What is the best name for my project?

David Lauchenauer
David·April 10, 2021
The right name for your Start-up

Building a start-up is exhausting. There are so many things to do that you didn't even think of when starting out. Luckily finding a name won’t be one of those things, after reading this article. We will discuss several important tips to consider while naming your company.

Part I: 4 Make or Break research-points

1) Google the name

Open up your browser, head to Google and browse all you can find about the name. You can also download a VPN and search from the point of the countries you'll operate in. I've always used Tunnelbear for this task. It has many different countries available and 500MB of free data per month.

2) Check if the domain is available

I can’t think of a start-up that won’t need an interesting website in 2021. So make sure you take the time to check if the domain is available. It doesn’t have to be the dot com domain. Alternative TLDs like dot io or dot co are growing in presence and trust. It's totally fine if you buy domains with alternative TLDs. But if you pick a alternative TLD you should check if the dot com hosts a business similar to yours.

3) Translate to avoid blunders

Making huge mistakes in naming is something even big corporations aren't immune to. Take Ford, for example, they named one of their cars Pinto and marketed them in Brazil. What they didn’t notice, pinto is a slang term for "tiny penis". Make sure to avoid those blunders by searching for common translations in all languages you’ll address your audience in.

4) Trademark search

Lastly, you still have to do a trademark search. If you build a start-up and the name you have chosen is already a registered trademark, that's bad news. You'll have to start over. To check available trademarks, we use marcaria. Using this tool, you can search every registered trademark globally and for specific countries. It's quite amazing, to say the least. Don't rush this process - if you're not careful in this step, you'll spend much more time and energy than you would have needed.

Part II: 5 additional steps to ensure quality

1) Easy to spell & say

When picking a name it is crucial that people can talk about the product, service or company you're naming. There shouldn’t be common misspellings of the name.

About spelling: You can send some friends a voice message saying some of the names you’re thinking about & tell them to type them for you. If a name has several people misspelling it this can be a bad sign.

And verbally: how your name sounds verbally is crucial. A study by Nielsen found that "word of mouth" is the most trusted form of “advertisement”. 92% of people trust what their friends tell them. To make sure that your name will be pronounced correctly, consider that people of different nations or even people of other backgrounds might pronounce your name differently.

I would advise you to be cautious when considering a name that is said differently than most people would assume.

notion image

2) Shorter is better

This is a no-brainer. If your name is short, it's easier to remember, and there will be fewer spelling errors. It also comes as an advantage for several designs. If your name is short it can be displayed bigger in many places, easily grabbing more attention.

3) Test if the name is memorable

To test if your name is memorable send it to a friend along with other names, tell them to read it twice. Ask him the next day which names he remembers. To ensure this practice makes sense, you have to be honest to yourself and only add names of similar quality. There's no advantage in cheating on this test. We're not in university anymore. Also, this can be a great way to pick a name out of several options.

4) Where is your company headed?

When taking a look at your companies future, it is important to pick a name according to that. If you are sure you'll stay in the segment you start operating in, it is okay to pick a descriptive name. For example "Delivery Hero" for the US delivery service. If you see your company expanding to other segments, I'd suggest you'll consider picking a brandable name like "uber" or "google". That will make it easier to brand new products and carry on the pre-existing trust in your name.

5) Last but not least: Get feedback on the name

The last step is to collect Feedback on your name choice. What will people in your future audience think of the name? Is it appealing? What do other founders think? Talking to someone who has already gotten their feet wet is always a good call.


We hope this article could help you. Good luck with finding the right name. 🖊️

If you are interested in learning about what different categories of names exist to help you on your name search, you might be interested in this article about the 7 different types of company names.