News article

Checklist #4 : Choosing a name for your business

Checklist-4-cover-CTA Starting a new business is a hugely exciting time. However, choosing the right business name, which you and your clients will need to love, is one of the hardest things you will have to do.

Here’s our checklist to help you come up with the right name for your new business, or if you are rebranding an existing practice.

1. Build a shortlist of names

Think about the style of business name you want. For example, should it:

  • Include your name or a geographical location?
  • Be descriptive of your beliefs and values?
  • Be abstract?

2. Decide whether to include a descriptor of what you do

Making it really clear what it is you do in your name will help you pass our ‘split-second test’. It will also probably have a marginal effect on your search result positioning.

Options include:

  • Independent financial adviser
  • Wealth management
  • Financial planner
  • Financial planning

3. Is the domain for your business name available?

For each of the names on your shortlist check whether the domain is available. As this will be used in your website and emails ideally it should exactly, or very closely, match your business name.

Use a site such as 123 Reg to check what’s available. We recommend using the version, but register other options to stop competitors and fraudsters.

4. Companies House search

If you plan to trade as a limited company, you will need to check that your chosen name is available.

However, this is less important than the domain being available as you can often get around conflicts by using a trading name.

You can check whether your preferred company name is already being used by clicking here to visit Companies House.

5. What social media accounts are available?

If social media is part of your marketing strategy it’s important that the accounts you need are available.

Run searches on your chosen channels to see what names are available.

Using the same handle across all your social media accounts makes it easy for people to find you and to remember you.

6. Run Google searches

It’s crucial you dominate the first page for searches made for your brand – in other words, the name of your business.

This is particularly important if you are to maximise the potential from referrals and recommendations, as well as sites such as Unbiased and VouchedFor.

A search on the names remaining on your search list will tell you how easy it will be to achieve a first-page listing. Avoid choosing very generic names where the results page is dominated by large organisations or Google Ads you would rather not be associated with.

7. Testing

Your remaining names now need to be tested on a group of your target clients.

This might not be the same as your friends and family!

8. A final check

Once you’ve arrived at your ideal name, a final double-check is sensible:

  • Does it accurately reflect your business?
  • Will you be easy to find and identify online?
  • Will it engage with your audience?

We hope you found this useful

Branding is more than just your logo. It is a combination of your visual identity, your values and, of course, your name.

Ideally, the designer producing your branding should be involved in the naming process. Good ideas often come from the most unexpected of places and their thoughts on a name will be invaluable.

This is, of course, a service we offer. If you would like to chat with us about naming or branding your new business you can reach us by emailing or calling 0115 815 7770.

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