Setting Up A New Company? Here’s How To Name It

Dec 18, 2017

Starting a small business can be a great way to make money. But it’s also a way to become your own boss or to change people’s lives by offering a unique solution to a problem.

Before you can launch your new business and grow it to success, you need to name it. When you’re setting up a new company, choosing the right name and getting it registered correctly is essential.

The wrong name will leave your business unrecognizable and unable to compete with the more than 1.2 million small businesses already operating in Canada today.

If you’re setting up a new company, keep reading. We’re breaking down everything you need to know to choose the right name and get it registered so you can start growing your business right away!

Tips for Choosing a Business Name

Your businesses name is often the first thing that potential customers will see or hear. It will come to act as your business’ first impression, as well as the tool by which you can spread brand awareness or begin making your business a household name.

Choosing the right name for your company doesn’t have to be a challenge. With these simple tips, you can choose a name that will help give your company the best shot at success.

Keep it Short and Simple

When you’re setting up a new company, it can be easy to get overly excited and start trying out complicated, creative names.

But consider the names of some of the world’s most well-known businesses, like “Google,” “Apple,” “Pepsi,” or “IKEA.” Besides earning billions of dollars each year, another trait these businesses have in common is very simple names.

Keeping your name short and simple increases the likelihood that people will be able to remember it long after they’ve done business with you.

Think Twice Before Using Your Own Name

A popular trend among those setting up a new company is to use their own name when naming their business. This may seem like a great way to show your pride in your company or create a legacy for yourself and your family, but it’s not always a smart business move.

If your name is tough to spell and pronounce, this can make it tough for customers to say or remember your name.

Even if your name is easy to pronounce, it may not be a great choice for your business. Names that are too common and generic are unlikely to stand out. Avoid using names like “Smith” or “Murphy,” because there is already a ton of businesses out there using those names or variations of them.

Consider the Spelling

Just as using a tough to pronounce family name can make it tough for customers to remember your name, setting up a new company with a tough-to-spell name can make it hard to stand out.

More than 85 percent of consumers use an internet search to find local businesses. If a consumer can’t spell your name, they won’t be able to find you locally.

Another thing that you need to consider when choosing your business name is whether there is more than one way to spell it.

Just because the spelling seems obvious to you doesn’t mean that it will to others. Research alternative spellings of any potential names to make sure that you’re using the most common option to avoid any confusion.

Try it Out

Alternate spelling options aren’t the only thing that you should be testing out before you name your new company.

Running any potential names by your friends, family, and anyone else you can is a great way to avoid choosing a name that is confusing, tough to pronounce, or not catchy enough.

Social media is also a great tool for testing potential names. You can ask your followers and friends what they think of the name, and get quick feedback to help you narrow down your options.

Make it Something Recognizable and Memorable

The key to a great new business name is choosing one that is recognizable and memorable.

Even if you’re launching a small business that you don’t expect to grow beyond a local audience, you should name your business as though your goal is to become a household name.

While an obscure or even made-up word will sound catchy when you’re setting up a new company, it’ll take a lot of advertising to connect that name to your company.

Choosing a name that conveys the industry that your company is connected to is a great way to make your name recognizable.

Check the Domain

An increasing percentage of business is conducted online. Even if you won’t be selling your products or services on the web, you’ll need an online presence to help potential customers find and contact you.

This means that you’ll need a domain for your company. For SEO purposes, it’s best to make your business name, or at least an abbreviation of it, your domain name.

Before you choose a business name, make sure that the domain is available. Choosing and registering your business name without checking to make sure that the domain is available will force you to either pay big bucks to get the domain or choosing an alternative domain name for your business.

Avoid Going Geographic

Another common trend among business owners when setting up a new company is to use the name of the city or region where your business is located.

But this can be very limiting for your business. You should be thinking long-term, which could include seeing your business grow and expand out of the city where you currently operate.

If you’ve included a city or region name in your business name, this can be confusing for potential customers once you expand.

How to Register Your Business in Ontario

After you’ve chosen the perfect name for your new business, it’s time to get it registered.

All businesses in Ontario must register their business name.

The only exception to this rule are businesses that use only the owner’s name, with no additions. While this may seem convenient, registering your business’ name is easy, so it’s best to choose an effective name and register rather than simply using your own name.

Choosing the Type of Company

In addition to finding a great business name, you’ll also have to choose what type of company you plan to operate. The option that you choose will affect how your business can operate, as well as how it will be taxed.

The three main options are a Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, or Corporation.

If you are the only owner and investor, a Sole Proprietorship might be a good choice. This is the easiest business type to set up and tax reporting is simple. However, you will be personally liable for debts incurred by the business and your business name will not be protected.

If there will be other owners involved in the business and profiting from it, you could look at establishing a General Partnership. This is no more complicated than a sole proprietorship, but you’ll share liabilities and also have to share in any decision making. Also, your business name won’t be protected with a General Partnership either.

Corporations are really only a bit more complicated to set up. But they take away the liability from the owners, make it easier to raise funds through investments, allow more tax planning opportunities, and protect your business name.

Start Setting Up a New Company Today

Now that you know how to choose a name for your company and get it registered, it’s time to start the process of naming and setting up a new company today.

But before you can name or register your business, you need to make sure that any potential names you’re considering aren’t already taken by other Canadian businesses.

To do so, check out our free NUANS Preliminary Search which will instantly show you any businesses or trademarks registered across Canada. You’ll save yourself time and money that you can put towards starting and growing your business!


Free NUANS Preliminary Search
Free NUANS Preliminary Search
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