May 22, 2017

What’s in a name?

Naming your company can be one of the most difficult things a startup has to do. Not only do you have to make sure no one else has the same name, but you may also have to deal with confusions over spelling, pronunciation or even translation if you choose a “foreign” name for your business, or if you intend to expand your business into other countries later.


If the name you choose is very popular, the domain name may already have been taken, making it more difficult for people to find you online. Take this for an example: you want to open a daycare called ABC – however, ABC is the name of a national television station in America, so all the domain names such as, etc have already been bought by them. Plus, even if it hasn’t been purchased yet, if it’s a popular name or phrase then the cost of buying the domain will be high to begin with.


With more and more companies using social media, check that all platforms have your chosen name available in the same format across all of them – that will add consistency and make it easier for people to find you on Twitter after following you on LinkedIn or Facebook. For example, if you continue with the name ABC Daycare, check to see if it will be “@abcdaycare” or “@abc_daycare” or if it will need to include a number like “@abcdaycare1” or any other variation. It is important to check this before confirming the name. Social media is here to stay, so your social links are as important as your domain name.


Here are some other questions to reflect upon before choosing a name:

-What does your business name say about you?

-What does it say about your business?

-Will it still reflect your company in years to come?

-Is it easy for people to remember?

-Is it easy for people to make fun of (double meanings/rhymes with)?

-Can it be used in lower case in hashtags without it looking weird?


I recommend spending time on researching this area of your business, as the name you choose will stick around for years to come. It’s highly advisable to have your business name before getting a logo designed, printing business cards etc. It is the cornerstone of your business and it can be expensive to change it all after a few months or years.


Esther Ocampo

IPA Group.