Your startup’s name might be almost as important as your business idea itself, so why not get it right the first time? After all, the name you print under yours on your business card will serve as a window into your business for any new client or investor. Thankfully, there are tons of business name generators online to help entrepreneurs like yourself.
Canadian businesses like Dollarama and Maple Leaf Foods wouldn’t have been as successful if they started out with names like “Dollars Are All You Need In Here” or “Meats For You.” Your startup’s name needs to be clever and paint a picture of what you provide.
Our 3 favorite business name generators
Naming a business is important. After all, if you're as successful as you hope to be, you'll be saying and typing it for years to come.
Check out our top 3 business name generators, then keep reading for tips on what to do after you’ve found the perfect name.
This unique platform connects you with freelancers, creators, writers, editors — even people who are good at coming up with great business names.
Fiverr can put you in touch with a small army of people eager to help name your business.
Creating a profile is free but if you want to get business name ideas, you’ll need a budget to work with. You can get business names generated for your startup from multiple sellers at once. Just pay the cost and submit your keywords and business idea and you’ll have a list of potential names in no time.
2. Business Name Generators
The name says it all. It’s a free online tool that will provide pages and pages of potential names for your startup. Enter your keywords and names will appear.
While it’ll take some time to sort through them all, this platform will give you a lot to work with, especially if you’ve hit a creative hump.
Using Anadea’s company name generator, along with the keywords that you’ve brainstormed, will give you endless ideas. Anadea is a U.S. company that develops web and mobile applications, but this online tool is completely free for anyone to use.
While this platform is similar to the previous name generator, it proves to be more sophisticated and user-friendly.
Editor's note: Why not shorten the business naming process by finding an available domain name first? Try GoDaddy's free domain name generator now.
Tips to get you started
Of course, what you get out of these business name generators depends on what you put in. Here’s how to get the creative juices flowing:
Brainstorm related words
What are some words or phrases that come to mind when you think of your startup? What are you offering your clients? What makes you different?
For example, if you’re launching a yoga app, words like “Breathe,” “Om” or “Peace” might come to mind. Jotting down these words won’t help you find a name right away, but it’ll get you in the right headspace. Plus, they’ll come in handy when using online company name generators.
Look at your competition
Your industry competitors are useful to look at when curating a business name. Not only can you draw inspiration, you can also decide what you really dislike about them. For example, if you’re startup involves artificial intelligence, you’ll find that many businesses in the industry contain the word AI. Think beyond what is expected or already done and you’ll stand out from the herd.
Think of terrible name ideas
Brainstorming name ideas is a serious task, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. Your terrible ideas will not only make you laugh, they’ll get your mind in a more positive space. Start with the worst thing you could call your business, then branch off into slightly better ones. Soon enough, you’ll be one bad name closer to the perfect one.
Use keyword tools
Tools like Google’s free Keyword Planner allow you to pick Google’s brain and find out what terms your future customers are using to search for your products or services. Since they’ll be looking for you online, it’s not a bad idea to align your business name with the words customers think of when they need businesses like yours. Get tips on using Google’s planner here.
Important things to remember
Once you’ve come up with your short list of potential startup names, you’ll want to remember to check if they’re already in use. Who wants to spend time (and money) on a business name, only to learn it’s been trademarked by someone else? You can check by searching your potential business name on the Canadian Government’s business portal.
Lastly, when choosing your domain name and social media profiles, make sure it’s the same as your startup’s name. Don’t create barriers! Your clients need to find you online and you’re already new in the game, so keep all of your channels in unison.
Editor's note: You can create a logo that highlights your brand's name using GoDaddy's free logo maker, then add it to all your digital assets to boost online visibility. It only takes minutes to do and you can choose from hundreds of professional design templates and fonts to work with.
Your startup’s name might not be set in stone, but once it’s chosen, it’s difficult to change. Ask yourself these questions before committing to a final name:
- Is it catchy?
- Is it easy to say?
- Does it represent the brand you’re ready to build?
- Do YOU actually like it?
It might become uncomfortable to say out loud (when you answer the phone, for example) or it might prove limiting over time if your company grows in a different direction.
Before changing its name to the well-known brand of Yahoo!, the company was called "David and Jerry's Guide to the Web.”
It’s doubtful that the brand would have grown to what it is today if it hadn’t changed its name a year after launching. While the change proved to be useful to them, it’s a tedious and lengthy process. So choose wisely.
To wrap things up
Launching your startup is a proud accomplishment, so make sure the name lives up to those expectations.
As you enter your first years in business, your name will be on everything — your letterhead, email signature, business cards, marketing collateral, shop window, etc. Make sure it speaks to your brand’s philosophy and overall mission. Make it clever, unique and relevant to your offering. Remember to consult your peers, friends or family for their opinions as well. Their feedback will be very useful when testing the waters before launching.
With the help of these tips and these great company name generators, you’ll be on your way to launching your business in no time.