sessions as you work to come up with a brand name. There are targeted strategies and excellent resources you can use to work more effectively.

How to Brainstorm Business Name Ideas: 6 specific techniques you can use to brainstorm business name ideas. Plus 4 tips for better brainstorming in general.

What should I name my website?

Choosing a Blog Name: Most of the advice about how to name a business applies to naming a blog as well. However, if you're naming a blog or looking for a domain name for your business, you'll need to keep these 5 additional considerations in mind.

Help Naming a Business: Are you trying to brainstorm name ideas and feeling completely stuck? This list of free resources will help you research and generate business name ideas.

4. Choose your company name

How do I choose a brand name?

Once you come up with a list of several possible names, you'll need a way to decide which one is the best name for your company.

Criteria for Choosing a Business Name: How do you choose the best option from the list of possible names you've brainstormed? Use this list of criteria to separate your great ideas from your not-so-great ideas.

A Process for Choosing a Company Name: Use this 7-step process to work systematically through your list of possible names and find the best one in the bunch.

Bonus: Register Your Business Name

Business Name Registration: Once you've found a great name, learn why you'll benefit from registering your company name and where to go to start the process.

Step-by-step guide for choosing a business name. Text on home office workspace.

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