Naming your business can be one of the most stressful parts of getting started. I thought about it off and on for a full two years while I was freelancing under my name. Ultimately I decided to stick with my name. Whenever working with entrepreneurs in the very beginning stages, I almost always get that question,
"Should I use my name, or create a business name?"
There isn't one correct answer for this, but for coaches or service-based entrepreneurs, I lean toward using your name.
Using your name as your business name allows you to:
- be flexible in offerings as you grow your business
- start as a solopreneur without registering as an LLC, using a DBA, etc. (meaning it's cheaper to get started)
- add more personality to your brand because you ARE the brand
So that's ultimately the first question I want you to consider to set the foundation for the remaining questions.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Naming Your Business
Is it easy to pronounce and remember?
This is perhaps the most important question, whether you use your name or a business name.
Will people be able to spell it when searching online? Or if you introduce yourself in person, will the name be memorable?
Will your brand evolve?
Consider your long-term business goals. Is your business name general enough that if your business evolves, it will still make sense?
If it does evolve, what else might you offer?
If you think you might change or expand your offerings in the future, could you use a tagline to describe your business instead of a specific name?
Are you location-based?
Could you benefit from using your location in your name?
Do you have any plans to move or expand your business in the future?
What emotions does the name evoke?
Make a list of words and values you want to be associated with your business. Does your chosen name align with these?
What is the availability of that name?
Google your ideas and see if they're taken or what similar names are out there. You don't want to be associated with something negative even if it's only similar!
Is the domain available? You can check using the WhoIs database here.
Speaking of domains, double check what your domain looks like as all one word with lowercase letters. Sometimes different words can be made out of your domain name, and you don't want it to come across as something it's not.
You can check for trademarks here.
In the Comments:
How did you choose your business name, if you already have one?