Naming your business

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Choose the right name for your business. Your business name should be unique and easy to remember, and should describe the products and services you provide.

 The following is a list of items to consider when naming your business.

What to include in a name

A good business name can act as an effective advertising tool by communicating something about your business every time it is mentioned. For example, a good name can help customers understand what it is that your business does as well as force you to focus your businesses purpose.

When naming a business, a number of different factors should be taken into account:

  • Is the name chosen appropriate for the market you are targeting?
  • Is the name short and easy to remember?
  • Is the name distinctive enough to separate you from competitors?

Who are you selling to?

  • Industrial clientele: A strong, descriptive name may be used to provide potential customers with a clear understanding of what your company does.
  • Consumer-oriented clientele: Any business owner knows that competing with other businesses for customers is difficult. Choosing a name that brings a lasting image to mind is important.

How to proceed with naming your business

  • Choose a few names that fit the image you want to create. Test them out on friends, family, and potential customers. Try some names that are strong on imagery, others that are strong on description, and others that fall somewhere in-between.
  • Pay attention to testing your business names with people in your target market - the core consumer groups whose patronage you intend on capturing. Have these people write down their impression of what the business would sell, how it would be run, etc. Compare their thoughts with your own.
  • Register your business name legally with the Companies Office (for sole proprietorship, partnership or provincial incorporation) and Corporations Canada (for federal incorporation).

The Bottom Line

A good name provides the customer with a description of your business. Whether the name uses a straightforward description or imagery to create an aura, ultimately, it should answer the customer's question: "What can I expect?"