How do you choose a business name?

Working with small-to-medium-size businesses as we do, the question of a suitable name comes up frequently.

Some people don’t mind trading under their own name. Others hate the idea. Our founder Fiona Brand is in the latter camp – trading under her own name made it hard to separate personal from business.

Here are some quick ideas:

Do you have an unusual surname?

Consider using it. If it worked for the likes of Ogilvy, Saatchi and Clemenger, it can work for you, too.

Is your office located on a certain street?

Try incorporating it. Paddington Lane Bakery, for example, sounds enticing. Be aware that if you move, you’ll need to decide whether to keep the name.

Is your preferred name taken in your native tongue?

Try another language, such as Latin, Esperanto or Irish. Check that the word doesn’t mean something inadvisable, or rude in another language. We have the example of Mitsubishi’s Pajero of what NOT to do.


Take two words that are relevant to your business and stick them together. Look at celebrity couple names for inspiration – think Bennifer, Kimye and Brangelina.

More than one person involved?

Try combining them. St Luja cocktail bar did exactly that – the founders were Steven, Luke and James.

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