Choosing the best brand name can have a major impact on your small business.
A snappy, memorable brand name gives you an immediate advantage when starting an ecommerce business. It makes it easy for potential customers to remember both you and your product and can set you up for long-term success.
Odds are you’ve got a lot on your plate right now. Between determining your target audience, what products you’ll sell, and how much startup funding you need, things can easily add up.
So if you’re having trouble coming up with the perfect business name, it’s normal. This guide will walk you through how to brainstorm your business name, with name generators and examples to help you find the best one for your business.
Find your business name
- How to choose the perfect business name
- Free business name generators to help find company name ideas
- Tips for choosing a catchy brand name
- A list of good business names for inspiration
- What’s in a brand name?
- Business name ideas FAQ
How to choose the perfect business name
Business name generator tools are great to use as a starting point if you don’t have any ideas or if you’ve hit a creative block. Remember, these aren’t the only places to find ideas—there are other ways to get inspiration in your everyday life.
Before we begin, here are some brainstorming tips to find your business name:
- Research what’s already out there. Not only will this help you understand what’s not available, but you can also list the business names that you like to see if that sparks any of your own ideas. Check out your competition and browse marketplaces like Exchange.
- Think outside the box. One of the most important rules in brainstorming is that there are no bad ideas. It’s OK to come up with some wacky names, because you never know what feasible ideas may come out of them. If you start big, you’ll have more to work with when you narrow your focus later.
- Ask for help. Brainstorming is a creative process that can be done both independently and with other people. Maybe you already have a team of employees you can tap into for your next venture, or you can ask friends and family to donate their time and ideas in a fun brainstorming session.
- Organize and review your ideas. Once you’ve come up with a list of ideas, you’ll need to go back and sort through them to find the top contenders. Consider organizing your list using word banks or categorizing them based on theme. This could also help spark some fresh ideas post-brainstorm.
- Test your name. Tap into a focus group that’s representative of your target market, ask friends and family (ideally ones who didn’t help you brainstorm), and survey local shoppers to see which name ideas resonate the most.
Free business name generators to help find company name ideas
Coming up with catchy, meaningful ideas can be challenging, and it often feels like all the good names are already taken.
To help you find that perfect moniker, we’ve put together this list of business name generator tools to make sure your brand gets off on the right foot, plus five brainstorming strategies to get your creative juices flowing.
- Name Mesh
- Hipster s
Shopify’s business name generator helps you come up with potential business names in 10 seconds or less. Simply enter a keyword, click “Generate names, then browse thousands of auto-generated name ideas for your company domain. You can find all types of brand names that range from clever to modern, pragmatic to classic to help you build a brand. Or browse names based on industries such as clothing, fashion, jewelry, crafts, and flowers.
It’s the perfect tool if you’re looking for a little bit of creative inspiration. Plus, if you find a unique business name you like, you can jump from naming your brand to securing a domain in just a few clicks. New business owners can register a domain name and start an online store in minutes, so they can start selling online faster.
Oberlo’s business name generator is a free resource you can use to find potential names for your business. Enter a word you want to include in your business name and the tool will give you hundreds of creative options to explore. You can browse and choose one you like, then register its .com domain. The business name generator can check for domain availability to make it easier to start your new company.
Freshbooks’ business name generator is a fun and interactive way to find a new company name. Once you click “Let’s Get Started,” the tool then asks you to select your industry: creatives and marketing, legal services and business consulting, trades and home services, or information technology. You’re then prompted to include any keywords you want to include in your business name.
The tool will give you a batch of names according to your input. If you’re not a fan of any of them, you can click “Show me more names” to see more options, or “Go back and change keyword.”
Anadea’s business name maker is a free tool that combines a topic or keyword with other words and modifiers to generate a list of business name suggestions. Start by thinking of a catchy word that describes your business, then enter it into the name generator field. Click “Generate names” and the tool will provide you with 24 unique business name ideas.
You can scroll through pages of relevant brand names in its database or change your keyword to discover other ideas. Once you find a good one, you can get a quote for registering the domain and building your website.
