How to Come Up with a Catchy and Creative Business Name - Looka (2024)

As a future-but-not-yet hugely successful startup, you want a business name that grabs the attention of all who hear it and holds on with a tight grip. But choosing a company name is a common obstacle for new entrepreneurs.

In this article, we’ll show you how to come up with some catchy business name ideas for your new venture by brainstorming and making sure it’s:

  • Original
  • Future-proof
  • User-friendly
  • Available (in some form)
  • Lovable

Ready? Let’s delve into these qualities and look at tips to get you through the business name creation process.

(You can also check out our quick video below!)

1. Make it original

Being original can be scary (and hard) to do, but it’s essential when naming your business — don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd!

A gazillion apps have names like Tinder, Grindr, Flickr, and Tumblr, so accept that your Stark-family-themed Game of Thrones app called Wintr will only get lost in the shuffle.

As a new startup, your name needs to compel people to sit up and take notice rather than look up, look down, and forget you ever existed.

To generate a boatload of options to work with, don’t edit yourself during the brainstorming process — it’s all about a free flow of ideas and imagination.

  • Explore keywords. Twinword has an awesome free keyword tool that can help you find inspiration for your name. If you type a keyword related to your business into its search field, it’ll give you a graph of all of the other words related to it. Fire away!
  • Consult books. Use a hard copy of a dictionary for inspiration, or even one of your favorite novels. Flip through the pages and write down words that resonate with you, even if they’re not directly related to your business.
  • Play it up. Another way to achieve originality is with some deliciously fun wordplay. Have a look at these examples of companies with clever titles and think about what you could come up with for your brand identity. It’s a good idea starter! Examples: Melon Cauli (fruit and vegetable store), Sole Man (shoe repairs), Spoon Me (frozen yogurt brand), and Sensibill (receipt management software).

2. Make it future-proof

One thing you don’t want to do is create a name that sabotages your future expansion plans or limits your reach.

Let’s say, for instance, that your company makes women’s shoes, but you think you’ll eventually try to crack the male market. Having a name like Goddess Heels by Fiona wouldn’t be helpful.

One way to future-proof your name — and get out of the singular “this is the product we make or thing we offer” headspace — is to think about your company’s story, values, and key differentiators as you brainstorm.

  • Get reflective. How would you describe your company to others? What are you trying to accomplish? What feelings do you want to evoke in your customers? Do certain adjectives come to mind when you think about your business? What do you do differently? Grab a piece of paper and a pen and start writing it all down.
  • Consider your offering. If you’re a service-based business, having your service offering in the name can be helpful as a suffix (e.g. Scaling Upward Design).
  • Keep it simple. A business name shouldn’t be a mashup of words trying to accomplish too many things — it needs to feel good and evoke positive emotions and associations in you and your future customers.
  • Aim for easy spelling. Simple brand names are easier to spell—a huge plus when relying on online customers to remember your business and look you up or refer you!

3. Make it user-friendly

You have the first-round list of original business name ideas — now what? It’s important to choose a name that’s easy to say, spell, and type into Google — even if it’s a made-up word.

Many people aren’t great spellers, and as of the time of writing this post, there’s no “Did you mean to write this?” system in place for mistyped URLs in browser windows.

Choosing a name that helps people find you quickly can put you ahead of the game. And remember: if customers can’t find you, they’ll end up finding someone else!

  • Impose creative constraints. As you get deeper into brainstorming, limit yourself to coming up with names with only one word or two syllables — it’ll help you focus on coming up with punchier name ideas. Other constraints to try? Coming up with only alliterative names (hello, Squarespace and PayPal), or only ones that begin with verbs (e.g. Dropbox, Shopify).
  • Test in different mediums. To see how your name ideas look and sound, put them into a logo design, say them out loud in a conversation (or to yourself in the mirror), and draft them in an email signature. Making your ideas feel real will help you determine if they connect!
  • Get feedback. Ask a few trusted friends or family members to weigh in on your name ideas. If you say a name and they immediately look confused or barrage you with questions, you may want to rethink its user-friendliness.
  • Check for language translation. The last thing you want is to name your business something that translates poorly in another language. Do a quick Google search to make sure you aren’t naming your brand after a body part or something crude.

Try out a business name in a logo design for free!

4. Make sure it’s available (in some form)

Once you have a business name idea (or a few) that you’re happy with, it’s time to do some digging. For SEO and legitimacy purposes, you want the name in your website URL, so check if it’s available in .com form.

