Now starts the fun part.  Being a serial entrepreneur myself and having developed many different business’s, the process of picking out the name for a new business is one of my favourite parts of the whole process of developing a new business or brand. It’s a time when there is just so much excitement and enthusiasm around your idea.  I for one become fully immersed in the process.

When I am planning out a new business name I start with a blank piece of paper and a pencil.  I just start to jot down names as they pop in my head during brainstorming.  As I am writing I am always thinking about how that name would work as a website URL address.  I try to keep them short, using a distinctive name along side a descriptive name like “Dependable Lawn Care” for example.  Now imagine that as a .com for a moment.  If a potential client saw that on the side of your work vehicle it would be very easy to remember and to then be able to visit a website at a later time to contact you instead of trying to remember a phone number while driving behind you for example.

Because of the importance nowadays of having an online presence for your business, after I finish brainstorming 40 or so names, I take the list and go online to a web domain registrar like  I then enter all the names I came up with and see which ones have websites available for them.  I mark beside each one what top-level domain prefix is available such as .com, .net, .org, .ca etc.  I will then immediately eliminate any name that does not have at least one top-level domain available.

I then start to narrow down the list and if there are any names that I like that have more than one top-level domain available, I will focus on those.  If the name only has one prefix available like .net for example, that’s ok but it’s not great because but it does leave room for confusion with other companies providing similar services as yours.  If you find a name you like with all three top-level domains , .com, .net, .org and even .ca in you are Canadian or whatever other country prefix you prefer,  focus on those.   After you officially register your business name with your local government go back online and register all the available top-level domains for your business name.  In fact you may even want to register them first anyway before your name is officially approved by your local business registry to ensure you have them available just in case.

I would also recommend that you avoid using alternate spelling with words like using “blu” instead of “blue” or using number characters like “4” instead of spelling “four”.  As time goes on many of the most common names will be unavailable so try to be creative but remember to put yourself in your potential clients position and make it easy to remember.

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