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How to name your business

This one is for all you biz newbies out there. Or for anyone going through a rebrand. 

Today, we are chatting about naming your biz. 

I’m like a SUPER NERD about naming things. 

Naming has always been one of my favorite parts of starting a new biz. I also geek out over baby names and love to read the credits in movies. 

Anyone else wired that way?!

Anyways, choosing a name for your new business is an important part of getting started. 

The best kinds of business names are often some combination of the following:

  • Unique
  • Easy to remember
  • Indicative of what sort of business it is
  • Not easily confused with something else
  • Meaningful to you

For example, let’s talk about Serif Strategy – the name of my copywriting and content business.

I chose the word “Serif” because it’s a common enough term that refers to one part of a font. 

A serif is a little foot stuck onto letters in fonts like Times New Roman.

And I chose the word “Strategy” because I offer strategic copy and content. 

I could have named it Serif Copywriting or something, but I liked the alliteration of Serif Strategy (AKA they both start with the same letter which makes it easier to remember). 

Also naming it Serif Strategy instead leaves some wiggle room for the services I offer in the future – I’m not boxed into JUST copywriting or content writing. 

If I was naming a business today, here are the steps I would take:

  1. Open a new document and get ready to type without censoring your thoughts
  2. Type out all the words you know that are related to what you do. You can use Google for ideas too or the website So as a writer, my list would look like this: pen, quill, ink, font, typewriter, pencil, prose, word, etc.
  3. Type out words (objects, places, names, etc) that are meaningful to you or things you like. For me, that would look like: Corbet (my dog’s name), palm tree (I live in San Diego), garden (I like to garden), Lone Star (I’m from Texas), etc.
  4. Come up with a few words that are related to what you want people to know immediately about your business. For me, that would be copywriting, writer, strategy, strategist, creative, etc.
  5. Start putting combinations together and see what you come up with. My list might look like: Lone Star Strategy, Pencil & Palm Copywriting, Corbet Creative, Word Garden, etc.
  6. Narrow your list down to 3-5 that you like the sound of and can imagine yourself using. Check to see if the domain is available and social media for the handles. 
  7. Google all your options, and make sure nothing exists with that name. Ask all your friends/family/people in Facebook groups what they think of when they hear the name.
  8. Choose the best one and CELEBRATE! 

“But Melissa, can I name my business after myself?”

Yes, you can absolutely do that. Or use just your initials or last name. 

In my own experience, my maiden name is very common and a lot of people have it – so that made me not want to use it. And my married name is not easy to remember or spell. 

So if your name is super common or hard to remember or spell, it’s probably not the best idea. 

A note for local businesses

If you really only work in one geographic area with no plans for expansion. It can be a great idea to use that name in your business name. 

For example, if I ran a local hair salon in San Diego, I might name my business Beach Waves: A San Diego Salon. 

This can help with search engine optimization. 

How did you choose the name for your business?

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