What’s in a name? Part One

What’s in a name? Part one

When it comes to owning a business, choosing the right company name will be essential to your success. You want a name that conveys your service, but that is also unique. Depending on who you ask, the best kind of business names will vary. Some say it’s about being informative and telling customers exactly who you are. Others believe it’s about making up words that are catchy and memorable. In reality, it all comes down to one question: What do you want your business name to say about your company?

Here are a few things we suggest business owners should keep in mind when deciding upon their company name.


Don’t make geography a naming factor

Say you own a computer store here in Wilmington. You decided to name your company Wilmington Computer Geeks. A few years pass, and you open a second store in Raleigh. Having the word “Wilmington” in your name is not going to have much meaning to consumers in Raleigh, or in any other city/state to which you want to expand.

Use “Inc.” appropriately

Using “Inc.” at the end of a business title may look professional, but you can’t just freely add it to your name. To use “Inc.,” your company must actually be incorporated.

Get the URL you want

If your name is too general, then another business owner may have already snatched it up as a URL (or domain name, if you don’t speak web). It’s much easier to obtain a URL if you have words in your title that are made up, but that still make sense for your business.

No cheating off of another brand’s name

When you use a name too similar to that of your competitors, you run into the chance of copyright violation and potential lawsuits. Perfect example: A male business owner opened an adult gift and lingerie shop. He named his business Victor’s Secret. Victoria’s Secret found out and sent a letter to the owner claiming trademark infringement. In a quick decision, he changed his business name to Victor’s Little Secret. A lawsuit was filed soon after. Do not copy other companies!

Check your spelling

Your name may be creative and relevant enough, but what would happen if you asked a stranger to spell it out? When a business name includes a word that has multiple spellings such as “sight” and “site,” people will always ask for spelling clarification. Using these types of words are not necessarily detrimental to your business. Once a customer knows your company, they shouldn’t forget how to spell your name. Just be ready to clarify for every newcomer.

Next week, we continue with part two of “What’s in a name?” by taking a look at our very own company. How did WordwrightWeb come to be? Has the name always been WordwrightWeb? I got the scoop from the very man who started and named our company.

Stay tuned!

Updated: 10/26/2023

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