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If you’re thinking about starting a new business, one of the first details you’ll need to settle on is what to call it. There can be significant benefits to putting a little extra time and research into a business name, and the many modern considerations that could, later on, play a role in affecting your business.
We’ve covered off some of the main points of consideration below to get you started and hopefully provide some inspiration!
Is the name short enough to make your email address easy to type/remember?
Typically, your business email will contain your primary domain, which will usually match your business name. As such, if you go with a very long business name, this can result in a rather lengthy email address of [email protected] You have two main options here:
- Keep your business name fairly short.
- Purchase an abbreviated version of your business name as your domain name, such as yrlcn.com.au.
- A little bit of column A and a little bit of column B. That is to say, choose a long name and register the matching long domain, but in addition to this, also register an abbreviated domain to use on business cards/signage/marketing materials that is set up to automatically redirect users to your full domain.
Is the/any related domain available?
This is a pretty major one. You’ll want to be sure your desired business name has a related domain name that is available to register. You can check domain availability here.
If your business is based in Australia, or mostly targets an Australian consumer base, you’ll most likely want a .com.au domain. This will help your website to show up higher in search engine results for Australian-based searchers. If not, your options are a little more varied between .com, .co, .net, and so on.
Is your business name already registered with ASIC by anyone else?
Another big one. You’ll want to be sure that nobody else has registered your business name or anything too similar to it via the ASIC business name register. ASIC won’t allow you to register any business trading name that is too similar to an existing business, so be sure to have your business name approved before proceeding with any other steps.
Does your business name contain your industry/main service offering?
It’s a contested subject, but having your industry or primary service as part of your business name can potentially assist you in search engine rankings. For example, “John’s Commercial Cleaning Specialists” may rank better in certain circumstances for the “commercial cleaning” search term, than a name like “Washed Up John’s”.
There are pros and cons to this, of course. Having a quick and witty name can be easier to remember for your clients, which may at the end of the day be better than any potential search engine benefits of having a longer name that includes the service or industry.
Are there any suitable social media usernames available that match your potential business name?
This is important to check for a couple of reasons. It’s quite unlikely these days to get your exact business name as a username unless you use a completely made-up word. Many businesses get around this by adding a few extra characters or an underscore to their social media handles. While this is usually fine, it’s important to check who or what is using your ideal or properly-spelt username, just in case it’s a competitor, or an account posting offensive content that you would not want to be inadvertently mistaken for.
You can use the following handy website to check your potential username across all of the major social media platforms: https://www.namecheckr.com. As of May 2019, most businesses will opt to simply use Facebook and Instagram. Other platforms such as Twitter or Pinterest are less popular, and not often considered for Australian businesses.
We hope you’ve found a few useful tips in this guide to help you along in your new business venture!
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