10 Smart Ways to Validate Business Name Ideas

So you’ve come up with tons of cool business name ideas for your company or e-commerce store. Kudos. However, the challenge is you can only use one or two for your business name availability search.

The big question becomes which will it be?

Sounds like a simple question until you fully grasp the myriad issues surrounding business naming.

In this post, we will learn:

  • what is a business name,
  • why it is important,
  • why it is important to get it right,
  • the cost of getting it wrong
  • how to generate business or company name ideas, and
  • how to screen such business name ideas and select only the best

Grab a pen and paper and take notes as we go along but first,

What is a Business Name?

A business name is a name or pseudonym a company uses to do business different from its legal dba (doing business as) name. It is also known as the trade name or trading name, as the case may be.


What’s in a Business Name?

Quite a lot really. It sets the tone for every other thing that follows in your business.

Your business name will appear on your:

  • logo
  • letterhead
  • receipts
  • website
  • social network handles
  • search engine results
  • guest blog posts
  • company registration documents
  • yellow pages and company directories
  • newspaper or magazine publications, etc

That’s just a few of the places your business name can appear in.

Here’s Why You Need to Get it Right from Day 1

Imagine needing company name ideas again 10 years into business in order to change your business name to suit your new status.

That would mean updating your name on your:

  • logo
  • letterhead
  • receipts
  • website (plus domain name)
  • social network handles
  • search engine results
  • guest blog posts
  • company registration documents
  • yellow pages and company directories
  • newspaper or magazine publications, etc

Plus if you’re a transport company, for instance, you’ll also need to update your

  • entire fleet
  • vehicle papers
  • insurance papers
  • drivers licenses
  • driver/staff uniforms
  • receipts/invoices
  • bank
  • customers
  • business name registration papers
  • tax office, and so on

A Case Study

A similar name change from UTA to TDU (pronounced t-duh) is estimated to cost Utah taxpayers over $50m, much to the chagrin of many residents and Utah reps.

Check out the

Cost of Changing Business Name

Draw a table, with 2 columns for cost and time for each of the 20 sample items listed in “Why You Need to Get it Right From Day 1” above.

Add other items peculiar to your business, industry or vertical in your geographical location and you’ll have a fair idea of how much time and money is involved in a business name change.

To put it in perspective, just one item on that list (the domain name cars.com) was sold for $872m.

To forestall this you need to learn how to get business naming right.

Here’s how to Generate Business Name Ideas in Minutes

1. Quora

This popular forum is a member to member Q&A site. Members ask other members any kind of question and anyone with answers is free to respond.

It’s a great way to generate company name ideas.

2. Business Name Generators

Speaking of generating business name ideas quickly, perhaps none does it better than business name generators.

These are specialized software tools that help you come up with business, company or brand name ideas in minutes.

Other ways to get business name suggestions include:

  • Family and friends
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Hiring copywriters
  • Conducting name polls or surveys
  • Asking your social network
  • Brainstorming
  • Meditation
  • Dreams, etc

And here are

10 Smart Ways to Validate Your Business Name Ideas

Kudos for curating a shortlist of company name ideas. Take the following steps to validate them

A. Alignment Test

Here the aim is to confirm if your company name ideas align with your core business aims, goals, mission and vision. Keep if they do, discard if they don’t.

B. Crowd Testing

Here you can actually A/B/C test. You simply ask for honest feedback from a pre-selected group of respondents like family, friends, Facebook or WhatsApp Group members, etc.

C. Sound Test

Here you spell out your business name ideas and request a pre-selected group of participants to pronounce the name ideas you’ve written out.

D. Spelling Test

Here you pronounce your company name suggestions to another group of participants and ask them to spell out what they hear.

E. Language Test

Here you assemble participants from different cultures within your main target market. Have them look at your top 3 brand name suggestions and see if it means anything in their respective languages.

F. Name Availability Test

Once you have your top 3 name ideas you need to run a business or company name availability search to ascertain availability to avoid name duplication and associated legal issues.

G. Domain Name (Availability) Test

After name availability search, confirm that there’s a matching domain name. Customers naturally search for yourname.com

H. Trademark Test

After confirming the name and domain name availability, plus securing them, it is time to trademark your business name before someone else does.

I. Social Network Test

Here you can ask either all of or some of the trusted members of your social network for their feedback on your business and domain name ideas.

J. Expansibility or Elasticity Test

Do you see your top 3 business name suggestions remaining relevant in the next decade after growth and expansion home and abroad?

Bonus Tip: Recall Test

Here, in the end, ou simply ask every participant or respondent which of your company name ideas they remember the most.


Generating business name ideas can be easy or tough depending on the process of generating them. Taking the next step to validate them can make a huge difference.




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.