What's in a (business) name?

I was talking with a new client today about what she should call her business. She couldn't decide if she should use her name, do something with her initials, use a generic term about her business, or just make up something. When you are starting a business, the name is an important element. Not only will it be the most visible aspect of your image to your customers, but you also have to live with it for a long time (not to mention the fact that changes to your organizational documents filed with the state come with fees attached). While there are few hard and fast rules for company names, there are many considerations. Startup Professionals, Inc. founder, Martin Zwillig, wrote a great post that covers many things to keep in mind as you consider the name.

This may seem a silly and frivolous task, but it may be the most important decision you make. The name of your business has a tremendous impact on how customers and investors view you, and in today’s small world, it’s a world-wide decision.

I will only add that you should also look at other companies in your industry. You may notice that there are certain naming conventions or even requirements.  For example, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals generally use their names when creating entities.  That may (or may not) work for your industry.  Just remember that even if you stick with the convention, you also want to differentiate your company.  But in any event, take your time.  As with many of the considerations you have when creating a busines, you should not rush your decision.