5. Name Mesh
Name Mesh gives you ideas for choosing a domain name depending on the specific keywords you input. It recommends relevant domains based on your choices, then divides them into name suggestions based on categories like common, new, short, similar, fun, extra, and SEO. You can browse thousands of different suggestions to inspire your business name and register a domain if you find the perfect one.
6. Hipster Business Name
Hipster Business Name is one of the more creative business name generators on the list, offering random cool name ideas that are fun, catchy, and clever—think as if you were starting a business in Brooklyn. To see more names, simply click “Refresh.” If you’re looking for a unique name, this is the best business name generator for you.
Getsocio’s free business name generator lets you type in a keyword you want in your company name, then gives you thousands of intriguing suggestions with domain availability. You can click through tons of name ideas to get inspiration or choose one to register.
The only drawback is that you’ll receive a .getsocio.com domain rather than the standard .com.
If you’re looking for a bunch of different name generators, you’ll want to check out Businessnamegenerator.com. You can use the standard generator once you land on the page, or scroll down to find trending and popular generators to play around with. Some examples include a startup name generator, creative business generator, podcast name generator, and photography company name generator.
Choose the generator you want to use, then type in your keywords and it’ll provide you with catchy brand names to pick from. If you find a name you like, you can register it with GoDaddy and start using it immediately.
Namesmith’s creative business name generator lets you add up to five keywords you’d like in your business name. After you click ”Search,” the algorithm will provide business names (and domains) with exact keywords, blends, rhymes, prefixes/suffixes, and modifications. The tool constructs a blend of words based on your keywords, messes with them in cool ways, and creates unique business names.
If you’re completely stuck, you can explore random names by clicking “Just Generate Some Random Names Please!”
Namelix uses artificial intelligence to provide you with catchy names and logo design ideas. Enter a keyword or multiple keywords and Namelix will use similar words to generate a list of ideas. It’ll also tell you if there is an available domain for sale.
In the example above, I chose to search for catchy business name ideas related to “jewelry,” “gems,” “stones,” and “diamonds.” If you were to start a jewelry company, this would be a great starting point to choose a name and purchase a done-for-you logo.
Tips for choosing a catchy brand name
Having a great business name is crucial to your success as an online entrepreneur. As Marty Neumeier writes in The Brand Gap, “The right name can be a brand’s most valuable asset, driving differentiation and speeding acceptance. The wrong name can cost millions…in workarounds and lost income over the lifetime of the brand.”
It’s incredibly important to find the right name when setting up your online store to help it stand out from the crowd—both from a branding perspective and from a search engine perspective. Here are a few pointers on how to find a memorable name.
1. Keep it short and simple
Having a short, snappy name is great for several reasons: it’s memorable, it’s easy to pronounce, and it effortlessly fits in the header of your online store’s homepage.
Finding a good name can be challenging, however. Brands are launched every day, and names that are appealing to you will undoubtedly appeal to someone else, too. Fortunately, it’s a big world and there’s plenty of room for creative, compelling brand names.
Here are a few strategies you can try to get your gears turning:
- Try different combinations of short words. Two short words that rhyme or that are alliterative (e.g., “Snack Shack”) can be more memorable.
- Make up a word or tweak an existing one. Tech brands like Google, eBay, and Skype have instantly recognizable names, even though they aren’t real words.
- Use a word with personal meaning. It might be a nickname you have for your significant other, your pet’s name (a smart idea if your store relates to furry friends), or even your own name. Using a personal name makes your store easier to identify with—though note that stores built on personal brands can be more difficult to sell.
2. Be different
Conduct market research to discover which names are taken by your direct competitors and try to come up with something completely different.
The challenge here is to come up with a name that reflects your niche and the type of products you’re selling without your business name mirroring your competitors. By definition, if you want to be different you have to “zig” when others “zag.”
For instance, if you’re selling electronics and technology products, you might have competitors who use words like “electronics,” “technology,” and “future” in their names. Avoid using similar words. Instead, think differently and stand out.
