Choosing a business name: how to stand out in the crowd

By Michael O'Brien - 16th Nov 2015

Find under: Advice

Choosing a business name sounds easy until you actually sit down and try to figure out what you want to use. You are setting up your own logistics company and you want a name that embodies what you business is about, is catchy to draw people’s attentions, and is instantly recognisable as it gives a feeling of trust and reliability. Yet all the names that you have written down simply aren’t good enough. Perhaps you’ll just pick something simple and wait until later to change it to something better.

Choosing a business name: understanding the requirements

Business names help to differentiate you from the competition in the same market segment. The business name you select could lead you toward the greatest success, or leave your customers confused or simply not interested in your services. Also, you need to decide how you are going to register your business name with the Companies Registration Office (CRO).

First, let’s go over some of the facts. Your business name for your transportation company is not the same as your company name. You want to have a company name when you incorporate so it is a separate legal entity from yourself in Ireland. This means that your company will take on all liabilities and debts that are incurred. Your business name is when you plan to operate a business that does not have your full name while you will still personally take on the full liabilities of your business.

So, for instance, if you name the business after yourself such as James Clark, you don’t have to register it with the CRO. Only when your business has a different name from the owner will you have to fill out the required CRO registration forms.

Selecting the right business name

When picking out a business name, some people take the safe route while other business owners take names that are a bit more risky. You need to find the right balance that clicks with your logistics business. Just keep in mind not to limit yourself by the name that you select. If you take a name such as Corporate Freight, but then offer regular moving services to the public, you will end up confusing customers when you are trying to market yourself.

Several tips to help you decide on the right business name:

  1. Stay away from imitation names. It’s easy to take part of a name that is already used by another company and put your own spin to it. Yet if you can’t differentiate yourself enough from the other company, people won’t know why your services are more valuable than what the competition offers.
  2. Puns simply don’t work out well. A few businesses can make it work based on their particular niche. Yet using a pun can also have the negative effect of alienating your customers. One well known example from the UK is ‘Codfather’, a fish and chip shop.
  3. Pick a strong, short name that uses wordplay that captures the essence as well as the values of your business. Think about the name when you brand it through your marketing efforts. Does it evoke excite, comfort or any positive emotion that would make you seek services from your company?

There is a great guide to help you demystify the naming process. The Igor name guide (free to download) explains the naming process in a clear and actionable way. Take some time to first download their short 28 page guide as it will give you an overview of the naming process. When you are ready download the 125 page guide and follow the instructions and you will be able to come up with a name for your business. It takes time so please be patient.

If you are truly stumped, then you can seek help from the experts and companies that offer name services. Just keep in mind that naming firms have prices that can range from €50 up to €80,000 and beyond.

So you want to research and select the company that offers the right service packages that you can afford. The subject of branding has moving itself centre stage in the past number of years and businesses, no matter their size, realise its importance. Choosing a business name will be an important consideration in how your overall brand strategy for your small business works.

About the Author: Michael O'Brien

Michael is the marketing manager for Big Red Cloud. Apart from trying to demystify accounting software, Michael enjoys rugby, photography, good food and seeing as much of the world as possible.