Choosing a Successful Name for Your Small Business

What’s in a Name?

Never belittle the amount of your breadth name to the success of your sales! The breadth name is the alternation of belletrist amid “www” and “.com” (,.biz, etc.). It can be the a lot of able action you apply to draw humans to your site… and accept them advancing aback for more.

Whether you accept an accustomed aggregation that needs a breadth name OR your breadth name dictates the name of your company, this column will acquaint you aggregate you charge to apperceive to auspiciously play the name bold and win.

Start Smart: The Brainstorming Process

Don’t be fooled. A lot of times, allotment a name is not as simple as it seems. There are abounding variables at plan to ensure that your website can be activate amidst your competitors and again abide in the minds of your barter already they leave.

Start the action by afterward this allegiant brainstorming method:

  1. Unleash your thoughts: Sit down in a quiet breadth after aberration and absorb ten account autograph aggregate that comes to apperception if you anticipate of your artefact or service. Don’t anguish about spelling or punctuation; just get your thoughts on paper.
  2. Highlight words with impact: Comb through your list, highlighting the words and phrases that represent the characteristic advantages of your aggregation and accomplish the a lot of impact. Anticipate about what words your barter may use if they’re analytic for your artefact and cover those as well.
  3. Piece the addle together: From your “power list” of accent words, try altered combinations to accomplish a byword or new word.
  4. Analysis availability: Yield your top 10-20 favorites and analysis them for availability online at an accepted allotment account like (see “Name Registration” for details). Your admired names may be taken, but a lot of allotment sites will accord you a account of alternatives that will accumulate your auto axis to acquisition added acceptable options.
  5. Ask around: Already you accept a account of your accessible picks, yield a vote with accompany and ancestors to see what comes out on top. Listen to their opinions – what seems abundant to you may complete funny to them — but bethink to chase your instincts; ultimately, you are the accommodation maker.

For example: If you’re affairs authentic, gourmet Belgian Waffle mix, some analytic name combinations may be,,

Rules of the Game

  • Alone letters, numbers and hyphens can be allotment of the breadth name, but the name cannot activate or end with a hyphen.
  • A lot of programs will not abutment any name over 26 characters.
  • You accept to be accurate not to accept a name that infringes on the cast of accession company. Break abroad from acclaimed celebrity names or variations of cast names.

What to do if…

The breadth name for your accustomed aggregation is not available?

If you’re accessible to yield your accustomed aggregation online but the name is already taken, don’t worry. Accede application a abutment or accept a adapted adaptation of your aggregation name that’s abutting abundant to break memorable to your accepted customers.

For example: Jessie’s Jewelry may become, or

You can’t adjudge on one name?

No problem. Use the account to analyze names and actuate which one will plan hardest for you. Use that as your primary aggregation name and acquirement assorted breadth names if your account allows.

You’ve absitively on a breadth name is taken?

Don’t be tempted to,.biz or accession addition suffix as your primary or alone breadth name. Acquisition a aberration of your name that available. You may acquirement addition suffixes in accession to address, but humans tend to automatically to the end of your breadth name. You may be sending your barter to accession website.

Your artefact alternative is ample and it’s harder to adjudge on a name that would clothing your offerings best?

Try to aces a ambiguous term. For example, if you are ambidextrous in babyish products, your website name may be or

Reserve Your Place: Name Registration

Now that you’ve absitively on a name (or names), it’s time to annals with an accredited, online allotment service. There are hundreds of websites area you can go to accomplish this purchase, but there are a scattering of accepted companies that a lot of online entrepreneurs use, including:


The capital aberration amid anniversary of these sites is cost. Do some allegory arcade to acquisition the best deal. If account allows, acquirement your name for added than a year; abounding allotment casework action amount break if you annals your name for 5+ years. Plus, it will save you the cephalalgia of accepting to renew anniversary year. If you overlook to renew, you may lose your breadth name. There are some un-savory individuals who seek for afresh asleep domains and will bound annals beneath their name, acquisitive to re-sell it to aboriginal owners for a ample mark-up.

Don’t stop your availability seek on the name allotment sites. Just because a breadth name is accessible online doesn’t beggarly there’s not already a aggregation in actuality after an internet attendance that has the aforementioned name. Seek your accompaniment accumulated allotment website. There, you can acquisition out if your called name is already registered as a apocryphal name with accession company. It is accessible that anyone could be accomplishing business with the name you want, but may accept not registered a website domain. If they were application the name aboriginal you will absolutely lose the action in the courtroom, even if they did not at the time accept a registered breadth name.

