How to Choose a Great Name (and Domain Name) for Your New Business

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Before anyone can start up a business, they need to come up with a name for their potential business. Customers buy products and services from businesses that have memorable names, and it’s often the simpler names that seem to be the easiest to remember.

Perhaps some of the best inspiration for new business names can come from the reality business show Shark Tank (available on fuboTV), which has helped launch businesses from Simply Fit Boards to Squatty Potties. A shining example of a brand that found immense success through this show is Scrub Daddy, a business that sells dish scrubbers. Of course, this business grew with the help of the show, but it found success with customers because its brand name is simple, unique, and relevant, that is, relevant to the market of kitchen scrubbers. With an online business, coming up with a name that meets these requirements is even more important because that name will need to be used in the website’s domain as well.


General Guidelines

General Guidelines for a Great Name

A Name That Is Simple

A lot of new business owners create lists upon lists of complicated potential business names, but those lengthy or complex names don’t often make sense to potential customers. Consumers like to see names that are easy to say and write, and it’s often names that are just one or two words that are truly the easiest.

A play on words can work well in some cases, too, so long as the word or words are still kept simple. For example, a small business that sells egg-cooking products may use the name “Eggcellent Products” with no confusion from customers. However, lengthier plays on words or more uncommon uses of words may make the business name too complex, and that will deter customers who don’t understand the name.

A Name That Is Unique

Every new business should avoid using a name that sounds or looks similar to another business’s name, especially if that business sells the same or similar products or services as the new business. This can be especially tricky for online businesses to avoid since so many online businesses already exist; however, new business owners can research the names of similar businesses that are already out there by using a search engine or domain availability checker. Consider researching search terms that could apply to your new business, for example, “beauty products for sale,” and then scroll through the results to see which business names are already taken.

A Name That is Relevant

While it may seem obvious, every new business should take a name that makes sense according to the products or services that it sells. However, some names can apply to nearly any business, and those names should generally be avoided. For example, a name like “Elegance” could apply to a business selling anything from dance shoes to fine jewelry, and customers who see this name with no context will likely be confused as to what the business actually sells. There are cases which are exceptions to this guideline, though.

How To Choose a Great Name

How to Choose a Good Domain Name

Keep It in Line with Your Business Name

When you’re ready to register and use a domain name for your business’s website, remember to keep it relevant to the business name you choose. Ideally, a domain name should match your business name exactly, although this is not always possible since so many domain names may already be taken.

If the domain name that matches your business name exactly is not available, try adding a relevant tag to your domain name. For example, that business named “Eggcellent Products” could use a domain name along the lines of “” You can also add a tag like “shop” or “store” to the end of your domain name.

Avoid Complicated or Confusing Domains

Just as with your business name, simpler is better when it comes to domain names. Avoid using any hyphens/dashes in your domain and only use numbers if those numbers are really a part of your business name. You should also never misspell words in your domain unless, again, it is also a part of your business name.

Most online businesses use the .com extension, and it’s recommended that new businesses opt for this extension too since it is well-known with customers. While other extensions exist, including things like .cats and .pizza, you should aim to avoid them unless you can work them into your full business domain name, for example, “shoppurrfect.cats for a business named “Purrfect Cat Products.” You may also use a .net or .org extension, although these are used more by non-profit organizations and schools.

Ways to Come Up with Names

Ways to Come Up with a Great Name (and Domain Name)

Focus on Your Products/Services

As mentioned above, the best business names are the simplest, so it helps to come up with a business name based on the products or services offered first. Once you have your main products or services in mind, make a list of the first words that come to mind in relation to those products and services. For example, a business that sells exercise equipment may come up with words like ‘powerful’, ‘strength’, and ‘resilient’. These words can then be used in your business name, for example, “Resilient Muscle” or “Power Equipment.”

Use an Acronym

For a truly unique name, consider using an acronym, which is a word whose letters each stand for another word. For example, a business with multiple owners could take the first letter of each owner’s name and arrange those letters into a new word.

Use a Play on Words

Some pun-like examples of play on words exist above, such as “eggcellent” and “purrfect,” but there are other types of wordplay that business names may use. Another type is alliteration, which is wordplay in which every word used starts with the same letter, for example, KitKat. Yet another type is onomatopoeia, in which the word or words are used to reflect a realistic sound, for example, Twitter in regard to birds chirping.


Every new business needs a great business name plus an understandable website domain name to go along with it. The best business names that are simple, unique, and relevant tend to have the best customer following, which is, of course, what you will want for your business.
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2 thoughts on “How to Choose a Great Name (and Domain Name) for Your New Business”

  1. Robert says:

    Good tips on coming up with a business name!

    I struggled with that when I made my website. You want your name to accurately reflect what you’re business niche is while being catchy enough to attract a following. 

    Despite the pressure, making a business name shouldn’t be complicated. I believe that we overcomplicate the process sometimes. Like you suggested, using an acronym or limiting your name to one or two simple words may accurately portray what your want to show.

    When you made your business name, what sparked Small Online Biz? Did it come to you one day, or did you think about it for a while and then decide that this was the name you wanted? I believe the journey is interesting.

    I appreciated your authenticity here. It made me rethink a few things about my business and whether I need to rebrand or not. Thanks!

    1. Scott Hinkle says:

      Thank you for taking the time to comment

      When I started this site, I wanted the name to reflect the focus, yet not be so long or convoluted as to confuse anyone or turn them away because it took too long to type out.

      Since my focus is starting a small online business, just seemed to be the perfect fit.

      I can say, the struggle is real, when it comes to picking the “perfect name”, LOL.


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