August 23rd, 2016
Business names are more important than ever in the digital age, so anyone starting up a new business needs to think carefully about what to call it. Your name is your brand, which will feature strongly in your web presence and be one of the factors which helps to attract potential customers.
Basepoint Business Centres works with many people launching start-ups. This includes both people who initially work from home while using virtual offices and those who move into serviced office space in our centres in different areas of the UK. Here we look at the factors you need to bear in mind when playing the business name game.
Finding a Name You Can Live With: Your company name is something you will only choose once, so you need to be sure it’s sending out the right messages about your business. Checks to make include whether it is easy to spell and remember, and if you intend to work with customers based abroad, that it does not have any unfortunate meanings in foreign languages. You also need to check that it won’t be regarded as too gimmicky.
Some companies have abstract names which don’t immediately suggest any particular type of product, but in general it is a good idea for the name to express what the company does. Some business names incorporate clever wordplay, but, if considering a name with a pun, it could be wise to avoid being too cheesy! There may also be a danger of a humorous name, suggesting you are not serious about your business. Discussing the name you are considering with friends whose opinion you trust could help you to decide whether it has the right tone.
Should You Use Your Own Name?: If you as an individual are already well-known within the field you work in, it can be an advantage to include your own name in the company name. This will mean anybody searching for you online will find you more easily. There are also some careers where using your own name is more common, such as law and medical professions. However, giving the business your own name can sometimes have disadvantages, since it makes it seem to be very much built around you as an individual. Using a place name can also have advantages, since it gives an established feel, but this could have drawbacks if you later expand into other areas.
Check Availability: When considering names to put on your personal shortlist, you will need to visit the Companies House website, in the case of limited companies, to check if your chosen name is already taken. The website also provides a check that the name isn’t too similar to those of other existing companies. In addition, it offers guidance on ensuring that it doesn’t break other rules, such as including “sensitive” words and expressions. For instance, “British” is only usually allowed at the start of a company name if the business is of national stature.
Web Domains and Searches: As well as checking with Companies House before naming your business, it is also important to look at whether the web domain for your name is available to register. The “.co.uk” version is the address which customers in the UK will usually expect, but it could be a good idea also to register other versions of your company name, such as “.com.”
Even if the web domain you are considering is available, you might get a nasty surprise if you search for your planned company name and find spam websites or other undesirable companies with a similar title! Because of this, it could be best to do some searching and check that the name you are considering doesn’t lead to any embarrassing search results.
Once you have found a name you like and which is available, the next step is to register it officially. Then you can arrange to have a logo designed, together with a company website, and set about launching your new business.
If you need to find office space for your new venture, Basepoint has serviced offices available on easy terms in a wide range of UK towns including High Wycombe, Luton and Crawley. It is also possible to arrange to rent virtual offices from your chosen business centre. This will provide you with a number of benefits including a professional business address and a place where you can meet with customers in comfort, using our break-out area or hiring serviced meeting rooms.
UK Virtual Offices – Click to find out more about our range of services for businesses.