The Question of Suffixes

The internet is consistently evolving and, as such, there are consistently new avenues to explore. Just a few years ago there were alone three or 5 accepted suffixes, but now there are dozens. Here are the a lot of accepted suffixes and their advised usages:

  • .com: Commercial and claimed sites
  • .net: Companies complex in internet basement
  • .org: Non-profit organizations
  • .gov: Government agencies
  • .edu: Schools, colleges and universities

I alone acclaim that your breadth name should consistently accept suffix. Then, if possible, accede registering assorted suffixes so that competitors can’t capitalize on your acceptance with the aforementioned name/different suffix in the future.

Protect Your Business: Cast & Apocryphal Name Registration

Once your breadth name is registered, it’s time to anticipate about applying for cast aegis with the Patent and Cast Appointment (USPTO This is absolutely alternative — you can conduct business online after a cast – but it is recommended to authorize your rights to your breadth name. Accomplishing so will strengthen your ability in cloister if you anytime charge to accomplish your rights adjoin competitors or others who try to use your name. If that time anytime comes, you’ll be animated you took the added accomplish to assure your company.

Any business that doesn’t use its acknowledged name (the official name of the being or article that owns the business) as allotment of its business name may annals a “fictitious name.” You can do this with your state, and usually your canton clerk’s office. Every accompaniment has hardly altered requirements for how and area to do this. Do a Google seek to acquisition out how to annals your aggregation as a apocryphal name in your state.

More Tips

Include key words: This will access your continuing in seek engines and arcade portals. Seek sites are acceptable to acknowledgment seek requests based on the amount of key words that bout a breadth name. For example, if a abeyant chump were analytic for hot sauce, would be afterpiece to the top of the account than

Think in alphabetical terms: Accept a name that starts with a letter abutting to the alpha of the alphabet. Manufacturer “Where to Buy” pages generally account the retailers that advertise their articles in alphabetical order. A lot of barter will alpha at the top and boutique the aboriginal few sites, never authoritative their way to the endure on the list.For example, would be listed aboriginal and is listed last.

Register assorted names: It’s a abundant abstraction to accept abounding accordant breadth names and accept these all point appear your capital website (i.e. forwarding the URL). This agency that you can accept added than one abode that acreage in the aforementioned location.

Consider abeyant confusion: A lot of barter don’t yield the time or accept the backbone to try altered spellings if they don’t get it appropriate the aboriginal time. Anticipate about accessible mistakes that abeyant barter could accomplish if accounting in your web address. For instance, if your breadth name contains a frequently misspelled chat or a homonym (there/their, too/two, etc.) you may wish to abridge the name or annals assorted names so that even if a accepted aberration is made, your chump will acquisition your site.

Buy direct: If you’re absolutely set on a breadth name that’s unavailable, go to to lookup the buyer and acquaintance them. Domain-name owners will occasionally advertise a name if they’re not application it. You can aswell analysis out GoDaddy Auctions to bid on breadth names for auction in an auction-like format. This is aswell a abundant abode to seek for key words and see if there’s a breadth name accessible that wouldn’t be listed at added anthology sites.

Avoid after spellings: Don’t be tempted to use domains that accommodate ‘2’ for “To’, ‘4’ for ‘For’, ‘u’ for ‘You’ and so on, even if they complete ‘cool’. Your barter will calmly get confused. If you do yield this route, accede affairs both the after name and the adaptation that’s spelled out. For example: Annals both and

Look for accessible offenses: Breadth names do not acquiesce spaces, so be accurate that the words you anatomy don’t actualize a chat you don’t intend. For example, if your aggregation name is John Jack Associates, you wouldn’t wish your breadth name to be

In Summary

The breadth name is a different name that identifies your website. It can be the aforementioned as your aggregation or a aberration of it. Accomplish your name as memorable and accordant as accessible to the artefact or account you are offering. A clever, one-of-a-kind name may aswell advice you angle afar from competitors. And, anticipate about the words chump may use to acquisition your artefact at arcade directories and seek engines. Try to cover as abounding of these key words as accessible to accomplish a top listing. Finally, be abiding to double-check the amends of your name by researching absolute trademarks and apocryphal business names for your aforementioned name.

IMPress Action Checklist:

Below is a account of the accomplish all-important to accept an able business name. Be abiding to analysis off anniversary assignment as you complete it to break focused on this axiological aboriginal footfall to acceptable acknowledged online.

  1. Brainstorm a account of name account
  2. Analysis availability of your admired names
  3. Evaluate the names on your accessible account adjoin the afterward criteria:
  4. Is it memorable?
  5. Is it simple to spell?
  6. Does it bound and accurately call your artefact or service?
  7. Does it accommodate key words?
  8. Is it unique?
  9. Is it legal? (Research Apocryphal Names and Trademarks)
  10. Ask others for their opinions on your admired names
  11. Annals your name with an online allotment account
  12. Annals your name with your accompaniment
  13. Annals your name with the US Patent and Cast Appointment
  14. Annals accordant breadth names and point them to your capital URL