The last few weeks I have been trying to find a great new name for our Swiss-based consulting business and I noticed that there are a few things I need to think about when choosing the right name.
Below you will find a short list of thing that I have come up with so far… If you think that something is missing, please do let me know in the comments below.
These are the things that I have so far:
- Company fit (what is it that you do?)
- Your company name needs to be unique (legally)
- Easy to pronounce & write
- Watch out with patented brand names
- Check domain availability (internationally)
Company fit (what is it that you do?)
The easiest way to start is to think about finding a name that fits your company purpose. What is it that you do exactly and what do you want kind of image to convey to you potential partners and customers?
Get crazy and be creative… there is nothing worse than yet another somewhat24 or blabla360. You can do better than that.
Your company name needs to be unique
Make sure that the name you picked is not already taken, and especially Italy not used in a similar context. Your company name is a unique identity, there cannot be two companies in the same country with the exact same name. Be sure to check the chamber of commerce registry for your company name. In Switzerland this can be done on http://www.zefix.ch.
When a company exists with your new name and in the same legal form, then you cannot found it under that name and you will need to come up with a new one. When you choose to found a one person company without employees (in Switzerland that is) and you are not founding a GmbH or AG, you might be obliged to add your last name to the company name. Be sure to check with the local chamber of commerce whether that is the case, the legislation is different from college nary to country.
Easy to pronounce and write
A brand name and company name need to be very easy to remember and pronounce. Think about the fact that this name will be on all official documents, emails and used on a daily basis – more than you might think. There is nothing more annoying than having to spell out your company name to your customers and partners over and over again. You want customers to be able to find you easily right? My advice, keep it short and simple.
The best way to try out whether your name is good or not: call your best mate in the middle of the night, tell him your idea and have him spell the company name out to you. If he can without any problem, you have passed the test.
Watch out with patented brand names
Some brand names are patented and you need to double-check what the context is in which your brand name is used. When there is an established brand name in your industry already, choose a different name.
If there is a similar brand/company out there, but that operates in a very different field of business and the two cannot be interchanged, then you are probably on the safe side. Do check this with a lawyer before registering your company name though.
As an example:
Your last name is DRESSS and you would like to found a consulting firm, but there is another company on the market that is called DRESS GmbH already – that sells dresses, then the best thing to do is to found: DRESSS CONSULTING, just to be on the safe side. This way the two cannot be interchanged and they work in different fields of business.