How to come up with a business name

10 Ways to Come Up With A Name for Your eCommerce Business

When you tell others that you start a company one of the first questions is always what your business is called. Coming up with a good business name seems simple until you have to come up with one yourself. It’s not unusual to have a hard time deciding on a name.
In this article, I’ll share 10 ways to come up with a name for your eCommerce business. Additionally, I’ll share what in my opinion are the 3 most important steps when looking for a business name.

Top 3 Factors That Make a Good Business Name

Yes, coming up with a creative and good sounding name is important. However, there are factors that are even more crucial for an eCommerce business. The internet is flooded with websites and opening your own business is easier than ever. When you look for a business name, finding an available domain name, checking on trademarks, and searching for businesses with the same or similar name are the most important steps.

1. Find An Available Domain Name

You just came up with the most amazing name for your business can’t wait to set up your store. You get ready to register your name, only to find that your domain name idea is already taken. The reality is that you’re better off coming up with more than one name so you have a higher chance of finding an available domain. You can enter name ideas on sites like GoDaddy and NameCheap to see if the domain is still free.

You can also use LeanDomainSearch to find available domains. Enter relevant terms and see what kind of domains can still be registered. Here are some of the domain names that come up for the term “berry”:

Lean Domain Search Results Example

When you find something you like, you can register it with WordPress or with Bluehost.

No matter which research tool you use, you should preferably use a .com extension. Other domains like .co can work, but for most customers, .com looks still the most professional. In case you find a name you’re totally in love with but the domain is unavailable, try adding additional words. You could add “shop”, “USA” or “word”. The skincare brand “bliss” is a good example. They decided on the domain name

bliss website
Screenshot of bliss

2. Check for Trademarks

There’s nothing more frustrating than to build a business just to eventually find out that your business name has been infringing on someone’s trademark. To avoid this kind of setback, check for existing trademarks before registering your domain. Go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, navigate to their trademark database, enter your name idea and check for registered trademarks.

USPTO trademark databasse
Screenshot of USPTO

Open the trademarks that are currently live and review if any of these trademarks apply to the type of industry you want to operate in. If you want to be 100% sure, talk to a lawyer.

3. Check for Businesses With the Same or Similar Name

You found a free domain name and checked for trademarks. So far so good. The last important step is to do a quick Google search for your name idea. Check if you can find any businesses with the same or similar name. You want to especially make sure that there are no businesses in the same industry with comparable names. If there are businesses in the same industry with a similar name, your business might receive negative reviews that were meant for the other business. Also, see that nothing appears in the search or image results that could hurt your brand’s reputation. The last thing you should do is to enter variations of your domain name idea and see what comes up. You can, for example, add an “s” at the end of your name. Customers might make typos when looking for your business. Verify that they won’t be sent to competitors or questionable websites.

How to Come up With a Business Name

Now that you’re aware of the three most important business name factors, let’s take a look at 10 ways you can use to come up with a name for your eCommerce business. One rule when it comes to brainstorming for a name is don’t overthink it. Set yourself a time limit to decide on a business name. Don’t spend too many days or weeks contemplaiting. Finding a name shouldn’t stall your ambitions of building a business.

1. Emotions 💕

The first thing you can take into consideration when you try to come up with a business name is emotions. What should people feel when they hear the name? Make a list of what your company stands for and what words you want your brand to be associated with.

2. Old English Words or Mythology 🧝🏻‍♀️

Sometimes you have to go back in time to find inspiration. You can find ideas in literature and browse through old and almost forgotten English words. There might be words that sound great, are not commonly used but have beautiful meanings.

Another way to find business name ideas is to borrow from Mythology. Look into Norse mythology or Greek mythology to find inspiration. Hermes, known for their luxury handbags, for example, borrowed the name from the messenger of Greek gods.

3. Translations 💬

A business name you originally came up with might actually sound better in a different language. Make a list of potential business names or terms you want to associate the brand with and see if a translation to a different language actually has a better ring to it. The online retailer Zappos, derived their business name from “Zapatos”, which means shoes in Spanish.

4. Length 📏

One thing you need to keep in mind when looking for a brand name is where the name will be printed on. If you’re selling smaller products the space on the label for your business name will be limited. The natural and organic body care brand EO was aware of the limitations and decided on a two letter business name. EO stands for Essential Oils.

5. Be Original 👩🏽‍🎤

While drawing inspiration from other businesses is okay, refrain from copying ideas. Avoid trademark issues and customer confusion in the long run by coming up with something original. Don’t be afraid to play with creativity and to add some of your personality.

6. Descriptive Name 🍕

One way to help customers understand what you’re selling is by choosing a descriptive name. Your business name could reflect your company’s function. When you hear “Pizza Hut”, it’s pretty clear what they’re selling. One thing to consider is that a descriptive name can be limiting if want to offer products from a different category in the future.

7. Keep It Simple 👍

When you come up with a business name, share it with your friends and family. It’s important to say it out loud and to see if others can understand the brand name right away or if you have to keep repeating it. The brand name should be easy to spell, easy to pronounce and easy to remember. Keeping it simple will help with building brand recognition.

8. Acronyms or Mash-ups 🌀

Instead of finding a word for your business name that has a meaning you can try to make up a word. In the long run, when your business becomes succesful you can actually give a term that hasn’t existed before some meaning. The ice cream company Häagen-Dazs for example made up their brand name. Their goal was to sound authentic and European.

Another way to find a name for your business is to mash up words. From all the terms that you came up with for your business, see if you can simply combine two of them. Many famous brand names originated from this technique. Asos, an online fashion retailer, for example, is short for “As Seen On Screen”.

9. Add a Suffix 💁🏽‍♀️

A simple way to make a word more unique is to add a suffix. It can make your business name sound more catchy and is especially popular in the tech industry. Think about a suffix like “ify” and “ster”. Popular business name examples are Spotify and Appster.

10. Use The Founder’s Name 🙋‍♀️

Instead of trying to find a business name that communicates a feeling or the company’s functionality, why not share who founded the company. By using your name as the business name you show that you stand behind the brand. It also gives a sense of history to the company. Two examples of successful brands that used their founder’s business name are Cartier and Kellog’s.

Business Name Generators

In case your head is smoking from all that brainstorming and you still can’t come up with anything good, you can always try free online business name generators. You simply enter terms you want to have included in your business name and the generator comes up with combinations for you:

On a Final Note

A good business name can be very powerful. It can explain what your business does and can portray emotions. However, finding your business name is just the start. Getting the branding and marketing right and creating a good product is even more important. Find something you like and just go with it 👍.