What’s in a name? Well when it comes to businesses, a lot. The perfect name for your business allows you to stand out (in a good way of course) and get you on the minds of your target audience. The perfect name also makes the process of developing a brand much easier, as your brand itself revolves around your company name.

Of course, this isn’t to say that a good business name will somehow compensate for your lackluster products and services. Nor will it magically increase your sales.

If you’ve yet to choose a name for your business, or plan on changing the one you already have, here is a brief guide on what you can do, as well as the factors you should consider when choosing a business name.

Be Serious

Selecting a name for your business is no laughing matter. Sure it’s fun and brings out your creativity, but don’t put it on the same level as choosing a name for your pet. Remember that most of your marketing efforts will stem forth from your company name. It’s from your name where your image, brand and reputation are based on.

Be Careful with Word Play

A clever name can either make you or break you. On one hand, it can help create better recall amongst your audience. On the other, it can come off as cheesy, or worse, tasteless.

What’s important to remember when taking this route is to choose something that’s not tacky. It’s better to be plain than have a tacky image among your customers.

Stay Away from Acronyms

Tempting as it is to use a short and easy-to-write acronym, it’s generally not a good idea, especially for small businesses that need to do heavy marketing to compensate for a forgettable company name. After all, it takes resources to explain what the acronym means right?

Keep it Safe

Don’t use, copy, or edit names of other businesses and turn it into your own. Not only can you be sued for trademark infringement, your customers will frown at your blatant disregard for intellectual property. Stay unique and use your creativity some more to come up with an original name.

Don’t Stay Local

In today’s globally competitive world wherein products and services can now be sold on the Internet, it’s no longer feasible to include your geographic location in your business name. While small businesses certainly operate locally, including your location in your name severely limits your reach and makes it more challenging to branch out.

See if it’s Taken

When you’ve finally chosen a name for your business, you first have to check if someone else already goes by that name, lest you get hit with a lawsuit. Note that you can still use a name that another business has with one condition: it has to be in another industry or market.

Don’t forget to protect your business name from infringement by registering it with your local securities office. This will cost a bit, so be sure to have the resources ready.

Ahmad Rajab is one of Ireland’s leading Business Coaches, and Mentors having hit the Irish Top 5 in the Recession! He utilises proven cutting edge Marketing Strategies to deliver MASSIVE Sales Growth, while focusing on squeezing profit margins to drive Bottom-line growth.