3. Consider your online presence
Once you have a list of options for your store name, find out if your chosen domain—preferably a .com—is available to be registered. This might be a bit difficult, given that .com is the most popular top-level domain (TLD) and has been for a long time.
Having a custom domain name for your store is mission critical, though you shouldn’t let your search for the mythical “perfect” domain name cause you to procrastinate—everything is open to change, including your domain name. However, there is value in picking a solid domain name that properly represents your brand from the start, so it’s a decision that warrants some thought.
You might also consider selling on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or another third-party marketplace in addition to your own online store. Even if that’s not in the plan, it’s a good idea to check your business name idea on popular ecommerce sites to make sure the name is available to you and so customers don’t confuse you with another existing business.
4. Get creative with your domain name
If the .com for your chosen name isn’t available, don’t fret—you still have the option of using a different top-level domain. The reason .com is the gold standard is that everyone recognizes it, but that doesn’t rule out other TLDs, which are becoming more commonplace as great .com options continue to dwindle.
When it first launched, Shopify store Tattly decided to go with a .ly domain: tatt.ly. More recently, it was able to purchase tattly.com, which is where its site currently lives.
While some search engine experts believe Google isn’t as friendly to lesser-known domains, you should still be able to rank just as high as a .com if you have a high-quality site with a good user experience. Plus, going with a snazzy domain is far more unique. Give our domain name generator a spin if you’re looking for inspiration.
Modifiers to consider:
- [YourBrand][Main Product].com (e.g., helmboots.com)
- Shop[YourBrand].com (e.g., shopsandytoesshop.com
- Get[YourProduct].com (e.g., getflow.com)
- [YourBrand]co.com (e.g., shopmeekco.com)
- [YourBrand][Industry].com (e.g., lifeinspirithome.com)
- [Verb][YourBrand].com (e.g., wearpepper.com)
- [My/Your][YourBrand].com (e.g., mybillie.com)
TLDs to consider:
- Based on the product you sell (.shoes, .art)
- Continuation of your brand name (e.g., muvo.health for “Muvo Health Supplements,” or fuego.clothing for “Fuego Clothing Co.”)
5. Be original
Make sure you’re legally allowed to use the business name you’ve come up with. For store owners in the US, start by checking the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It has a free database that’s a pain in the butt to search, but it’s well worth the effort.
Also note, the US doesn’t have a centralized national register, so trademarks can be made in another country or just in a single state. In Canada, you can search through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office website, which is also pretty confusing.
Once you’ve determined your name is available, go to Google or Bing and see if the names on your list show up. Could you potentially make it to the top of the first page? If you choose a generic name, you’ll have a tough time ranking very well.
It’s also important to check Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites you’ll want to use for name availability.
6. Find new inspiration
If you’re short on small-business name ideas, you might want to give yourself themes to think about. Maybe you look for a business name that has nostalgia or speaks to a trend. Other languages can provide plenty of ideas, too.
Inspiration can strike anywhere. Listen to conversations around you, survey your surroundings, and even consider your usual expressions and mannerisms.
A list of good business names for inspiration
The best ecommerce sites all have one thing in common: a cool business name. Browse the following list of business names to get inspiration for yours.
- Death Wish Coffee
- Super Ink Clothing
- Sock Market
- Coffee Joulies
- Fuego Box
- Conquest Maps
- Star Cadet
- United By Blue
1. Death Wish Coffee
A name like Death Wish Coffee can only mean one thing: this is some of the strongest coffee you can buy. The name sets the tone for the brand experience, as does the copy on its website and other marketing channels, encouraging customers to try it and find out if it lives up to its promise.
2. Super Ink Clothing
Super Ink Clothing sells printed clothing and accessories to a very specific demographic. “Our paradise lifestyle was made for creative individuals who constantly live in a state of wanderlust!” its About page states.
To create its compound name, the brand combined the word “super,” which is associated with positivity and quality, and “ink,” which brings in the idea of the ink printed on the clothing. If you’re stuck between two ideas or words for your store name, you might not have to choose one over the other.