If not, you can choose from about a hundred options from .net to .co.uk to .tv — but again, a .com URL can give your business an air of legitimacy and bring in more traffic.

The good news? Being creative will pay dividends because the more original your name, the more likely it is to be available as a web address.

  • Check it. GoDaddy is a go-to tool for checking domain availability and letting you see your .com alternatives. Type your ideas in, hold your breath, and see if the names are taken (we hope not!). If they are, see what businesses or pages are at those addresses and take note. You can also do a trademark search — here are the resources for the U.S., Canada, and the U.K
  • Don’t give up. If the domain is unavailable, you still have options. You can add a word at the start or end of your name — popular ones include “app,” “get,” and “hello.” If you’re a service-based industry, you can try adding your offering in the name.
  • Look at social handles. After checking the domain name, take a look at Namechk to see if the name you want is taken in social handles, particularly on the channels you plan to use to build your business.

Tip: If your business is limited by geography, a country-specific URL is still a great option (.ca, .uk) — just make sure the content at the .com address doesn’t conflict with your business.

If the exact handle name is unavailable (a likely scenario), there are some easy fixes to try like adding a word or underscore. Again, check the content of handles that come up in your searches to see who else is using the name.

5. Make sure you LOVE it

It goes without saying that you have to love your new business name and feel confident about putting it out into the world. That’s why we recommend brainstorming plenty of ideas and taking the time to mull them over before settling on a winner — don’t expect overnight success!

The last thing to remember: Companies rebrand all the time, but doing so costs time and money. Try your best to get the name right on the first attempt to ensure your business is off to a great start.

What makes a good business name?

There are a few key elements to a really catchy business name.

  • Evokes a feeling: Pottery Barn conveys a curation of rustic furniture through its name alone. Try to create a feeling through the use of imaginative and highly visual words.
  • Sounds good: A good business name has a ring to it. Some names mix constants and vowels like Aritzia while others use rhythm to create a sense of flow like Flora and Fauna. Before finalizing your brand name, say it out loud and use it in conversation and listen to how it rolls off the tongue. Aim for under 5 syllables if you can!
  • Speaks to your audience: A strong company name will resonate with its market. If you own a tech company, you might want to play off of words in your industry. BitBucket, 1Password, and CodeCov are all great examples of this.
  • Memorable: In the world of infinite scrolling, you can have a memorable product or flashy ad, but it won’t help your customer if they can’t remember your brand name when they try to look you up later. What makes a business name memorable? It has rhythm or repetition, it’s a little abstract or quirky, it’s not too long, and of course— it looks good in a logo

6 Types of business names to choose from

Somewhere in your brainstorming and researching, you’ll need to choose the type of business name you’re after. Selecting one of these top five is a great place to start.

1. Acronyms & abbreviations

A popular choice for brands that want a short, crisp business name. Fun fact! IKEA is actually an acronym that combines the initials of the founder, Ingvar Kamprad, with the letters of the farm and village he grew up in, Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd.

How to Come Up with a Catchy and Creative Business Name - Looka (1)

In 1963, CVS was founded as “Consumer Value Store” and was later abbreviated. When brainstorming, look for some obvious names and words either about you or your product/service and see if they form any interesting acronyms.

Examples of acronym business names:

  • AT&T– American Telephone and Telegraph Company
  • BMW– Bavarian Motor Works
  • GEICO– Government Employees Insurance Company
  • IBM– International Business Machines
  • MAC– Make-up Art Cosmetics

2. Real people’s names

What better way to honor the person doing all the work behind the scenes than naming your company after yourself! Using your name or a family name as your business name is a classic choice and certainly has longstanding power. Think of McDonald’s or renowned design company Herman Miller.

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Using your name as a business name is a great option for consultants and contractors. But it has its cons as well. Doing this insists that you are the face of your brand at least for the first few years while getting started. It might also limit how you expand your business down the road.

Examples of businesses named after people:

  • Air Jordan– Michael Jordan
  • Addidas– Adi Dassler
  • CLIFF Bar- Clifford Erickson
  • Dyson– James Dyson
  • Taco Bell– Glen Bell

3. Matter of fact

A company name that goes the obvious route of addressing the business’ purpose creates immediate clarity. With a name like Village Juicery, Whole Foods,or Car2Go, it’s hard to miss what these companies offer to their consumers.

