How to Name a Startup
Ready to launch your startup, but having trouble coming up with catchy business names? The name you choose for your startup impacts your company’s branding, marketing, and overall chances of success. Sound overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. We developed this free Startup Name Generator to make selecting a cool, unique startup name simple — just enter a couple of keywords and your industry!
All the startup name ideas provided by this tool are also checked to make sure the ".COM" domains are available, making it a great domain name generator as well.
How the Startup Company Name Generator Works:
- Enter 2 or more keywords associated with your startup company
- Select your startup’s industry
- Get hundreds of great results
Note: Our Startup Name Generator guarantees you privacy when searching startup names. Your private information is kept safe with us since our goal is to always provide you with the necessary tools to start your personal or business website. Once you’ve searched for a startup name, we ensure that it will be protected for a full month until you're certain and ready to purchase the domain name of your choice.
What Makes a Great Startup Name?
When thinking of a name for your startup, you'll want something that is relevant to your industry or niche but is also unique and catchy. A great startup name is easy to remember, spell, and pronounce.
You'll also want to make sure that the name you choose doesn't have any negative connotations in other languages or cultures. You want your business name to be universally recognized and immediately accepted.
Avoid names that are too similar to existing businesses in your industry, as this can create confusion for customers and make it difficult for you to trademark your name.
Startup Naming Tips
There are some key considerations you should think about when trying to find the best startup name:
- Make sure your name doesn't limit your growth as you continue to scale. If you are in the agriculture business and name your business around a specific animal or crop, not many people will associate the business with anything else.
- Check existing databases for website domains and trademarks to make sure your desired name isn't already taken. There is nothing worse than spending hours perfecting the right name only to find out it is already taken.
- Although making up a word that doesn't exist in the English language may help your brand stand out, unless you are committed to making it work at all costs, you'll have to spend a lot of time educating people on what the business is and what it does.
Ideally, your brand name tells people exactly what the business does, how it intends to help people, and that it’s relatable to many. If you're still having trouble, try out any of the brainstorming techniques below to get started.
Brainstorming Startup Names
One of the difficulties of deciding on a startup name is getting over the hurdles of overthinking and writer's block. Brainstorming is a great tool for getting your creative juices flowing. Techniques such as freewriting, mind mapping, word association, and more are helpful methods of generating catchy and unique startup name ideas.
Brainstorming Techniques for Naming a Startup
- Mind Mapping: Use this technique by taking a large piece of paper and drawing a circle in the middle. Write your business concept or brand name in the center of the circle, then start brainstorming related words, phrases, symbols, and images that come to mind.
- Freewriting: This technique will help you free your mind of any preconceived notions you have about what the business name should be. Simply set a timer for five to ten minutes and start writing down any and every word that comes to mind, no matter how random it may seem.
- Word Association: You'll have fun with this technique as it allows you to be a bit more creative. Take a word that is related to your business concept and start brainstorming other words that are associated with it. For example, if you sell eco-friendly products, some word associations could be "green," "sustainable," or "recyclable."
- Rapid Ideation: The point of rapid ideation is to generate as many ideas as possible in a short period of time. Set a timer for two minutes, then have each person take turns saying anything that comes to mind related to the business concept or brand name. You'll need a few friends or colleagues for this one.
- Visualization: Using your visual imagination, think about what the business looks like and what words come to mind when you see it. This could be the actual physical product, the packaging, or even the website design.
- Use a Thesaurus: Simple and straight to the point, looking up words in a thesaurus can help to broaden your perspective and come up with new ideas. Think about keywords that relate to what the business does and check a thesaurus to find alternative words with similar meanings.
Examples of the Best Startup Names
Some of the most popular brands in the world are a perfect place to start getting ideas for your own business name.
Below are names of multiple startup companies in a variety of industries that have gone on to become incredibly successful, and they should help jumpstart your creative side.
- Apple: Steve Jobs came up with the name Apple because he said it epitomized simplicity and sophistication, as well as being ahead of his previous employer Atari in the phonebook. The competitive nature of Steve Jobs helped him secure a simple but unique business name not many else would consider.
