Business Name Basics: Building an Authentic Brand from the Ground Floor


a person sleeping at a desk


You are tired of the 9 to 5 grind and ready to start your journey into entrepreneurship.
a question mark above a signpost


You need a business name that is authentic to your mission and resonates with your audience. Problem is, you don’t know where to start.
a close-up of a puzzle


Craft your brand identity with our concise business name guide. Reflect on your story, goals, and take actionable steps for an authentic business name foundation.

If you’re here, it’s likely because you’ve faced the challenge of finding the perfect business name, only to discover it’s not available. Today, let’s navigate this common hurdle together and learn how to avoid it in the future.

As you read through this blog, keep these guiding questions in mind:

  1. What is your story? What inspired you to start your business?
  2. How do you want to be known?
  3. Who is your ideal customer?

The Birth of Aducate

To set the example, let me share my journey. I began with a degree in medical illustration. I worked with lawyers and utilized storytelling to create visuals for courtrooms. Over 15 years, I alternated between office jobs and pursuing artistic endeavors. The artistic pursuits allowed me to hone my ability to translate complicated information for diverse audiences.

My last office role was as a Digital Marketing Specialist for the healthcare industry. The job involved transitioning smaller clinics we acquired into our online presence and ending their marketing contracts.

This job shows me a glaring gap: many business owners seek guidance and expertise from marketing agencies, but agencies often fail to delve into crucial aspects like brand understanding, target audience, and defining a quality lead.

My business is aptly named Aducate – a blend of Advertising and Educate. I’m on a mission to help small business owners better understand their marketing spend by articulating the fundamentals of their business vision and goals. There’s no quick fix to marketing, but through education and strategic thinking, businesses can navigate the marketing landscape and make investments that yield positive results.

But, enough about me. Let’s shift the focus to you.

Picking the Perfect Business Name

Your story shapes your brand identity and resonates with your audience. Before you begin any big communication task, you need to ask yourself two things:

  1. What is your message?
  2. Who is your ideal customer?

In other words, who is your audience and what are you trying to say? Being able to speak on your audience’s level is what will drive your success.

But, before you can get there, you need to articulate your vision and purpose.

Step 1: The Gut Check

It’s time to write your story. But don’t worry, no one will read it. Use the following questions to brainstorm your story.

  1. How did you come up with your business idea?
  2. What problems are you trying to solve?
  3. What events in your past led you to this idea?
  4. What challenges have you overcome?

The next step of brainstorming topics address your motivation. Think about how people describe you. Use these adjectives as keywords for potential business names. Here are some topics to get you started:

  1. Personal attributes
  2. Core values
  3. Nicknames
  4. What are your passions?
  5. Favorite books, songs, quotes, places
  6. What inspires you?

Attracting the Right Audience

Now that you’ve condensed your story to a few paragraphs and keywords, it’s time to examine things from your client’s point of view. How do you want your customers to feel as a result of using your product or services?

For example, gym members want to feel:

  • Strong
  • Competitive
  • Admired
  • Accomplished
  • Progress

Whereas, Students may want to feel:

  • Secure
  • Confident
  • Happy
  • Belonging

How would you describe your target audience? Is your target audience ambitious and hates wasting time? Are they socially conscious and go out of their way to help others? Do they live paycheck-to-paycheck and your service helps them stretch their dollar?

Take some time to jot down a few keywords.

Step 2: Get Inspired by Other Business Names

Did you know IKEA is an acronym? It’s a blend of the owners first name, last name, the farm he grew up on, and his home village. But don’t ask us to pronounce them!

You can also take a look at the competition. Head to Google Maps and find businesses in your industry. Take note of their business names, the ones you like and don’t like.

For example:

Nothing Bundt Cakes is a clever play on words.

Alternatives using this same punny style could be:

  • Rolling in Dough Bakery
  • Flour Power Confections
  • Doughnut Worry

Aside from acronyms and puns, you could also make use of alliteration, rhymes, or symbolism. Use the thesaurus or other tools to find related words and synonyms.

Quick Recap & Resources

Keys to success:

  • Know yourself
  • Know your audience
  • Does the name make sense?
  • Is it a good fit for the industry?
  • Is it easy to spell, pronounce, and remember?
  • Think about the future – avoid city-specific names if you plan to move or go national
  • Use tools to brainstorm

Here are some useful tools to help you keyword research and generate name options.

Step 3: How to check if your business name is available

Before you fall in love, you need to do some Googling. The easiest way to check if the domain is available is to type it into a search. If you get a “hmm, we’re having trouble finding that site,” odds are it’s available.

Another scenario is that even if the exact url isn’t already taken, you’ll come across a handful of similar websites. For example, is technically available. But, you’ll also find:

  •, and

This would be an indicator to go back to the drawing board. Your target audience won’t be able to tell the difference the first time searching for your services. is the second place you should check for your domain availability. If the exact match is already in use, the site will provide a list of alternative options.

The Social Search

Don’t leave out social media from your search. As you build your business, you will also need a social media presence. Your username does not have to be an exact match to your business name, but it should be similar.

If an exact match is already taken, check to see how popular it is. If it’s an account with a huge following, a similar username will be flagged as a spam account. So, back to the drawing board if you run into this problem.

Check the State and National Trademark Registries

If you’ve passed the domain and social media search, you’re in the home stretch. The final place you want to look is your state registry. In Texas, you can use the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website.

Enter your desired business name in the Entity Name field. If it comes back with a record, head back to the drawing board. If no record was found, you’re in luck!

You may want to eventually trademark your business name and assets. Here’s a link to the national trademark registry.

Recap Checkpoint

Picking a business name should be fun and exciting! Take some time to brainstorm the future of your business. Keep a running list and see which ones stick in your mind. Sit on your favorite options for a few days. Say it out loud, repeat it to a few friends and gauge their reactions.

And before you fall in love, do some research. Check the availability with a domain, social media, and entity searches. If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying!

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