Six ways to come up with an awesome company name

Posted on Jul 4th, 2012 | Running a business

Whether you decide to operate your freelance business as a sole trader or limited company, you’ll have to come up with a name for your fledgling enterprise. Although it may seem like a trivial decision, for many freelancers just starting out it can take days, even weeks, to come up with a company name they’re happy with. To make this often-fraught process just a little easier, here are some simple, quick methods for coming up with a company name.

1. The “name + profession” method

Solid, uncomplicated, and matter-of-fact, this method may be a little dry but it’ll do the job. Simply take your name, append what you do to it, and Bob’s your uncle. If I set up a scaffolding business, I’ll just call it Jon Norris Scaffolding. Ta-da!

2. The “sector + animal name” method

If you’re after something a little more fun, the addition of a random animal can work wonders for your company. Firms like PolicyBee, Gopher Money and Wombat Clothing are blazing a trail for animal-based company names, and you could be next. Just remember to choose an animal that people like – nobody will want to hire Dung Beetle Consulting.

3. The portmanteau method

If you’re a thrusting new media whizzkid, your business should have a suitably future-proof name. Why use tired old words to describe yourself when you can invent new, two-point-oh words that will make people’s monocles fly from their faces in wonder? In the same way that Disney coined the phrase Imagineers, you can combine two words to more accurately describe your straddling of two professions.

Web designer who also does some Consultancy? You, my friend, are a Web Consultigner. Photographer by day but Engineer by night? Time to register Enginography Ltd.

4. The “one awesome word” method

Looking for a business name that screams authority, simplicity and a difficult-to-buy domain name? Simply choose a short, snappy verb or adjective and you’ll be set. For good examples see Stomp, Wham or Boost. If you’re struggling to come up with a cool enough word, just watch one of the fight scenes from Adam West-era Batman.

5. The “ideas above your station” method

Ambition is a great thing for any freelancer or entrepreneur to have – indeed, a necessary thing. In the same way that employment coaches will tell you to dress for the job you want, not the job you have, you might feel like naming your company based on what you hope it will grow into, rather than what it is now. Certainly, “The Website Mega-Warehouse International Ltd.” sounds more impressive than “East Swindon Web Design” – just be careful you don’t get carried away.

6. The “what do you do again?” method

Maybe you want your business to be cool, enigmatic and elusive? The kind of firm that operates from a top-floor office in the City of London, and always earns loads of cash for doing…something. If this is the image you want to put across, names like “[blank] Solutions” or “The [blank] Group” are your friend. Sure, it might be a little confusing for people who’ve never heard of your business before, but let’s be honest, they probably couldn’t afford your fees, could they?

Any other good ways to name your business we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by Jon Norris

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