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Do’s and Don’ts of Naming Your Startup

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branding2  The time has finally come – naming your precious baby.

For many entrepreneurs, your first startup is your entire life. Being able to found your first startup can be a dream come true, especially if things are working out positively and going in the direction you have always wanted.

While you’re floating on cloud nine, it’s easy to get sidetracked when it comes to naming your startup which can ultimately make or break all of your future goals. Picking the perfect name can be difficult but it is crucial to paving the way for your business to succeed.

Why it matters

The name of your startup may seem important, but not as important as the products, you may think. This is where you are wrong.

A poorly named startup can not only be embarrassment city for you but it can be a bad marketing move. Naming your company something out of the blue can also show that you don’t truly understand what it is your company does and how you want it to be represented.

For a business owner who understands how they want their business to be viewed by the world, naming their company should be a fun and creative task. If you understand your business, finding a suitable name should be a compelling experience.

You need a name that will separate you from the rest of the other businesses. You want to be able to build your own brand and reputation rather than be associated with all of the other Joe Schmoe’s.

Before you begin brainstorming ideas for the name of your startup, there are some do’s and don’ts you should know about.


  • Know exactly what it is your company does. You should be able to answer that question with no hesitation or confusion. If you don’t know what your business does, how can you properly name it?
  • Get personal. Let the name tell a story or be a description of something that people see in you. Your business’s name can be a piece of your personality.
  • Use your favorites for inspiration, without copying them of course. For example, pull from your favorite movies, books, music or even names of your favorite family members.
  • Pick something you love. If you are having second thoughts or doubts about a name you’ve chosen, table it and keep brainstorming. Think of naming your startup like naming your child – you don’t settle until you’ve found something you love.


  • Don’t use the first name that comes to mind; this is just settling for a name so you don’t have to do anymore of the footwork.
  • Avoid sound alikes and common names that major businesses have already created or that people already associate with a brand; for example, don’t name your MP3 Company “Oranges”.
  • Being generic or boring is unnecessary. You don’t need to be direct when naming your business or give it all away up front. If your company produces and sells light bulbs, you don’t have to name your company “Bulbs” or “Lights Incorporated”.
  • Don’t get too descriptive. Naming your company “New York City Plumbing” can be a nightmare. Imagine your customers looking for your business in Google – being too descriptive can be harmful for your business.

While naming your business can be a personal choice, looking for help and assistance is not frowned upon by any means. If you are looking for business advice and other tips for entrepreneurs and startup founders, sign up for your free subscription to Successful Startup 101.



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