What’s in a brand name? We wonder that often as we help businesses get set up. We see people come up with wonderful business ideas on the daily, but then when it’s time to a new business name, these wonderful creatives are stumped.
Marc Randolph, entrepreneur and co-creator of Netflix, had this to say about naming a business:
“Picking a name is incredibly difficult. For one thing, you need something catchy, something that rolls off the tongue and is easy to remember. One- or two-syllable words are best—and ideally, the emphasis should be placed on the first syllable. Think of the most popular website names: Goo-gle. Face-book. These names open with a bang. Too many syllables, too many letters, and you run the risk of people misspelling your website. Too few letters, and you risk them forgetting the name.”
Randolph also noted that, “We’d decided that the best name for our company would combine two words: one related to movies, one related to the internet.” Hence, Netflix was born. Incredibly simple and easy to remember, it rolls off the tongue and has gotten cemented in the public consciousness.
Crafting a company name does not need to be difficult. You can find inspiration from a number of sources. This list is in no way comprehensive of every name possible (that would be impossible). Instead it gives you ideas to craft a name that people will love and remember. Let’s get started on naming your LLC (Limited Liability Company)!
Before sharing the nearly 200 names we’ve found and come up with for you, there are a few things business owners should keep in mind when looking for unique business name ideas for an LLC. This is especially important when using a business name generator.
We can’t tell you how many times we have seen someone who thinks they’ve come up with a great list of LLC name ideas only for them to present a list of endless expletives. Here’s the thing, what you say to your friends can be the funniest stuff ever, but it’s not likely to land well with everyone. On top of that, you’re also going to have obscenity laws and most places won’t even let you use expletives or inflammatory terms in your name. Rather than trying to be “edgy” or “cool,” leave the expletives at home.
You need people to remember your name. That’s the whole point of choosing one! Look to go with a name that people are going to remember either because it’s catchy, it reflects what you do or it’s very unique. A good rule of thumb with this tip is to include a common word in your name as well as what you do (e.g., Dandelion Consulting, Rose Petal Café).
You need to love your name just as much as your customers do, so select a name that means a lot to you as well. If you have a favorite pet growing up who chased butterflies, look to incorporate butterfly in your name or the animal’s name. This is an excellent way to keep you connected to your business and makes for a great backstory when you are looking to craft your brand story.
There’s nothing worse than getting your new business in check only to find that there are ten other startups with similar names. Make sure you look up your name before you file your paperwork. We can’t tell you how many LLCs we’ve seen in the same industry with the same name which always ends with companies that came after needing to rebrand or shut down.
When you have your business name selected, make sure you grab your domain name and social media handles. A lot of people run bots that purchase available domain names shortly after an LLC is filed. They then mark these up thousands of dollars so the new LLC needs to spend a lot to get them. To prevent this from happening, grab your domain and social media accounts shortly before filing for your LLC. This will also help with SEO (search engine optimization), as people will be able to search your company name in Google and see your website as the first result.
Sometimes it’s tempting to try to think really far outside of the box for company name ideas when you really only need to look at home. Brainstorm words that are associated with your industry. For example, security companies may want to generate names that makes people feel protected, such as:
Bookstores can follow the same plan as well, with names like:
Regardless of what your industry is, there are likely naming options associated with your company. By selecting a word that’s utilized in your industry, you’ll be able to automatically establish yourself as an expert in the field and give form to your brand identity.
Although we’re all for making goals for your company, you should also consider what goals your customers have as well. Magazines are especially great at this, with creative business names like:
Arguably, all of these magazines are selling what their clients want in their lives. Again, by associating yourself with a goal, you can establish yourself as being capable of giving advice that can help your clients reach their ideal place in life.
We get that your business is as unique as you are, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rely on cliches for a good business name! By using idioms and common phrases, you will instantly resonate with your target audience simply due to automatic name recognition. Some great ones we’ve seen over the years include:
The main issue you will run into when using this strategy is that these tend to get used pretty frequently. If you can get in early, you can establish yourself as a busines
Going back to Netflix, think of what your business is. Are you offering a service that combines two formats (the net + movies = Netflix)? Or are you willing to combine a couple words to make your ideal name? Some examples of combo names (beyond Netflix) include:
Your name combination tells people exactly what you do. However, make sure that it rolls nicely. Far too often we see names that simply do not roll off the tongue when following this strategy. To make sure it works, make sure you have other people read it as well. You might find an unexpected pronunciation in there.