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This is a great option for entrepreneurs who aim for simplicity when naming their business. And while they’re not exactly the most exciting or eye-catching, their staying power is undeniable.

Examples of business names that tell you about the business:

4. Compounds

Create your own compound word by merging two words you love together! The company name Panera is actually a compound of the words “pan” (meaning bread) and “era” (meaning age or time). Put them together and you’ve got “age of bread”.

How to Come Up with a Catchy and Creative Business Name - Looka (4)

Examples of compound business names:

  • FroYo
  • Airbnb
  • Wework
  • Coinbase
  • Paypal

5. Made up word

Making up words is for big imaginations, but some of the biggest businesses out there are completely made-up words. Think Haagen-Dazs means something in Dutch? Think again. The American founders wanted to convey a worldly, artisanal feeling with their product.

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Making up a word provides you the opportunity to create a fun and out-of-the-box business name that is both memorable and unique. Consider your audience when making up a word for your business name. You want it to sound like something they’d be intrigued by and opt to learn more about.

Examples of unique company names using made up words:

  • Expedia
  • Verizon
  • Kodak
  • Skype
  • Etsy

6. Misspelled or missing vowels

While catchy looking and unconventional, misspelling or removing vowels from words to create a business name can come with its flaws. Removing vowels can make it harder to read and pronounce your business name. We dare you to try and pronounce BHLDN, a popular wedding attire brand (it’s “beholden” btw).

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If you opt for this route, we suggest you work with a really simple, obvious name like Lyft, or Flikr.

Examples of business names that are intentionally misspelled or missing a vowel:

  • MNDFL
  • Xero
  • Tumblr
  • Reddit
  • Cheez It

Creative business name examples

Looking for inspiration? We’ve pulled a list of creative business names all created by our Business Name Generator. Feel free to use these as inspiration for your own business name ideas!

Creative restaurant business names

  1. Flame On
  2. Bistroway
  3. Barline
  4. Tapres
  5. Pavilion & Pour

Creative consulting business names

  1. Oaks Consulting
  2. Living Vitality
  3. Editorable
  4. Repenned
  5. SnapAdvisr

Creative Youtube channel names

  1. Videoser
  2. Arcosmetics
  3. Bellsunshine
  4. ShotTrack
  5. Gamofi

Creative construction business names

  1. Forge Tradition
  2. CustomWell
  3. Forge & Form
  4. Clearbuild
  5. Arform

Creative beauty business names

  1. Beautifa
  2. Aestheticio
  3. Maskora
  4. Pose Aesthetics
  5. Rosly

Creative fashion business names

  1. LinenFox
  2. Mist & Cloth
  3. Varine
  4. Grgus
  5. Pyurpetal

Creative photography business names

  1. Snap Momento
  2. Picturesist
  3. Residing Life Photography
  4. 9Lives Photography
  5. Until Tomorrow Photography

A great way to generate a company name

Coming up with great business name ideas can take up a surprising amount of your time. It’s annoying to get stuck at the first step of building your business, which is why using a business name generator can be helpful.

How to Come Up with a Catchy and Creative Business Name - Looka (7)

A preview of Looka’s Business Name Generator in action

Looka’s Business Name Generator comes up with tons of business name ideas in seconds — then lets you check the domain availability, social handles, and preview the name in a logo without having to leave the page.

Skeptical? We get it—you’re picky! Which is why we generate business name ideas in a variety of ways, including invented names, compound words, and traditional names related to your industry. You can filter results by name length (character count) and get ideas for related terms right under the search bar. It’s completely free and will save you so much time.

p.s. Want to know more about building a brand? Check out our brand identity guide!

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How to Come Up with a Catchy and Creative Business Name - Looka (8)

How to Come Up with a Catchy and Creative Business Name - Looka (2024)

FAQs

How do you come up with a unique catchy business name? ›

How to come up with a business name
  1. Use acronyms.
  2. Create mash-ups.
  3. Get inspiration from mythology and literature.
  4. Use foreign words.
  5. Use your own name.
  6. Take a look at a map.
  7. Mix things up.
  8. Partner with another company.

