While kick starting your business, picking a unique business name is one of the first and most important tasks for you.
Your business name should be an indication of what your business does for your target audience. They also tend to assess the quality and appearance of your business/product based on its name.
For instance, people who have not yet seen or heard about Urban Ladder can sense that it sells modern furniture.
5 rules for naming a business properly
Here are a few rules to guide you with the process of picking a good name:
- Is easy to remember.
- Hints at what you do.
- Won’t limit future growth .
- Is available.
- You are happy with it.
Be sure to set aside a good amount of time and ensure you pick the perfect one. After all, you will live with this choice for the life of your business.
Related: Business name numerology
Unique business names in India
Before we get into our naming rules, let’s start by looking at a few unique business names of startups in India:
Coolberg, a Mumbai-based startup, produces handcrafted non-alcoholic beers. Since 2016, Coolberg has been making parties and gatherings easier for non-alcoholic friends/family with a range of flavours.
Shuttl is an app-based minibus public transportation service for commuters. Founded in 2015, the service provides a hassle-free and convenient travel option.
This app was developed in Mumbai in 2016. It stores and shares medical reports and prescriptions with doctors, allowing patients to skip the hassle of an in-person visit.
Treebo is an Indian budget hotel chain that operates on franchising. Since launching in 2015, it has grown to more than 350 hotels in 80 cities in India.
In 2016, CoWrks was founded to offer fully furnished and managed coworking spaces at affordable pricing in India. The company has locations in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad and Chennai.
CoWrks not only survived the pandemic but is thriving. India has one of the largest office markets in Asia Pacific region. CoWrks has happily stepped up to satisfy the demand for office space among IT/ITeS, BFSI and consulting firms.
You would have observed how simple and at the same time appealing the above-mentioned business names are. Choosing a unique business name is not that difficult — you just need to follow a few rules.
5 rules for choosing a unique business name
Yes, many good names have already been trademarked. But there still are a lot of cool business names no one has thought of. Check out the online business name suggestion tools in this post to get started.
1. It is easy to remember
The most common mistake that businesses make while choosing a business name is coming up with something too difficult.
The easier your business name is to pronounce, spell, share and remember the better it is for your business.
Try to keep your business name short and avoid all the:
- Useless acronyms
- Complex or jumbled-up words
- Numbers and hyphens
Few examples of unique and easy names are Paytm, Zomato and ClearDekho.
Should you go abstract?
Abstract names are in trend as they are catchy and unusual. These names also provide the flexibility to sell anything under them.
But to fix the abstract names in your customers’ minds takes a huge amount of time and cost. Examples of abstract business names are Kodak, Pepsi and Google.
2. Hints at what you do
The more your name communicates to the audience, the less effort you have to take to explain it.
Thus, try to include information about what your business does in your business name. This will also make it easier for your potential customers to find your business on search engines.
- Ola Cabs is an Indian transportation network company offering cab services.
- FreshMenu is a food delivery service.
Just by looking at their names, we can guess their offerings.
Don’t try to include all information about your products in your business name. Just try to convey the main idea.
For example, if you are starting a pharmacy business, think about using words like cure, medication, fit or healthy.
3. Won’t limit future growth
A business owner would not like to have a business name that could create a hurdle in its business growth. Hence, before finalising your business name, always think about the future.
Avoid using a specific place in your business name. Business expansion or change in business location may become a problem in business growth.
The same applies to the products or services you provide. If you intend to expand your business offerings in the future, try not to make the name too specific.
For example, perhaps your company makes women’s clothes but in the future, you might try to capture the male market as well. Then having a business name like ‘The Modern Woman’ wouldn’t be helpful.
4. Is available
As a part of your business name generation process, it is important to check what names are already registered. The Government of India maintains a database on this here.
Also in the internet era, you must check available domain names before agreeing on a business name. The domain name will become your website address.
Type in a business name you like to see if the matching domain name is available:
Make sure to register a domain name that matches your business name or else it could create confusion for your customers.
5. You are happy with it
It is also very important that you like your business name, only then you will feel confident about putting it out into the world. Hence, try to assess several options and spend enough time and energy to come up with a unique business name.
The last thing to remember is that unique business names can’t totally make or break any business, but they definitely can have a powerful impact.
The right name acts as a foundation on which you will build your business.
Hence, try to get the right name to make sure your business is off to a great start!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some catchy business names?
