Without a name, there would be no business. While coming up with a company name from scratch seems like a simple task, there’s more to it than just putting a string of words together and calling it a day.
Think of your brand name as your first impression. If your customers don’t resonate or respond well to it, it’s unlikely that they’ll make a purchase or engage in your services. Finding the right brand name can also set you apart from your competition and make the difference between an average company and a great business.
To get you started on the brainstorming processes, here are a few tips to guide you through choosing the right name for your business!
If you have no clue where to begin, exploring various themes such as descriptive, experiential, and made-up names can help spark a wave of ideas and facilitate the brainstorming process.
Descriptive names are those that already convey the particular product or service you are offering and more literal; what you see is what you get. Examples of descriptive brand names include Tan Construction, Smith Design, and Smile Dental.
Instead of being blatantly direct about the product or service, experiential names are more creative and can have more of an impact and connection with the customer. Businesses with such names include Coffee Bean, PayPal, Best Buy and Instagram.
Some key examples of global brands in today’s market that are a product of made-up names are Google, Skype, Nike, Ikea, Pepsi, and many more others. Sometimes picking a brand name doesn’t have to be that deep; you just tap into your creative self and see where it takes you.
This one’s pretty straightforward. As much as possible, you would want something easy to remember. Brands with long names tend to be forgettable among customers, and can even be annoying for an individual if they constantly can’t get it right due to its complicated nature.
Pick a name that’s easy to spell and pronounce, and stick to simple words. While creativity is celebrated in business, sometimes being too creative and bold can backfire in the end.
Whether you’re just getting started in your entrepreneurial journey or ready for international expansion, you want to choose a name that’s scalable for your business at any stage imaginable.
Avoid picking names that are too narrow that may limit your business in the long run or those that are likely to be outdated quickly. For example, if you’re thinking of just selling books, you might consider adding stationery products and art supplies to your product range. If your service is based on just a specific area, you might extend your services to other cities in the future.
Go big and think global!
While it’s completely acceptable to derive inspiration from other businesses, copying the names of your competitors or choosing one that’s similar to theirs is a huge ‘no’.
This can make you appear unoriginal to your target audience and even confuse your brand with your competition as well.
A little feedback won’t hurt anybody. Come up with a shortlist of at least 5 names and run them by your family members, close friends, and even trusted colleagues. If you know anyone who currently runs a business or has the previous experience it would help to receive their input as well.
You’ll never know; they can provide you with valuable advice or even spot a negative connotation that you missed out on.
During the registration process, there are several brand names that ACRA will refuse to accept under section 17 of the brand names Registration Act. These names include those that are:
Ensure that you adhere to the requirements above to save yourself from potential trouble. As long as your chosen brand name does not violate any of the following restrictions, then you’re good to go.
Compared to other countries that are slightly more lenient when it comes to the naming process, no two companies can bear the same brand name in Singapore. If you find an existing company with your desired brand name, then better luck next time.
Adding generic business jargon such as ‘corporation’ or business structure indicators like ‘Private Limited’ in your company name won’t distinguish you from the existing one. Instead, try looking for a better word or more unique combinations.
Check to see if the brand name of your choice has already been registered or reserved on the ACRA website.
In Singapore, companies are allowed to have different legal and trading names. In its simplest form, your company’s trade is the informal version of your legal name and is frequently used in advertising.
To give you an illustration, we don’t go around saying we want to grab a bite at ‘McDonald’s Corporation’. Instead, we simply refer to it as ‘McDonald’s’. You’ll rarely see a company’s legal name being used to market products and services as it is not the most consumer-friendly.
All you need to do is ensure that your chosen name doesn’t have any trademark or copyright issues, and you’re all set.
If you want your brand name application to be approved quickly, then you might want to steer clear of generic words. This includes terms like “bank”, “school”, “finance”, “education”, and the likes.
Generally, businesses in these sectors are regulated by additional agencies besides ACRA and your application will need to undergo further review before approval. This process can take up to several weeks, depending on the nature of the business.
To finally secure your company name, all that’s left to do is register your business. While entrepreneurs have the option to complete this step on their own, try doing it through Aspire Kickstart.
Our incorporation packages cater to both local and foreign directors and cover everything from company registration with ACRA to unlimited access to corporate secretarial services for an entire year. On top of that, it is also much cheaper than doing it yourself through ACRA.
Once you’ve gotten that done and dusted, how about taking it one step further by establishing your digital presence with your own website? Try building your page with the help of free website builders that come with a vast range of ready-made templates for you to explore and choose from.
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