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How to choose a business name

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

When starting a new business you may be both excited and busy with the setup. Choosing the right name for your startup can have a significant impact on your success. This is arguably one of the most important decisions you’ll make about your business’s brand. The wrong name could fail to connect with customers but it could also result in some troubles further on down the track. In contrast, a clear and powerful name can be helpful in your marketing and branding.

Here are 5 suggestions on how to come up with a winning name for your business:

1. Use a name that conveys some meaning.

Ideally, you want the business name to convey something meaningful and positive that correlates to your business. Use related words in a creative way; however make sure people instantly get what your business is about. Some questions to ask yourself are:

· Who is the primary customer I want to target?

· What special message do I want the name to convey?

· What makes my business unique?

· What makes me stand out from my competitors?

· What is the key message I want my customers to take from my brand?

2. Avoid hard-to-spell names.

Having a ‘z’ because‘s’ is already taken may not be a great decision. You don’t want potential customers unable to find your business online or unsure how to pronounce your name. Platypuz coworking may not be the best option!

3. Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.

A business name that is too specific, such as a location or product, will limit your ability to grow. You don't want to be stuck in one area of business, unable to change or expand without having to change the name too.

Keep it simple and don’t choose a name that is too long or complicated like ‘Platypus shared and private office spaces.’ This will also allow you to have a domain that is easy to remember.

4. Ideally you want a catchy name.

Make sure the name sounds good when said aloud. Obviously, you don’t want a boring name for your business, but you also don’t want to choose something that’s too “out there.”

‘Work spaces for rent Ballarat’ whilst it does explain what the business is about, it is not that catchy!

Come up with a few name options and get feedback from friends, family members, and trusted colleagues. It would be even better, if you can get feedback from your target audience as well.

5. Conduct a thorough Internet and trademark search.

It is your responsibility to be aware of any similar names or trademarks that may affect your name.

You cannot register a business name that is identical or very similar to an existing name and be aware that some terms are restricted, e.g.: ‘building society'. Search ASIC here for available names.

Be aware that registering a business name and an ABN are separate tasks.

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