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How do I choose a business name?

Tuesday, 24 August 2010 | By James Thomson

When naming your business, there are four important questions:


Is the name memorable?

  • Does it describe what the business does?
  • Does the name give your business the image you want to project?
  • Will your business name limit you to trading within a niche market and limit your business’s potential growth?


You can’t trade under a name that could be considered to be offensive or misleading. If you’re not trading under your own name, you will need to register the business with the relevant government office in your state or territory.


You will need to search their records to ensure that your chosen name does not infringe on other business names.


Trading under your own name has disadvantages. One day you may want to sell the business; if the brand is your name, the business may be worth less without you.


Other things to think about include:


  • Whether you want to be near the top of alphabetical lists.
  • Using an existing word that has nothing to do with your business (Apple, Virgin).
  • Making up a word (make sure it is easy to spell).
  • Foreign words (Reebok, an African antelope).
  • Clever contractions (Vodafone, from voice, date, telephone).