We all grew up on learning to rhyme (who hasn’t said “You’re a poet and didn’t know it” at least once in their lives?!), so why not take that same energy to your business and make your name rhythmic? Some popular rhyming business names include:
Rhyming is an excellent way to make yourself memorable. However, try to make sure that it matches with your offerings. Far too often we see people attempting to come up with names they think are creative or cutesy only to find they won’t work.
This is one of our favorite strategies because it allows you to make up a phrase or give two-word instructions for your products or business. Simply insert an “’n” or “’r” in the middle of your name to create a name that flows such as:
This simple formula will allow you to create a name that tells your customers exactly what your business is offering.
We’re trying to avoid giving names that are trends, but this one has been around for years now so we think it’s worth sharing. Using a color and a type of animal is great for a variety of industries; however, we find it is most common in the restaurant industry. Some popular options we’ve seen include:
Animals and colors are an excellent way to push your business to the next level and give a simple name. However, the main thing we will say with this technique is to use a simple color name. You’re not likely to get people to remember something like “The Turquoise Cow” as much as you are “The Blue Cow.”
Going off our last trend, it’s worth noting that colors and produce are also a popular way to get an easy business name. Unlike colors and animals, colors and produce are not strictly limited to the food industry either. Some popular names we’ve seen are:
Again, look to pair common colors with these produce items to get the best results as people are more likely to remember the name if it is a color they commonly see.
Does your company have a sound that can be associated with it? Then the onomatopoeia name may work for you! Onomatopoeias are words the represent sounds. Some popular examples of this include:
By using a sound as your name (or part of it), you can create a memorable business name that people remember for years to come.
This one is fun, but it’s also a huge risk. Sometimes the perfect business name seemingly isn’t related to your business at all. This can be words more commonly associated with other industries or other things that are seemingly unrelated. Popular options we’ve seen here are:
However, you really need to have an excellent marketing plan in place for this business strategy to work. People are not going to have the benefit of recognizing exactly what you do simply by looking at your name. If you can’t afford a marketing company at this time, or if you don’t have a great marketing plan in place, you may want to avoid this strategy.
This is a naming strategy that can be really fun; however, like others on our list, you need to make sure that it a) makes sense and b) that your potential customers will know what your business deals in. Some popular pun names we have seen are:
The main thing to remember here is that you can risk getting into trouble if you are too close to the song or movie. Ro prevent any issues, make sure you talk to a copyright attorney who can help you navigate the legal world of copyright.
This strategy is very Simple. Name your business after what you are hoping to provide to your clients. This strategy will allow you to create a business that people will instantly recognize as providing value. Some great names we’ve seen utilizing this strategy include:
All of these names are both easy to remember and easy for your clients to associate with your company’s values. To figure out terms you may want to use, consider looking at your company’s mission statement. Are there specific terms you use regularly? Throw them in!
One of the best ways to make people connect with your small business is by including words for specific people in them. This creates a humanistic touch to your business and allows you to create a more casual, fun platform than you might see with other names. Business with that strategy include:
These catchy business names are an excellent way to connect as well as showing exactly what you are offering. The main thing to remember with this strategy is that it can feel a little generic, so try to make your descriptors unique to really stand out.
There’s nothing more enjoyable for people than seeing opposites attract. Who hasn’t had a good chuckle when they find out a chihuahua holds a powerful name like “Thor” or “Gigantor”? Some awesome uses of oxymorons we’ve seen include:
The main thing we would say when using this strategy is to make sure that your name matches with what you’re doing. These names are definitely memorable, but you want something that matches with industry so you’re not simply relegated to an internet meme.
The following is a list of names that will work for several industries. Some fit in the categories above while others are more general.
Finding a brandable business name is a fun and exciting adventure! Name availability can vary based on how literal or abstract you want to be with it, so you need to take the time to select a name that matches with your company’s values as well as being memorable.
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