The 7 Criteria For A Good Business Name

When starting a business, choosing the right name can be a critical factor in determining the success of the brand. The following are seven key criteria as discussed in the book The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier, that should be considered when selecting a business name.


A good business name should be distinctive and stand out from competitors, particularly those in the same industry. It should also be easily distinguishable from ordinary speech and text. The best brand names have a “presence” that feels like a proper noun.


Short and memorable names are more likely to be easily recalled by customers. A shorter name is also less likely to be reduced to a nickname or acronym. A multi-word name, on the other hand, may be shortened to non-communicating initials, losing its impact and meaning.


The name should be appropriate for the business purpose and reflect the core values or offerings of the brand. If the name could apply to any other business, it may not be the best fit. A name that is relevant and meaningful to the brand can help to establish a strong identity in the market.

Easy spelling and pronunciation:

A good business name should be easy to spell and pronounce. If it’s difficult to spell or requires a spelling test, it may be hard for customers to remember or search for online. Similarly, if it’s challenging to pronounce, it may make people feel ignorant or embarrassed to use it.


A likable name is one that is enjoyable to say and use. A name that’s pleasing to the ear can create positive associations with the brand, helping to establish emotional connections with customers. Intellectual stimulation or a good “mouth feel” can help to make a name more likable.


A good business name should be extendable, allowing for visual interpretations and creative executions. It should suggest a wide range of possibilities for brand play and be versatile enough to be used in a variety of contexts. A name that can be adapted in various ways can help to create a strong brand identity.


Finally, the name should be protectable through trademarking and available for web use. Trademarking the name can help to protect the brand from infringement, and having a domain name available for web use is essential for creating an online presence. A name that is protectable can help to ensure the longevity of the brand.

In summary, choosing a business name involves considering several factors. The name should be distinctive, brief, appropriate, easy to spell and pronounce, likable, extendable, and protectable. By keeping these criteria in mind, businesses can choose a name that accurately reflects their brand identity, helps them stand out in the market, and builds a strong brand image for years to come.

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16 Responses

  1. I am in the idea stage of an online company I am hoping to launch by the end of summer. It is a fitness and nutrition company called sweet anatomy

  2. This is really helpful. Definitely going to pick up that book this summer. Thanks!

  3. Going to purchase that online TODAY! I’m battling wih a name and all I have right now is JUSDEM. I plan to design t-shirt and accessories that reach out to encourage and inspire physically, emotionally and especially spiritually. JUSDEM come from my kids names JUSTICE & DEMYON, who played the BIGGEST role in getting me to where I am now, leading me back to God! & I just want to bless others by not only claiming success by mouth but also wear it. I did read this article and I think my name JUSDEM is kind of borderline. I’d greatly appreciate your thoughts!
    Thank you and God bless! Appreciate the articles, YOU’RE AWESOME!

  4. I am considering starting a delivery service partnered with local farms and farmers markets here in Knoxville, Tennessee with the name
    From: the Farm.

    Labels and logos would say From: the Farm To: You. As though it is a personal package to you from the farm. But spoken I think it would be abbreviated to From: the Farm

    Our area has available produce nearly year round as well as eggs, milk, organic coffees, spice mixes, honey and many canned items like jams, salsas, sauces and more. Members could receive weekly, biweekly or month bins of various sizes and item numbers plus add ons like the above mentioned items.

    We have a thriving local famers market and I hope From: the Farm can a liaison between the farms and markets to homes.

    1. What a great business. Nice gift idea, too for new parents, teachers, wedding guests, etc. Personally, I’d be wary of the colon in the name — especially since you plan on two colons in the full name. Will be interested to see what Dale thinks.

      1. As a graphic design student- I’d say find a professional to design your brand, and before they begin the process talk to them about the colon. Depending on how your business’ identity develops, the colon could visually become an integral, relevant, and memorable asset to the brand.. Or it could be clunky, awkward, and unworkable. For me, the biggest thing is that mentally I pause when reading it. “From *pause* the farm” so it creates a little mental stumble when I’m reading. “From the farm” flows better as a phrase/name in my opinion. Either way, great idea!

  5. When I started my photography business a few years ago, I didn’t have the option of using my name, as many photographers do. Every iteration of Jen Smith Photo was taken in various states and was impossible to distinguish online. I chose a combination of my name, location and vocation:
    Carolina Photosmith. It’s a touch lengthy, so my social media handle is jenphotosmith.

  6. Dear Dale,

    Though I am still in the brain storming phase of my new business idea I find your article quite helpful. I am considering opening up a small business consulting firm FOR small businesses. I am still determining my niche market and struggling with a “business name.” Nevertheless, I am glad I read this. THANK YOU!

    PS: I love you! (And I mean that in the utmost respectful way)

    PSS: You should a consider a “Dear Dale” blog for readers to post questions about specific scenarios while providing general answers to their questions. This will help attract more readers and increase your followers. And yes, I would be more than happy to run that part of your business for you! ;`)


    Shereen Y.

  7. We recently started Kindaware – a group to put on different kindness stunts throughout the year. Our first one was a crowdfunding campaign where we raised £1,400 to create care ruck sacks for homeless people filled with warm things and food / coffee vouchers.

  8. Fitcology, I’ve always wanted to take psychology to the next level and share with people how to work our minds just like we do our bodies.

  9. I make handmade jewelry and my business name is The Mad Sparrow, which is a fun wordplay on my name.

  10. hey can anyone suggest me the name of my company its a pump manufacturing company….?

  11. I am going in circles with a business name. I want to do a brick and mortar and a food truck with two different names. I need them to be connected some kind of way though. It’s not necessary but I do have different menus for each. The food truck will come first which is a mobile coffee truck with breakfast and lunch dishes .. many derived from the delicious sweet potato. Then the big location will be a cafe and bar and have my delicious sweet potatoes. I want to be know for having the best loaded sweet potatoes with the best unique sauce.

  12. When it comes to name you business, it’s not a task to take lightly. A business name represents a promise to consumers and differentiates the value your business offers from your competitors. More importantly, you need to take yourself out of the business naming equation entirely because it doesn’t matter if your business name makes sense to you. It really only matters if your business name is meaningful to consumers.

    Thanks so much,

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