One of the most important decisions to make when forming a holding company is to name your company. Selecting your new company's name will require some critical thinking because the name you select will define your holding company and become a very important part of its identity.
Many people find selecting a good business name difficult. So, here are some very useful ideas to help you select a good name for your new holding company:
A Good Company Name must be Short and Strong
Think of these well-known company names - Sony, Nike, Apple, Pepsi, and Samsung. If you notice, apart from being short, all of these company names leave a strong impression. Try to keep your company name under 12 characters if possible.
Choose A Company Name That Is Bold And Clear
You instantly recognize a good company name when you read or hear it. Great company names are most often simple and easy to pronounce. Avoid names with complicated spellings. Keep in mind, if the name is easy to get across, then it will also be easy for your clients and customers to remember.
Your Company Name Should Be Flexible
When choosing a company name, you shouldn't choose a name that limits your company to a specific location or product line, for example, "Chicagoland Express Pizza Delivery". Despite the fact that this name too long, it limits the company's identity to the Chicago area. Also, be wary of including a specific product or service in your company's name. "The Hamburger Hut", will lead potential customers to believe that all you offer is hamburgers. Furthermore, it will make expanding into other products more problematic.
Avoid Names That Include Non-alphabetic Characters
People are often confused by names that include numbers, hyphens, symbols, and other non-alphabetic characters. Try sticking to alphabetic characters. Even if you decide to use non-alphabetic characters, make sure that you use them effectively. For example, the exclamation mark in the name "Great! Property Deals" would be better used as "Great Property Deals!" Furthermore, while the use of non-alphabetic characters may look good on signage, it may not make for a valid domain name. This means that your company will be unable to have a domain name that matches its business name exactly.
Is The Domain Name Available?
For most companies, a great business name is of little use unless it has a matching domain name. The top-level domain (TLD) ".com" indicates a reputable business to many. So, choose a company name that has a matching ".com" TDL available. For example, if you choose "Winston Holding Company" as your company name, "www.winstonholdingcompany.com" and "www.winstonholdings.com" will both be great domain names.
Make Sure The Name Is Legal To Use
It can be very frustrating when you finally decide upon a company name that you like, only to find out later that it is already being used. You want a company name that is completely unique to your company and that can be used without infringing upon anyone else's trademark. You can search the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) database to make sure that the name you have chosen has not already been trademarked by someone else. Internationally, you can start by searching the database of Europe’s Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM).
Think About How the Name Translates Abroad
If you intend on doing business abroad, you want a company name that will be accepted the world over. You can use translators like Google Translate to see what a potential company name means in another language.
A Good Company Name Must Suit The Industry In Which You Are
Don't select the name "Hawthorn Chemicals" if your holding company is primarily involved with real estate holdings--it just doesn't make sense. Choose a company name that somehow relates to the industry you are involved in or one that is, to a large degree, neutral in this respect.
Don't Do Your Business Rivals Any Favors
Try not to choose a company name that is too close to your business rival's name, especially if they are larger or more recognizable in the market. By doing so, you will only make people think of your rival. For instance, if your company is involved in communications infrastructure and Crown Castle is your biggest rival, then if you select "Brown Castle" as your company name, people are likely to think that it is simply a misspelling of the more established company’s name.
Is The Name Easy To Abbreviate?
You may want a company name that won't be difficult to abbreviate. To illustrate, "Warner Brothers" is easy to abbreviate as "WB". A simple abbreviation can help people remember your company's name faster. Be sure to take this into consideration when choosing your company name.
How Will The Name Look As A Logo?
Your company's name should be pleasing to your client's and customers' eyes. Think about how it will look on a business card, letterhead, sign, etc.
Avoid Unusual Spellings
Refrain from spelling your company's name in a manner that has meaning to you, yet is meaningless to others. Spell your company name in a way that is familiar to others and easy to understand. If you mean "Exporters", don't spell it "Xporterz".
Brainstorm lots of potential names--the more, the better. Even though a name may not sound attractive to you early on, it could wind up being the perfect name after all. Furthermore, if none of the names you come up with are attractive on their own, you might be able to put two so-so names together to create one awesome company name.
For advice on choosing a good name for your holding company, consult with an experienced business law attorney. A knowledgeable business law attorney will be able to advise you of other things you can consider to simplify the selection process, as well as, some things to watch out for when choosing a name for your holding company.