3. Sock Market
Sock Market has taken a more literal approach to its brand name. The online store sells socks for people of all ages, from babies to adults. Built on the philosophy of bringing high fashion to the sock industry, the name for the online store indicates that it is “the” place to go for all your sock needs.
There are two meanings for the word “Cotopaxi.” One is a sacred and active volcano in the Andes Mountains in Ecuador. The other is an online store that sells outdoor gear. Rather than inventing a word or coming up with a name from scratch, Cotopaxi borrowed the name from a famous landmark that’s relevant and interesting to its customer base. It even shares the story behind the name on its site.
5. Coffee Joulies
Coffee Joulies are stainless steel thermodynamic coffee beans that help regulate your cup of coffee to the perfect temperature. So where did the word “joulies” come from? “Joule is the SI unit of energy; Joule…Joulie…Joulies!” the founders explained in a 2011 article. They found a word that embodied the science they put into the product and tweaked it to make it their own—and make it more memorable to customers.
6. Fuego Box
The subscription box industry continues to thrive, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 53% of subscription box companies claiming they didn’t see a significant drop in acquisition rates in 2020.
Many of the most popular brands in this category have “box” in their name: BarkBox, Birchbox, and NatureBox, to name a few. Fuego Box plays on the familiarity of the word “box” and a commonly used Spanish-language word for fire, “fuego.”
7. Conquest Maps
Conquest Maps sells beautiful and unique maps, its core product being a pin board map popular among people who love to travel. Keeping the name of the product (maps) in the store name, it added a descriptor in front to convey brand identity and the journey the product represents. A conquest is a trip, and customers are reliving their trips through Conquest Maps products.
8. Star Cadet
Star Cadet is the result of a series of media, retail, and ecommerce business ventures dating back to 2010. Star Cadet’s brand story is quite long and eventful, with a history of several failed and successful businesses along the way. Formerly called Olan Rogers Supply, derived from the founders’ names, the online brand changed its name to Star Cadet, which also works for the business’ future production aspirations.
Storq sells products for pregnant women and new moms. Pronounced like “stork,” it’s a unique take on spelling the word. Storks are associated with childbirth, which makes for a fitting and memorable brand name. Plus, the letter Q lends itself to fun branding and design treatments.
10. United By Blue
United By Blue is more than just a brand; the company has created a movement around sustainability and protecting the earth’s oceans and waterways. It sells products designed for enjoying the outdoors. Its customers are quite literally united with the brand through their passion for the ocean, rivers, lakes, and streams. It establishes a sense of community and reiterates the brand’s philosophies.
What’s in a brand name?
Finding the right business name can feel like a daunting task. But it’s absolutely crucial to put time and thought into naming your online store. That’s how customers will come to know, recognize, and talk about you—and if the name’s too difficult to remember, you’re missing out on loads of word-of-mouth marketing that doesn’t cost you a single penny.
Illustration by Eugenia Mello
FAQ: Finding business name ideas
How do I name my small business?
- Consider what you want to convey to customers.
- Research what brand names are available.
- Brainstorm with friends or family to get company name suggestions.
- Focus on the uniqueness of your brand.
- Keep your business name short and simple.
- Organize and review your business name ideas.
- Test your business name ideas.
What’s a catchy name?
A catchy name is designed to be memorable for your target audience. It doesn’t matter how many other brand names they see, they’ll remember yours because it’s unforgettable. Often these names become everyday terms, such as Band-Aid or Popsicle
How do I come up with a catchy business name?
- Mash up different words.
- Create acronyms.
- Brainstorm name ideas from everyday things, like an apple or a dog.
- Draw inspiration from history, literature, or mythology.
- Include foreign words.
- Use your name.
- Try a business name generator.
- Be original.
Where can I find out if a business name is taken?
You can check your state’s business filing website name check tool to search business names and see if they are taken by another business or not. If a name is taken, you can always search for business names for sale on sites such as SquadHelp.