- Twitter: The definition of “twitter” is a short burst of inconsequential information, which founder Jack Dorsey said was a perfect fit for what the platform aimed to do. The big logo also played off this idea and helped to develop all the marketing and even sound effects of the platform.
- Gusto: Gusto is associated with the enjoyment of doing something, and that's exactly what the payroll and HR company hopes to achieve with their platform. Instead of companies looking at payroll as a time-consuming and boring venture, Gusto aims to make it easy and even entertaining in some respects.
Food & Beverage Companies
- Deliveroo: This is a perfect example of a business name that is completely made up and did not exist before the company used it. It's a combination of two words, "kangaroo" and "delivery," which the company playfully uses in their marketing — even making their logo a kangaroo.
- Starbucks: Sometimes startup names can come from any source of creativity, like the extremely successful Starbucks coffee chain. The brand consultant who worked on the name and logo saw a small mining town on an old 1800s map names Starbos. It reminded him of the first mate in the book Moby Dick whose name was Starbuck.
- Dunkin’ Donuts: The classic donut chain is a perfect example of what happens when you pick a startup name that is simple, describes the business, and is relatable to many. The name was picked by an employee who imagined people dunking their donuts into their coffee.
- Shopify: Throughout history, there have been many naming trends in startup culture. One of those trends was naming companies with an "ify" at the end. Founders of the e-commerce platform named the company Shopify to be relatable and timely to consumers.
- Amazon: It's no secret that Jeff Bezos had many ambitions for his online bookstore when it was in a startup phase. He knew he wanted a name that started with the letter "A," and when he landed on the biggest river in the world, it matched his ambitions for his company.
- Etsy: Made-up words have worked well for some of the biggest names in ecommerce, and there's no better example than Etsy. The founder named the company after listening to an Italian movie where the phrase "oh, yes" sounded a lot like Etsy.
After Naming Your Startup
Register Your Startup Name
Unless you’re a sole proprietor, you need to register your startup name with your state. This process varies depending on the state you’re located in as well as your business needs. These are the four most common steps you’ll need to take to register or change your startup name:
- Reserve your business name
- Form an LLC or corporation
- File for a DBA
- Amend your formation documents to accommodate your startup’s name, if you’re changing the name of an existing business
Incorporate Your Startup
When you've got a name for your startup (and you've registered it), you need to incorporate your startup. You can do this by filing what's typically called the Articles of Incorporation or the Articles of Organization with your state.
You'll need to file this document before opening a business bank account, getting business insurance, or hiring employees.
If you're unsure how to incorporate your startup, plenty of resources are available to help you out. We recommend reading our guide on how to incorporate a startup, or simply have a professional service incorporate your startup for you.
Design a Startup Logo
A well-crafted logo is essential for accurately representing your startup’s brand. Your startup’s logo is used on everything from press releases to marketing materials, making this one of the most important branding decisions you’ll make as an entrepreneur.
Check out TRUiC's Free Logo Maker to help create your logo in just a few clicks!
Create a Website for Your Startup
Every startup needs a website to connect with their audience and represent their brand. Your startup’s website serves as a gateway to important information and marketing opportunities for your business. Therefore, your website should be SEO optimized, user-friendly, and include a mobile version.
Need Startup Ideas?
Whether you’re still looking for that perfect startup idea or want to take another look at your options, we’ve got you covered. Check out our extensive lists of startup ideas in a variety of interests and make your entrepreneurial goals happen!
How do I come up with startup names?
There are some helpful techniques that you can use to get started coming up with startup names, like brainstorming with friends or using existing words in new ways. You can also look to successful startups for inspiration and see what made their names work so well.
How do you come up with a tech startup name?
Brainstorm names with friends or colleagues, use existing words in new ways, or look to successful startups for inspiration. Whatever you do, make sure the name is simple, descriptive, and relatable.
What makes a great startup name?
A great startup name is one that is simple, descriptive, and relatable. It should also be easy to remember and stand out from the competition.
How do you check if a startup domain name is available?
There are several ways to check if a startup domain name is available. You can use an online domain name search tool like our Startup Name Generator, or contact the domain name registry to see if the domain is registered. If it is, you may be able to purchase it from the current owner.