Naming your business is an incredibly important step in starting your business endeavor, so it’s important to make sure you get it right. Your name is the first thing potential clients hear and see. It will be all over your website, logos, and marketing materials, so it needs to really work for you, not against you.
Brainstorm and check availability
Brainstorming possibilities is an obvious place to start, but it can be tricky to come up with names off the top of your head. One great tool is Bust-a-Name, which not only provides a variety of suggestions based off keywords you provide, but also only shows domain names that are currently available. Bust-a-name guides you every step of the way, so all you need to get started are some keywords that relate to your business. The tool will even provide synonyms for your keywords so that you don’t get stuck on the same word combinations over and over again.
Domain availability is not your only concern. In order to avoid costly legal problems down the line, you’ll want to check the US Patent and Trademark database to ensure that your name or a similar name is not already trademarked. If you plan to incorporate your business, you’ll also need to check with your state filing office to ensure that your name has not already been incorporated.
Don't forget about social media either! The last thing you want is to settle on the perfect name and buy the domain only to find that someone has already claimed the Twitter and/or Facebook for it. Even if you can come up with an alternative, just think about all the traffic you’ll lose to that unrelated social media account, not to mention branding issues that could arise if the owner of the account posts things that could offend or turn off potential clients.
Crowd sourcing and audience polling is a popular option, but it’s not always the best idea. If you want to involve people outside of the business, make sure it’s during the original brainstorming stage, not when it comes to your finalists. When you’re down to the final decision, only people who are truly invested and involved in the business should be voicing their opinion. Resist the urge to post your ideas to Facebook and let everyone you know vote. The voting process usually results in the safest and most vanilla name coming forth as the winner, when a safe approach may not be the right one for your business.
Don’t over think it
Don’t let the pressure of picking the perfect name drive you to over think everything. You shouldn’t be agonizing over this decision and going back and forth on names. Centerco Office Suites got its name in a very simple way. The first building our owner, Arthur Loomstein built in 1973 was 120 S. Central in Clayton. It was the largest building in Clayton at the time and in the center of Clayton. So instead of Center Company or Center Properties, they named the business Centerco. Then in 2011 when Centerco Properties purchased and remodeled 11628 Old Ballas Road in Creve Coeur, MO, we wanted the Centerco name as part of the new endeavor which is now Centerco Office Suites. It was an obvious name, right in front of us! Maybe your name is right in front of you as well.