When creating my business I found that finding an appropriate name was one of the hardest things to do. I was literally doing Google searches that said “How do I name my business” and “Resources for naming a business” that turned up little help. These days there are so many businesses out there that it is very difficult to find a unique identity that will set you apart from the rest. There are so many things to think about when choosing a name that it makes it very difficult.

You want to make sure that your name not only is descriptive in what you do but sets you apart. There are a lot of resources out there to help you out with this but many of them want your money. Not surprisingly; there are companies that are in the business of coming up with names for businesses. If you are starting out small time then this is not going to be for you. They charge a lot of money and it just is not something that most entrepreneurs want to be spending on.

Another aspect of name searching throws a twist in things is keeping in mind that you will most likely have to put your name into a domain at some point. That is, you will need to have www.joeswidgets.com or some form of that. This makes the name search process even harder because you may come up with the perfect name but then find out that someone else owns that exact domain name. In this case it is either back to the drawing board or time to get creative. Your domain name does not necessarily have to be the same as you business name, but for branding it sure would help.

To start out your naming process get a piece of scratch paper and start writing down ideas. Write down any combination of names you can think of no matter how ridiculous. If you are certain a name is taken write it down anyhow. You never know what ideas this may lead to. I would keep adding names to this list for about a week. You are going to want plenty of time to let ideas seep in. I would also recommend asking others for ideas. It is tempting to want to come up with a name in a few hours and then go and make it official but I would not recommend it. Take your time, brainstorm as many ideas as you can so you are absolutely certain you have the best name possible.

Make sure you do a Google search for “naming a business” and other such searches. There are a lot of free resources out there that can really help you. A great resource is www.nameboy.com . This is a domain name search tool and it will take two words and make as many combinations of those words as possible often using synonyms for words that you may not have thought of. Also read other articles on naming a business. There really is no one resource that is going to be the ends all to information so be sure to check out multiple authorities on the subject.

Now, if a week has gone by and you are still having trouble with a name it is time to get down and dirty. Hang onto that list of names you came up with and go down to your local library and check out the reference sections. They should have plenty of books that are going to help you out with this. I would first start out with a normal thesaurus. There are a couple of ways you can do this. One is to literally open to a random page and start looking at all the different descriptive words. This will start to give you ideas. If you want a more systematic approach take all the words that were on your list you should have brought with you, and look every single word up. It is amazing how many different words there are in the English language that mean the same thing. This should give you a nice arsenal of ideas.

If the thesaurus did not work then I would suggest asking the reference desk librarian for other books that will help you in your search. There are all sorts of unique dictionaries and thesaurus types of books that are niche related. Like the “Writers Thesaurus” or other such titles.

At this point you should have narrowed your name search down to a few unique names. Make sure to run them through your states business registry search to ensure they are not already taken. I would also do some sort of trademark search to be sure you are not infringing on someone else’s name or that of an already established business. Finally make sure that you have an idea of the domain name and do a search for that. I would use godaddy.com and click on bulk registration. Here you can enter up 50 domain names to search their availability rather than running an individual search each time. Congratulations! At this point you should hopefully have found a name for your business.

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