So, you have an idea for a business or product. How do you come up with a name? Here’s a few tips.

1. Pick a word you like and look it up in a foreign language.

There are many online dictionaries for this. Look for something memorable, that has an obvious hook and no obvious pronunciation problems. Start with the basic principles you are after, get a thesaurus involved and get translating.

2. Try accessing the pantheon.

Have a look at, search for words that you like and find the name of some obscure God that matches the characteristic that you want. By way of example, Dubiaku, “The only mortal to outwit Death” ( although clearly that’s a terrible name ).

3. Check the name.

For UK company names, always check Companies House ( or your local equivalent) . Names may be available but they may be dissolved and could have died because of debt reasons etc. Probably best to avoid those.

4. Check the domain.

Always check for the domains as soon as you have an idea, do a quick DNS lookup to see if it is registered, I always use a whois lookup (like Don’t check with a hosting company, that can lead to the domain getting squatted. No point having a cool name if you can’t get the domain. As soon as you decide on a name, register at least the .com and (or local equivalent) RIGHT AWAY!

5. Go mad.

The name doesn’t have to make sense. In many ways memorable is better than appropriate e.g. Google, Orange. Although it doesn’t always work ( Boo, Monday etc ). Crazy names can make for strong branding possibilities but you have to make sure that your target market can cope with that. It has to be said, the number of nonsense names available drops every day. Try to make sure the name is pronouncable.

6. Watch for double meanings.

Albatross could be a great name, a bird that stays flying for a long time, but it also hangs round your neck! 🙂 Also, make sure the name doesn’t mean anything rude or inappropriate in any foreign language. Tomorrow the world! But not if your product name means ‘jobby’ in Korea.