What is a good catchy business name? ›

Unique business name ideas
  • Arctic Wolf Neworks, Inc (cyber security)
  • The Zebra (car insurance comparison website)
  • Purple Mango (this is the name for a cafe, a skincare and laser office, and a media company)
  • Blue Kite Web Solutions LLC.
  • The Maroon Door (restaurant)
  • Unchained Carrot (marketing)
  • The Orange Goat (restaurant)
8 Nov 2021

What makes a catchy name? ›

Find a name that is simple, easy to pronounce, and evocative. Brighter Naming suggests keeping things “short and sweet,” and making sure that whatever name you choose can be easily spelled and searched for online. Without being kitschy, strive to be catchy—think Moz, Nike, or Starbucks.

What is business name example? ›

For example, a company's trade name is Mike's, but their legal business name is Mike's Corporation. A business can opt to have their business name and trade name be the same. A trade name may also be called a doing business as (DBA) name. It's the name the public sees.

What are some creative names? ›

  • Aria.
  • Penelope.
  • Nova.
  • Isla.
  • Rowan.
  • Everly.
  • Brooklyn.
  • August.

How do you create a small business name? ›

How to Name Your Business
  1. Brainstorm business names. Use brainstorming techniques to develop a comprehensive list of potential business names. ...
  2. Make a list of the best business names. ...
  3. Follow naming rules for business structure. ...
  4. Check if the business name is available.

What is a famous brand name? ›

Business news: In pictures
RankBrandValue ($m)
1Apple178,119
2Google133,252
3Coca-Cola73,102
4Microsoft72,795
66 more rows
5 Oct 2016

How do I find a unique name? ›

Are you looking for a creative name?
  1. Use a Metaphor. One way to make sure you leave a visual impression is by using a metaphor. ...
  2. Combine Words. ...
  3. Do The Opposite. ...
  4. It's right when it sounds right. ...
  5. Change A Few Things. ...
  6. Pronunciation. ...
  7. Be wary of cultural differences. ...
  8. Play With Words.
21 Apr 2015

How do you come up with a name? ›

5 Tips for How to Come Up With Character Names
  1. Character names should offer insight into personalities and characteristics. ...
  2. Choose a name and stick to it. ...
  3. Say the name out loud. ...
  4. Avoid starting with the same letter. ...
  5. Avoid overused and/or boring names.

How do I find my lucky business name? ›

How do I pick a lucky business name? Do some research on symbols, colors, and concepts that are linked to good fortune, and make a note of the ones your audience is likely to identify with. Think of words associated with your products and write them down. Combine the words in new and interesting ways to form names.

What is best name for new company? ›

Business & Company Name Ideas
  • SwipeWire.
  • SecureSmarter.
  • Dwellsmith.
  • SalePush.
  • Formonix.
  • Branding.
  • Cloudrevel.
  • Seekingon.
20 Sept 2022

What are the top 10 names? ›

Top 10 Baby Names of 2021
RankMale nameFemale name
1LiamOlivia
2NoahEmma
3OliverCharlotte
4ElijahAmelia
6 more rows

What is a rare name? ›

Unique baby names
  • Windy.
  • Vin'nyla.
  • Velvette.
  • Starlette.
  • Snowdrop.
  • Sianna-Marie.
  • Panda.
  • Charmayanne.
23 Aug 2022

How do I come up with my business name lashes? ›

20 More Lashes Business Name Ideas
  1. Luscious Glance.
  2. Natural Eye Flutter.
  3. Butterfly Lashes.
  4. LashXtend.
  5. Sexy Eyes.
  6. Longer n Thicker.
  7. Bling Bling Lashes.
  8. Sultry Lash Studio.

How do you create a small business name? ›

How to Name Your Business
  1. Brainstorm business names. Use brainstorming techniques to develop a comprehensive list of potential business names. ...
  2. Make a list of the best business names. ...
  3. Follow naming rules for business structure. ...
  4. Check if the business name is available.

How do you create a brand name? ›

10 tips for effective brand names
  1. START WITH THE END IN MIND. As with all marketing, a clear brief is critical to success. ...
  2. THINK BIG FROM THE START. ...
  3. BUILD ON BRAND TRUTH. ...
  4. PLAY AROUND WITH WORDS. ...
  5. ADD SOME PERSONALITY. ...
  6. USE 'PARALLEL PROCESSING' ...
  7. LESS IS MORE. ...
  8. THINK PROTECTION BEFORE YOU GO TOO FAR.

How do you come up with a username? ›

What to Know. Incorporate your favorite things, such as food, celebrities, or career aspirations. Use an online screen name generator such as SpinXO. Build an unlikely username by substituting symbols and letters, like 3 for E and $ for 5.

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