Checklist for finding the right name
Your competitors' names
Generate a list with names of your competitor's company and product names. If you know what your competitors are called, you can distinguish yourself with a different kind of name.
Think about which Domain endings (*.de, *.com, *.net, ...) are important for you. A local domain (e.g. *.fr if you are from France) identical to your name is obligatory nowadays, whereas an identical .com-domain is not as important if you are not going to promote your product internationally.
Choose a name which is still available as a domain without any complicated additions (e.g. -online or -and-co). It is advisable to secure your domain name for different spellings, for example with and without hyphens; you might also consider claiming one or two domains with common typos which might occur when users enter your name into the URL bar of their browsers.
NameRobot's Domain Check tells you quickly and easily which of your name candidates are still available and if not, what is on the domains already occupied.
You are looking for a hip name that sounds like Zalando* or Twitter*? Remember, a trend is just that: a trend. It can be over as quickly as it started and this kind of name might end up sounding cool for a limited time only.
The better strategy is to identify and follow your own direction rather than imitating the well-known brands du jour. Also, do be careful with technical terms in names, because nothing changes more quickly than technology.
Just think of the development of VHS to DVD to Blue-Ray to Video-On-Demand to... whatever's next. Someone who founded a "DVD Rental 24" just a few years ago probably won't be too happy with their choice now that everyone is looking for downloads.
On the one hand, an easy way for founders to name their business are proper names: usually no extensive research on trademark rights is necessary (as long as you are not called Hans Siemens and also happen to be offering engineering services...).
But what happens to "Anne Smith Consulting" if a partner joins her business after a few years? Moreover, if you plan to sell your company at some point, the name of the old owner might be an obstacle. Another aspect to consider is that customers usually expect to be consulted by the head of the company if it carries his or her name.
All these problems can be neatly avoided by choosing a neutral name.
Do you plan to conduct business abroad? If you do, then you'll need to check if your name also works in different languages -and if it has any negative connotations there.
You can perform a professional linguistic check or just ask any natives you might know. You can get a quick overview with Google's "Did you mean...?" suggestions or with a good online dictionary like leo.org or linguee.com.
This might be irrelevant for most of us, but in some branches of trade certain directives have to be considered (especially on a European Union level).
Pharmaceutical laws, naming rights for wines or pet foods, or indications of origins may all impose limits on naming: e.g. the name Champagne can legally only be used for sparkling wines from the Champagne wine-growing area. Everything else is a "sparkling wine" of some sort or another.
Be sure to check for this kind of regulatory protection before deciding on a name!
How do I find out if my idea for a name is already being used? The NameRobot Domain Check and Trademark Check will give you a first overview if your name has already been claimed. Also, make sure to try out different spellings of a name idea: if your idea is "wonderbrand", remember to check "wonderbrands" or "wonderband" too.
Find out how many online domains for your name are already occupied and if they offer mostly the same product or services. Also, make sure to do some research on how many similar trademarks are already registered. If there are already a lot of registrations, it might be a wise decision to re-think your name idea.
Take the name check seriously. If your didn't conduct your research properly in the first place, you might receive a cease-and-desist letter, which would in turn force you to abandon or change your name - and everything that carries it, including your company's logo, stationery, signage...
The lesson is clear
All of this is why the NameRobot says: Be bold when looking for a name!
A particularly flashy, concise or plain unusual name will stand out in the crowd of your competitors, arouse curiosity and be remembered easily by your customers. It also means that you'll need less money for advertising, because a carefully chosen name is a simple and low priced advertisement for your business in itself.
This does not only apply if your target audience are customers (B2C), but is also relevant in a business-to-business (B2B) environment.
Good luck with finding a name!
*Zalando and Twitter are registered trademarks and were not developed with NameRobot. They merely serve as examples.