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One of the very first and most important decisions you will make when starting a new business, is to choose a company name.


Well, first of all, your name will be the very first thing that all of your customers will see and a good name will be one that identifies your product or service while at the same time being memorable.

Top 10 mistakes in choosing and applying for a company name

1. Typo Troubles: A typo in your company name on the application can lead to rejection and lost time. Double-check everything!

2. Name Brainstorm Bonanza: Don't limit yourself! Give us at least 4 name options to expand your chances.

3. Tell Your Story: Every name has a story.

4. Be Unique, But Not Lonely: One-word names can be risky.

5. Memorable Monikers: Ditch the forgettable names. Choose something catchy, relevant, and easy to remember.

6. Brevity is Key: Keep your name concise and impactful. Longwinded titles can be cumbersome and lose attention.

7. Steer Clear of Trademarks: Avoid names similar to existing trademarks or generic terms like "Micro Computers."

8. Proof of Power: Using "Holdings" or "Group" requires proof of being part of a larger entity. Play it safe and avoid if unsure.

9. International Intrigue: "International" implies global reach. Only use it if your business truly operates internationally.

10. Enterprise Explained: Don't use "Enterprise" vaguely. Qualify it with your specific industry or offerings to avoid confusion.

Example of a successfully company names submission application (Use a description with your company name)

1. Pandecta Engineering

2. Pandecta Engineering and Maintenance

3. Pandecta and Sons Engineering

4. Panson Engineering and Maintenance

Or go with the professional name

If you are a business to business model, you are going to need to keep your business name professional.

A good formula to use is to use your surname followed by what you do, for example, Smith Engineering

Keep your name truly unique!

Think of Google, Yahoo, Mango, Nike, Microsoft and Samsung to name just a few.

Or leave out your name

You may wish to leave your name out altogether, and simply become Anytown Engineers. This makes you sound like the first choice locally, but on the other hand, this will make you sound a lot more generic of a company.

Going corporate

The dry corporate names are long gone. Today’s corporations are embracing hip, futuristic company names. A good trick is to think of a word that describes your business and then look up how it is said in Latin. Then, add a random suffix that sounds cool.

Playful names

Naming your business after a cute animal is sometimes the catch for many businesses.

This is a good way to get quick brand identity because everyone will be able to associate with your company name. It also leaves the door wide open for promotional tie-ins. If, for example, you call yourself the cheetah cab company, you might want to have your cabs painted with polka dots and use a cheetah as your company mascot.

The shortened name

More often than not, you come up with a good name but it's way too long. Microsoft, for example, is short for Microcomputer Software, and Fed-ex is short for Federal Express. If all else fails, a great way to make up a name is to just string together sounds that you like until you come up with a made-up word.

Chances are, the word will be memorable and unique.

Whatever you do, make it easy!

Make sure your name is easy to pronounce and spell. Come up with something easier or you’ll lose out on an enormous amount of word-of-mouth business. You will also want to check for competitor’s names to make sure no one else is already using them.

Also consider checking the domain if not already taken. Click here to search.

Bottom Line: Keep the company name simple, unique and descriptive.

Company Names


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Company types in South Africa

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