How to choose a name for your business
15 January 2015
Thinking of starting up a company? Here at The Company Shop, we have extensive experience with company formations whatever your company structure. We also have extensive experience with company restorations. Company formation in particular can be a daunting task; firms have to think about everything from tax to cash flow when planning their successful business. However, it can and should be a smooth and rewarding period. One of the most difficult questions for new companies is how to choose a name. Here is our short guide on how to choose a name for your company in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.
Question: what is in a name? Answer: everything!
Choosing a name can be stressful. However it should be a fun and creative process. In business, first impressions count and in the majority of cases, that will be your name. In many instances, people are tempted to choose a name that reflects their personality. Sometimes this is a great way to explore names that are fresh and unique. Of course, it is also important for you, the company founder, to like the name. But remember, the name should not clash with the brand identity or the impression that you are trying to make in the market. Therefore it is important to think about your business strategy and your brand identity when you are brainstorming names.
When you have a shortlist of possible names, you should put them to the test by trying to picture them in a range of forms. Your business name will appear in a number of forms: on your letterhead, on signage, on stationary and so on. Will it look right and create a great impression in all of those contexts? If not, you might want to rethink.
Another big debate that people always have when choosing a name is whether the company should “say what it does on the tin”. If your company offers cleaning services, should the name have the term “cleaning” or “cleaning service” in it? There is no hard and fast rule on this. Sometimes it is just as effective to choose a more abstract name that evokes the kind of feelings about your brand that you want people to have.
Another frequent debate that people have is whether to use their own name in their company name. Sometimes they will even choose a name that is not their own because it conveys certain values. For example, a traditional name can evoke old-fashioned values and reliability.
A further piece of advice is to bear in mind if you are going to be trading abroad is that the name should be easy to pronounce, even for non-native English speakers. For example, if you are going to be doing a lot of business in France, a name that has a “th” in it will be difficult for most French people to pronounce because the sound does not exist in the French language. It is also important to make sure that the name of your business does not translate into something that might be rude or inappropriate in another language.
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Brendan Corr, Corr & Corr Chartered Accountants