Catchy business names are easy and fun to say and stick well in your customers’ memories. Here are some ideas on how to come up with a catchy business name:
Combined name: There are ample ways to be clever here. Just make sure that the word combo is easy, intuitive, and even looks good when written out. For example, UpGrad (Up+Grade) is a higher education portal offering courses in Data Science, Technology, Management, and Law online.
Family name: One of the most natural ways to name a business is to use the founder’s name, surname, or family member’s name. For example, Kamal Products, a manufacturer and supplier of bedding products like pillows, cushions, quilts, duvets, and mattresses, was named after the founder
Rhyming name: Rhyming names are pleasing, soothing, and fun. It is easy to remember and pronounce. Rhymes create a kind of music, and responses to music are located in our emotional home, the right brain. For example, CookingShooking is a YouTube official food channel.
Epic name: Many characters/places in history and entertainment signify traits or qualities you may want your business name to be associated with somehow.
Temples are widely recognized in India as sacred sites and places of worship. Combining the words temple and yoga creates a solid and memorable name for a business that teaches Indian yoga practices.
Local or foreign name: One way to add a little creativity is to use a word in local or another language that can make your business seem exotic and memorable for potential customers.
For example, Flechazo restaurant in Bangalore. Flechazo means love in Spanish.
Another example is Jai Kisan (Kisan means farmer in Hindi), a platform that serves rural emerging markets with long-term funding.
Industry-associated name: Think about adjectives that describe your customers or how they want to feel about your products or services. Flock, which means a group of birds or the act of coming together, is a good name for real-time messaging and collaboration apps.
Tweak name: Remove or add a letter or change the spelling of a well-known word to make your business name more attention-grabbing.
For example, Groww is an investment platform that combines stockbroking and direct mutual funds to provide a new way to invest money.
What is a unique business name?
A business name is more than just words. It plays an enormous role in a brand’s growth and perception, ultimately making or breaking a company.
The first thing a customer interacts with is your business name.
So making a powerful impact at the starting point is key to success. Hence it is crucial to have a good and unique name for your business.
How do I get a unique business name?
The best business name for your company is a simple representation of your business’s essence, purpose, or mission. It’s an identity that you might want to have for your company.
Unique business names are usually:
- Made up
- Have special meanings
As such, they can come from all kinds of ideas and inspirations.
Several business name generators can help you in getting a unique business name. But always remember that no tool is a substitute for having a deep understanding of your market.
So, before you start searching for your business name, try to answer the following questions.
- What is the state of the industry?
- Who is your customer?
- Who are your competitors?
- What sets your business apart?
A business name that resonates with your industry and consumers can save you money, since you won’t have to spend advertising dollars clarifying a muddled message. A unique name should also lift your business above competitors, help you reach new markets, and open doors to further growth.
How to choose a business name?
The best business names are short, unique, and sum up your business values.
Once you have a list of business names that achieve this, use this checklist of considerations to ensure you’re only shortlisting your absolute unique business name ideas. Each name must:
- Be easy to pronounce, spell and sounds good when said aloud.
- Allow your business to grow. Don’t limit your name ideas to a specific product, niche, or market — you may wish to grow beyond this someday.
- Be creative, memorable, and stands out from your competitors.
- Be available as a trademark, a domain name, and is legal.
- Be web and visual-friendly and lend itself to memorable design, including icons, logos, colors, etc.
- Make you feel happy, proud, and comfortable.
You’ll also want to make sure the name you choose doesn’t mean something negative in another language, culture, or industry.
Once you have shortlisted a few business name ideas, the last step would be to get feedback. The feedback, if possible, should be from your known people (friends and family) and random people (target audience) to get validation on the effectiveness of your business name idea.
Why is it necessary to conduct a Trademark search?
Once you’ve decided on the best name for your new business, perform a trademark search.
Conducting a Trademark search online will reveal any trademarked brand names that are the same or similar to your name.
If it is already trademarked, it is better to move on to the next favourite name on your list.
If it is similar to your name, it might confuse consumers, especially in the same business category.
The best option is to alter the name or select a new name. You could use some websites specializing in trademarks, like the IP India public search website to check for trademarks.
Editor’s note: Once you have your name sorted, put your new business online in less than 5 minutes with Online Starter Bundle.
UPDATE: This unique business names post was first published on 19 November 2019 and updated 13 June 2022.
Image by: Coolberg