Three tips for choosing the right name for your startup

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Choosing the name of your startup company can be a frustrating first step, but don’t let any difficulty in the process stop you from putting the necessary time and thought into it. Picking a name is a critically important decision. The name of your company will be one of your most valuable marketing assets, as it is often the first exposure potential clients and customers will have to your business and it is one of the landmark aspects of your business identity. With that said, here are three tips to help guide you to picking the right name for your startup. 

Make it memorable

The name should be easy to say, spell and type. When a name is too long or complicated, people often forget it or can’t remember it correctly. But when it is short, concise and easy to say, it sticks in the memory. For example: Apple, Google, Ebay, Facebook, Amazon. All of these names are easy to say, spell and type, so stick to that formula and you’ll be taking your cue straight from the pros.

Make it thematic

The name should relate to what the product is. If the name relates to the product or service it will lessen confusion over what your company does or what it stands for. There are two good approaches to take: you can choose an abstract theme or a literal theme. For example: Facebook is a literally thematic name, as the product actually displays faces in a book-type format, whereas Apple is a more abstract theme, as it doesn’t directly describe the product. Apple’s name was chosen to be fun and spirited and embody the principles of the company. Either approach can be strong. Just make sure it relates to the product or purpose of the company.

Make it positive

Avoid words with negative connotations. You want the name of your company to be something that will elicit positive emotions and will be acceptable to the widest range of people as possible. Choose something upbeat so that people can relate to it and feel good about doing business with your company.

A final tip

Make sure that your company’s name is available. In Pennsylvania, and most states, the law requires that the name of your company is not the same as that of an already existing company and that it is distinguishable from an already existing name. To ensure that your name complies with these, and other guidelines, contact the Pennsylvania Department of State and run name availability searches using their database.

Follow the above rules, but most of all have fun during the process, and you will be well on the way to choosing the right name for your startup.

Guest post by Joseph Pometto, J.D.